October 26, 2015
German riot police used water cannon to keep left – wing radicals and anti-Islam protesters apart on Sunday as they held rival rallies in the city of Cologne.
Around 10,000 left-wingers outnumbered their right-wing counterparts. What began peacefully with many families attendening descended into clashes with police.
The left-wingers said they wanted to stop the spread of xenophobia.
The anti-Islam protesters belonged to a group calling themselves HOGESA (Hooligans Against Salafists). It is made up of self proclaimed football hooligans, right- wing militants and neo-Nazis and is a more radical off-shoot of the anti-Islam PEGIDA group(Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West) which last week held its biggest rally in months in the city of Dresden.
Cologne is the city where pro-refugee politician Henriette Reker, who was recently elected mayor, was stabbed in the neck while on the campaign trail in an attack that shocked Germany.