The New Observer
May 3, 2016
Police arrested more than 400 violent communist thugs outside the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party convention in Stuttgart over the weekend—but the thuggery did not prevent the 2,400-strong convention from going ahead as planned.
The convention adopted policies supporting strict controls on immigration and proposals designed to stop the spread of Islam—and voted to expel members who seek political alliances with the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD).
Heavily-armored riot police used pepper spray to hold off the communist thugs, many dressed in black and masking their faces, as officers escorted AfD members into the congress hall.
The communists also burned tires and threw firecrackers at journalists and the 1,000-strong police presence.
In another act of harassment, a left-wing media site overnight published the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of some 2,000 party members. AfD co-leader Joerg Meuthen pledged to file criminal charges against the unknown hackers behind the data leak.
Now polling around 14 percent, AfD is eyeing entry into the federal parliament in elections next year after a string of state election wins.
“Islam is not part of Germany” ran a headline in the AfD policy paper agreed in a vote at the congress. The paper demanded bans on minarets on mosques, the call to prayer, full-face veils for women, and female headscarves in schools.
A proposal for a more nuanced formulation—to “stop Islamism but seek dialogue with Islam”—was rejected with boos in the gathering, which was held in a hall decorated with banners that read “Courage. Truth. Germany.”
“Islam is in itself political,” retorted one speaker, while another linked the religion with “sharia, suicide bombings, and forced marriages”.
“We must not repeat the mistakes of the 60s and 70s and look abroad for labor migration,” read another line from the party platform.
“In the summer of 2015, they gave us up for dead,” a triumphant AfD co-chair Frauke Petry told the 2,400-plus delegates, declaring that the party does not intend to settle for the role of opposition group or junior coalition partner.
Instead, its new program should allow the AfD “to win majorities,” she told the meeting in the western city of Stuttgart.
Support for the AfD stood at 13 percent, beating the communist Greens as Germany’s third strongest party, according to an Emnid institute survey for the newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
Having entered half of Germany’s 16 state parliaments, the AfD—seen as the country’s answer to France’s National Front and Austria’s Freedom Party—has now firmly set its sights on national elections next year.