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Germany: Stuttgart activists march against AfD congress following arrests01:47

Germany: Stuttgart activists march against AfD congress following arrests

Germany, Stuttgart
April 30, 2016 at 17:05 GMT +00:00 · Published

Hundreds of leftist protesters marched through Stuttgart city centre, Saturday while the right-wing, anti-refugee Alternative for Germany (AfD) held its annual congress in the city.

Pro-refugee protesters marched from Theodor-Heuss Street with red flags, smoke pellets and a huge banner reading "No to AfD." Earlier on Saturday, some 500 left-wing protesters were arrested outside the International Congress Centre where the convention was being held. The demonstrators had tried to block the main roads to the venue as well as the parking and entrance to the centre, while chanting "Nazis out" and "Bye, bye AfD." According to local police, several protesters carried iron bars and wooden slats.

Around 2,000 AfD members and supporters are participating in the meeting in which the AfD is scheduled to vote on its first party programme later on Saturday. More than 1,000 police officers were deployed to separate protesters from arriving party members.

In March, the AfD achieved significant gains in Germany's regional elections. The party received enough votes to enter into three state legislatures, securing 24.20 percent of the vote in the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt, 15 percent in Baden-Wuerttemberg and 12.60 percent in Rhineland Palatinate. The AfD's overall popularity has risen to 13 percent across the country, according to recent polls.

Germany: Stuttgart activists march against AfD congress following arrests01:47
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Description

Hundreds of leftist protesters marched through Stuttgart city centre, Saturday while the right-wing, anti-refugee Alternative for Germany (AfD) held its annual congress in the city.

Pro-refugee protesters marched from Theodor-Heuss Street with red flags, smoke pellets and a huge banner reading "No to AfD." Earlier on Saturday, some 500 left-wing protesters were arrested outside the International Congress Centre where the convention was being held. The demonstrators had tried to block the main roads to the venue as well as the parking and entrance to the centre, while chanting "Nazis out" and "Bye, bye AfD." According to local police, several protesters carried iron bars and wooden slats.

Around 2,000 AfD members and supporters are participating in the meeting in which the AfD is scheduled to vote on its first party programme later on Saturday. More than 1,000 police officers were deployed to separate protesters from arriving party members.

In March, the AfD achieved significant gains in Germany's regional elections. The party received enough votes to enter into three state legislatures, securing 24.20 percent of the vote in the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt, 15 percent in Baden-Wuerttemberg and 12.60 percent in Rhineland Palatinate. The AfD's overall popularity has risen to 13 percent across the country, according to recent polls.

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