It was an evening of contrasts. 47 people attended the alternative fur deutschland’s info evening on education policy in the burgersaal in stegaurach on tuesday evening. 400 people attended the "stegaurach stands up" demonstration in front of the aurachtal hall. There were no clashes. "From the police’s point of view, everything proceeded calmly and without incident. There was an exuberant and peaceful atmosphere at the demonstration", reports markus dotterweich, spokesman for the police bamberg land.
Both groups love each other in peace. In the hall, nicole hochst, a member of the bundestag, spoke about her afd’s education policy goals; candidates florian kohler and jan schiffers presented their programs for the bamberg land and bamberg city constituencies. There was dancing and rapping in front of the hall. Speakers from several parties explained why they consider the afd dangerous. "The cohesion of democrats is not only important, it is urgently necessary: since chemnitz, it has become clear that the afd is breeding fear and hatred with radical right-wing ideas and tolerating neo-nazis in its ranks", said bamberger oberburg mayor andreas starke (SPD) in his grubwort to the demonstrators. "We will not look away but raise our voices loud and clear to stand up for humanity, democracy, respect and tolerance."
The organizers themselves were surprised that so many came to the demo. "This was not to be expected at all", says heinrich kolb (SPD), a spokesman for the action alliance. Stegaurach mayor thilo wagner () was there, his fellow mayors wolfgang desel (CSU) from strullendorf and jonas merzbacher (SPD) from gundelsheim likewise. The rap trio "bambagga", and the stegaurach band "heaventones" performed on the stage – the muhlendorfer brass band played the european anthem.
"I have seen pensioners dance. There were children and 80-year-olds", kolb reports enthusiastically. "We wanted to go out on the streets in one town in the district and have fun in the process." one did not want to deliver clumsy slogans, but information.
Speakers therefore also addressed the content of the afd, including stegaurach’s second mayor bernd fricke (grune). "The party program comes normally ruber. But if you look at the statements of the members, it looks different. The afd had to distance itself from this", said fricke, who sees the demo as a strong sign for democracy.
The afd sees things differently. "They represent their opinion, from me everyone can do that", says jan schiffers. "But i find it a bit arrogant when outsiders come and say the afd is not welcome in stegaurach. After all, 655 people voted for us in the federal election", declares the afd candidate for the state parliament in the bamberg-city constituency. The speakers at the demo were poorly informed, he says. As an example, he cites the accusation that his party wants to "drown" people in the mediterranean sea let. "We want to close the mediterranean route so that no people have to come over the sea."
The afd state parliament candidate for the bamberg-land constituency also criticizes the demo: "it’s amazing that you put so much energy into it to tell a democratic party that you think it’s a slice", says florian kohler. He can only shake his head "that CSU candidate stefan kuhn demonstrates hand in hand with the antifa" have. "Colorless candidates like uwe metzner" (SPD) had used the event as a platform for their election campaign.
A few participants of the demo had also come to the burgersaal. "One of the skiers was banging on the way out, but apart from that everyone was calm and there was nothing to complain about. On the contrary, I was pleased that they were there", kohler reports from the event.