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Extremism: Silent commemoration of Rouven Laur – fear of demonstrations

Extremism: Silent commemoration of Rouven Laur – fear of demonstrations

After days of political discussions, today’s focus will be on remembering the police officer who was killed. In Mannheim, however, there is growing concern about renewed clashes at demonstrations.

A young policewoman stands between her colleagues with tears streaming down her face, a man kneels crying in front of the sea of ​​flowers on Mannheim’s market square: Videos on the Internet show how much the fatal knife attack in Mannheim has affected people in the city and far beyond.

29-year-old police officer Rouven Laur died after the attack last Friday. Five other men were injured when a 25-year-old Afghan stabbed participants at a rally of the anti-Islam movement Pax Europa (BPE) with a knife.

But the knife attack also sparked a political debate about stricter deportations – and led to concerns about clashes at demonstrations in the city. Today, one week after the attack, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is commemorating Rouven Laur in Mannheim.

The Baden-Württemberg police have called for a minute’s silence at 11:34 a.m., the time when the fatal attack on the police officer took place. Steinmeier also wants to lay a bouquet of flowers at the crime scene.

Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) and State Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) will also be there. The state government has asked employees of ministries, schools and the state parliament, among others, to take part in the minute’s silence.

AfD calls for demonstration – Antifa for counter-demonstration

The AfD has also called for a demonstration against Islamism on the market square this evening. An Antifa counter-demonstration is to take place at the same time. The city had temporarily banned events such as demonstrations on the market square.

By means of a general decree, it declared the square a place of remembrance until June 16. The AfD filed a complaint against this – the Karlsruhe Administrative Court granted the urgent application yesterday. The city lodged an appeal against this. Now the Baden-Württemberg Administrative Court must decide. The city plans to use the nearby Paradeplatz for the demonstration.

“Two days before the European elections, we want to demonstrate exactly where Islamist terror struck in order to send a clear political signal to the whole republic,” said AfD state chairman Markus Frohnmaier.

City councillors had previously expressed concern about the planned demonstrations. Heated scenes had already taken place on the market square last Sunday. A cross-party alliance had called for a vigil against violence and hatred. A rally by the Young Alternative also took place on the market square at the same time.

The meeting of the AfD youth organization was held under the motto “Remigration would have prevented this act!” Videos on the Internet show demonstrators forming a long human chain in the city center – and the police clashing with a group of Antifa activists. The activists waved red flags and lit flares. The slogan “Nazis out” was chanted on the market square.

Five injured in the attack continue to suffer pain

The five people injured last Friday are still suffering from the aftermath a week after the attack, and are all still in pain, says Stefanie Kizina from Pax Europa. “We are all still in shock,” says the treasurer. “You pull yourself together, you have to process it first. (…) You have always lived in danger, but somehow you always assumed that nothing would happen, that it wouldn’t be that bad.”

Board member Michael Stürzenberger had to go to hospital again because of the high blood loss caused by his injuries. The 59-year-old will definitely be out for four to eight weeks.

The movement will now pay even more attention to the safety of its members, says Kizina. “There will no longer be any events without protective barriers. The police officers are now keeping an even closer eye on us.”

The regional chairman of the German Police Union, Ralf Kusterer, is touched by the great sympathy for the death of Rouven Laur. However, around a week after the attack, the grief is mixed with anger. “People are naturally disappointed,” he says of the mood among police officers. “The frustration with politicians is enormous.” After acts like these, there are extensive political discussions and demands, but ultimately nothing changes. For example, there needs to be concrete discussions about further training for police officers, equipment for protection and for treating wounds after attacks.

Police officers involved in the operation receive psychological support

It is not known how the police officers involved in the operation are doing one week after the knife attack. A spokesman for the Mannheim police said they did not want to comment on the matter. The president of the Mannheim police headquarters, Ulrike Schäfer, simply said: “Those who worked with Laur and were present at the fateful operation are currently receiving psychological support.”

Criminal and police psychologist Ursula Gasch told the “Mannheimer Morgen”: “Events like this fatal knife attack lead to a collective reaction of shock and dismay. People often talk about a specific “police culture”, which sometimes sounds derogatory, but is actually something positive.” The special collegial bond reflects a vital attitude among police officers in view of the dangerous situations that this profession often entails and which can only be mastered as a team, explained the expert. “An attack on a police officer is therefore understood as an attack on every police officer, everywhere.”

The crime has also sparked an intense debate about stricter deportations. As a consequence of the fatal knife attack, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) wants to make it possible to deport serious criminals to Afghanistan and Syria again. “Such criminals should be deported – even if they come from Syria and Afghanistan,” said the SPD politician in the Bundestag. “Serious criminals and terrorist threats have no place here.”

The Chancellor did not say in his government statement how exactly he intends to make this possible. The Federal Ministry of the Interior is working on the practical implementation and is already in talks with Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries.

Source: Stern

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