Friday, May 3rd was a dark day for democracy, as MEP Matthias Ecke was attacked and seriously injured by far-right thugs while campaigning in Germany.

The Left strongly condemns this brutal assault and reiterates its solidarity with Mr Ecke. This was an attack on all citizens, on democracy itself.

But this is unfortunately not the first time progressive forces have been targeted by the far right. Shortly before that, Green campaigners were also attacked, as well as Die Linke party activists. The far right, through their hate speech, has created an unbearable climate of fear. It is multiplying everywhere: a nazi group attacked a people-on-the-move camp in Sweden, six men linked to the far right assaulted an immigrant in Portugal, and an Italian activist is in jail in Hungary because she confronted nazi groups. We can not tolerate it anymore. 

The Left’s Co-Chair, Martin Schirdewan (Die Linke, Germany), commented: “I would like to salute the courage of Die Linke activists in the face of violent attacks by the far right. We will fight together, and we will not be insulted. We will continue to fight for a fairer Europe and protect democracy against the far right.

The far-right AfD party in Germany is not democratic, and its values stem from a vile ideology, as recently shown by several high-ranking party members developing proposals to put in place a remigration plan so that people can be expelled from Germany based on racist criteria, whether citizens or not.

AfD is dangerous to our democracies and Europe. As requested by Left Co-Chair Martin Schirdewan (Die Linke, Germany): “We specifically demand that an AfD ban be examined and considered very seriously.

Progressive forces have a long and proud tradition of speaking out and fighting fascism. In Germany, millions of citizens recently took to the streets to protest against the far right. In France, Italy, and Belgium, people have been gathering to fight back against it. 

The rise of the far-right in Europe is a threat to our fundamental rights and liberties. It is a daily struggle, and we are not afraid to fight against those who seek to oppress us. We will always confront them – be it on the streets or in the institutions.

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