Thousands from across Germany took to the streets of Berlin on Saturday in a mass protest against Angela Merkel’s open-door asylum policy.
Germany has suffered a number of terror attacks recently, some of which were carried out by refugees.
Right wing anti-immigration politicians are expected to address a ‘huge’ crowd in Berlin’s historic Washington Square.
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The Daily Express reports:
News of the gathering is being spread under the hashtag #Merkelmussweg – meaning Merkel must go – which has been used more than 1,500 times in 24 hours reaching hundreds of thousands of people.
Police are preparing for crowds of around 5,000 people from across the country to gather in the capital city from 3pm, with counter-demonstrations by anti-fascist groups also expected.
The march is being organised by a coalition of anti-immigrant groups in Germany, where fears have been stoked by a succession of terrorist attacks carried out by refugees.
It has been sparked by Mrs Merkel’s refusal to alter her path on unlimited mass migration despite the atrocities, and has been quickly organised by mass movements online.
Germans have been sharing a poster for the demonstration which shows a placard depicting Mrs Merkel dressed in a Burka next to its slogan “Merkel Must Go!”.
Supporters will hear from right-wing speakers from across the continent and are demanding that Mrs Merkel change course on immigration, introducing a cap on numbers and tough new security checks on asylum seekers.
Posting on Facebook, the Swiss right-wing politician Ignaz Bearth said he expected the protest to be “huge” and confirmed that he would be addressing the crowds.
In a post advertising the march Wir Dur Deutschland, one of the organisers, said that it wanted the event to be “peaceful” and added: “We can navigate this difficult path if we all just go together”.
The group said that all weapons and alcohol were banned at the march as was any Nazi or far-right apparel, but added that flags of “Germany and all European countries” were welcome.
They told people to obey the police and added: “All participants must contribute to a peaceful and orderly event.”
Mrs Merkel has been savaged online since her surprise announcement that she would not alter Germany’s immigration policy even in the face of a growing threat from Islamist terrorism.
She was branded a “traitor” and accused of “creating terrorism” by furious Germans, who used the Merkel Must Go hashtag to register their disgust with her leadership.
Critics also mocked her famous phrase ‘we can do it’ – which she made when she first threw Germany’s doors open and repeated one more as she publicly renewed that stance this week.
One user tweeted: “I suggest we make ‘we can do it’ the taboo phrase of the year.”
And another added: “It is unbelievable. We can make it? Mrs Merkel and Co – WE cannot make it!”
A third pointed to the heavy security surrounding the German leader, observing: “So easy for Merkel to repeat we can make it. She’s well protected. Make that awful woman resign.”
Meanwhile one exasperated German said: ”Whoever still says ‘we can make it’ after what’s happening in Germany right now, this person can’t be helped.”
Germany has been rocked by its bloodiest week in recent history with a succession of terror attacks – some of which were carried out by asylum seekers – stoking growing tensions over mass migration.
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