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Thousands descend onto Berlin streets in rival political rallies

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Thousands descend onto Berlin streets in rival political rallies

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The Alternative for Germany (AFD) far-right party held a mass protest in Berlin on Sunday, while counter-protesters gathered to try and drown them out.

Titled “the future of Germany” the far-right party and its allies were calling for an end to migration.

“You get the impression that Germany is overwhelmed by integration,” said one protestor.

While it is unusual for a German political party to host a rally like this, the AFD prides itself on breaking the mould. The party is in the national parliament now, but they demonstrated the fact they can still mobilise support on the streets and this demonstration has attracted support from other far right groups, who share the same views.

However the AFD were also reminded that they remain a minority in German society, as the 5,000 thousand AFD protesters marched into the city centre they were met along the way by around 25,000 counter protestors who tried to block their route.

Over a dozen groups from left-wing organisations to LGBT groups and nightclub organisers set up anti-AFD events across the city

“We can’t tolerate exclusion in Germany and with our history we can’t tolerate these people being in the Bundestag and spreading hate,” said one anti-AFD demonstrator.

The AFD entered the parliament for the first time in September 2017 with a strong anti-migrant, anti-Islam message which was widely heard from them again today. Their detractors say they represent an outdated fascist ideology and the breadth of the counter protests seen today in Berlin show just how contentious the AFD remains.