Pro-refugee rally eclipses far-right demo in Germany

March 5, 2017 8:00 pm
Scores of anti-refugee demonstrators have staged a rally in western to denounce the country’s asylum policy but have been dwarfed in numbers by a massive group of counter-protesters.
Some 70 protesters from the German far-right party Die Rechte took to the streets of the western city of Wuppertal on Saturday to protest the country’s policy of allowing in refugees and asylum seekers, whom they claimed had taken their jobs. They were outnumbered by a group of some 500 pro-refugee demonstrators, who also took to the streets to advocate an open-door approach.
Police officers were present at the scene to keep the situation under control. No clashes were reported.

A screen grab from a video published by Ruptly shows the scene of anti- and pro-refugee demonstrations in the western German city of Wuppertal on March 4, 2017.

More than a million people have been admitted into Germany as part of an influx of refugees that began to hit in early 2015. But many have also been rejected asylum and deported or scheduled for deportation.
Many blame Chancellor Angela Merkel’s liberal asylum policies for the surge in security threats. The criticism forced Berlin to revise criteria for accepting refugees, saying only those from war-ravaged territories, including Syria, would be allowed in. German authorities recorded 280,000 refugee arrivals in 2016.
Refugee advocates and the supporters of Merkel, meanwhile, have called on the government to take stronger action against far-right, nationalist groups, which have carried out attacks on refugees.
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