After weekly demonstrations by residents opposed to more migrants arriving, the residents of the east German town of Cottbus seem to have gotten what they wanted as it was announced that the interior ministry of Brandenburg, the federal state in which Cottbus lies, had decided to stop sending refugees to the city.
Every Saturday for the past two months, more than 3,000 mostly older people walked peacefully through the town escorted by riot police whilst shouting “Merkel must go!”, “We are the people!” and “Lying press!”
Most of the demonstrators carried signs reading ‘Schnauze Voll!’ which is a German expression that can roughly be translated as ‘fed up’ or ‘we’ve had enough.’
Violence from refugees had been on the rise in this city which borders Poland.
Last month, two Syrian teenagers injured a 16-year-old German boy with a knife and two weeks before that, a group of three Syrians, all aged 17, threatened an elderly German couple with a knife outside a mall in Cottbus.
Most of the residents of Cottbus grew up in Eastern Germany, where there were no foreigners allowed in the Communist regime. The city voted in a great number for the AfD in last year’s election but still saw no change.
Now they say they’ve had enough.
<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">🆘‼😎💪 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Germany?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Germany</a>: After a few knife attacks by migrants. The citizens of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cottbus?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Cottbus</a> are fed up with the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Merkel?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Merkel</a> government and its policy of open borders. Protest march on Sunday the 3rd of February at 14 o'clock at the Stadthalle in Cottbus. <a href="https://t.co/wwqzpCD9Sj">https://t.co/wwqzpCD9Sj</a> <a href="https://t.co/vRRt8yAXux">pic.twitter.com/vRRt8yAXux</a></p>— Onlinemagazin (@OnlineMagazin) <a href="https://twitter.com/OnlineMagazin/status/958663307744956416?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 31, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Mr Hans-Christoph Berndt, leader of ‘Zukunft Heimat’, the group that organised the marches, said: “The media have been misrepresenting us.”
“We are protesting against the decision to welcome everyone. There aren’t enough police, not enough kindergarten places and not enough teachers. We are demanding that Merkel step down.”