BERLIN (AP) — More than 5,000 people followed the call by the governor of a northern German state on Saturday to join rallies against a far-right protest in Hannover.
Lower Saxony’s Stephan Weil had asked people to rally against a protest by the far-right NPD party, which is marching to intimidate journalists who have reported critically about the nationalist party.
“To say it loud and clear: far-right agitation against journalists … and press freedom are an attack on our democracy,” Weil had tweeted earlier.
Hannover police had tried to ban the NPD from protesting, but a court decided late Friday that the far-right protest can go ahead.
Only about 100 far-right protesters showed up for their march while the more than 5,000 counter-demonstrators — among them Governor Weil — rallied in downtown Hannover for press freedom and showed their support for the embattled journalists.
“In Hannover one can see what applies to all of Germany: the neo-Nazis and the fearmongers who agitate against journalists are a minority,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted. “Thanks for everyone who protested peacefully against this dishonorable march.”
The NPD had advertised their march by posting a picture online of a broadcast journalist who has done in-depth reporting about the far-right scene in Germany.