Over 5,000 demonstrate against 100 German far-right protesters
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Over 5,000 demonstrate against 100 German far-right protesters

Local governor calls for counter rally against far-right NPD, which marches to intimidate journalists who have reported critically on the nationalist party

People take part in a protest rally against the German far-right party NPD in Hannover, Germany, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. (Ole Spata/dpa via AP)
People take part in a protest rally against the German far-right party NPD in Hannover, Germany, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. (Ole Spata/dpa via AP)

BERLIN — More than 5,000 people followed the call by the governor of a northern German state on Saturday to join rallies against a far-right protest in Hannover.

Lower Saxony’s Stephan Weil had asked people to rally against a protest by the far-right NPD party, which is marching to intimidate journalists who have reported critically about the nationalist party.

“To say it loud and clear: far-right agitation against journalists … and press freedom are an attack on our democracy,” Weil had tweeted earlier.

Hannover police had tried to ban the NPD from protesting, but a court decided late Friday that the far-right protest could go ahead.

Only about 100 far-right protesters showed up for their march while the more than 5,000 counter-demonstrators — among them Governor Weil — rallied in downtown Hannover for press freedom and showed their support for the embattled journalists.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speak to journalists as he arrives for the Informal Meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Helsinki, Finland on August 29, 2019. (Markku Ulander/Lehtikuva / AFP)

“In Hannover one can see what applies to all of Germany: the neo-Nazis and the fear-mongers who agitate against journalists are a minority,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted. “Thanks for everyone who protested peacefully against this dishonorable march.”

The NPD had advertised their march by posting a picture online of a broadcast journalist who has done in-depth reporting about the far-right scene in Germany.

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