More than seven rallies and demonstrations in the middle of downtown Leipzig on a Monday evening. Even for the Leipzig police who have been tried and tested in the large areas, this operation should not be an everyday occurrence.
A spokeswoman accordingly informed the Tagesspiegel that she was preparing for a “possible dynamic situation”. Due to the different actors and applicants behind the protests, a confusing situation was expected, especially on the central Augustusplatz.
Here the party “Die Linke” wanted to start the so-called “hot autumn” around 7 p.m. with a large rally under the motto “Prices down – energy and food must be affordable”. For a few weeks now, the party has been mobilizing its nationwide electorate and is hoping for Germany-wide social protests against the rising costs of electricity, gas and food.
Several thousand participants were expected in Leipzig. Gregor Gysi, Leipzig member of the Bundestag Sören Pellmann and Left Party leader Amira Mohamed Ali will speak from the stage.
At the same time, the far-right “Freie Sachsen” have been calling on their supporters for days to also take part in the protests. The calculus: the image of a transverse front demonstrating together against the current government policy, regardless of the political background.
The right-wing extremists tried to suggest to their fans via Telegram that left and right will speak together at a rally. The party leadership issued a mobilization call listing the names of left-wing politicians Gysi and Pellmann as speakers, as well as well-known right-wing extremists such as Jürgen Elsässer, editor-in-chief of COMPACT magazine, which is monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
But there was no joint rally at all, instead the “Freie Sachsen” reported a parallel protest, also on Augustusplatz. At the same time, a call was made via Telegram to get involved in the left-wing protest.
Meanwhile, “Die Linke” distanced itself from the “Freie Sachsen” and announced that it would categorically exclude right-wing extremist participants from their rally. Left-wing politician Pellmann even filed a complaint against the “Freie Sachsen” for the use of his name on the flyer. The district court of Leipzig agreed with him.
In addition, the Leipzig police had two registrations for elevators from the left and radical left spectrum, which were also supposed to move from the southern suburbs with several hundred people towards the center on Monday evening. The background to one of the demonstration trains is to carry anti-fascist protest against possible right-wing extremist participation in the social protests onto the street.
The second initiative “Social Struggle” also clearly distanced itself from right-wing appropriation and wanted to join the rally of the party “Die Linke” at the end of the procession. The Saxon police were supported during the operation by the Federal Police and a loudspeaker van from the Thuringian State Police. A police helicopter was also available for technical support.