I am so glad, that I was at Rhine in Flames this Saturday and not anywhere near the district Mehlem, in the south-east of Bonn. The times when Bonn used to the capital of Germany have long since past, but obviously Bonn is still good for an escalation when it comes to demonstrations.
This Saturday there was an announced demonstration of the radical right-wing citizen movement called pro-NRW. It was founded in 2007 and is a regional movement, which is politically active only in North Rhine-Westphalia. This movement has been deemed unconstitutional in 2011.
Obviously pro-NRW had planned an anti Islamists demonstration (consisting of 30 people) in front of the King-Fahd-Academy (a mosque) in Mehlem. In turn, several hundred Muslims (and some of them were Islamic fundamentalists called Salafi) had gathered to demonstrate against the pro-NRW demonstration. Needless to say that I am not particularly fond of either of them.
Anyway, while we (my Red Cross colleagues and myself) were on our way to the Rheinaue, we encountered two vehicles, one from the Red Cross and the other from the Maltese volunteer organisation, rushing by with their blue lights turned on. We had the radio on and soon found out that they were on their way to the mosque, were obviously things had started heating up.
As long as everybody stays peaceful, I think demonstrations are good. Freedom of speech and everything. Well, obviously the demonstration didn’t stay as peaceful as the picture might suggest. 29 people were injured, when mostly Salafi started throwing stones and attack the police. This all was caused by the pro-NRW people though, since they started showing a cartoon of Mohammad in order to provoke the islamic party…
The result of this incident??
Two police officers (one of them female) were seriously injured, after being stabbed. They had to be transported to a local hospital. Both are no longer in danger. 27 other police officers were also slightly injured.
I am so happy, that I was not called there!! knowing my luck sometimes, I guess I would have ended up catching one of those stones with my head!!!
Here some more German reports on it, source WDR.de
All is well…