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From the stands to the streets: What does Chemnitz violence have to do with football?

“Our city — our rules,” began the Sunday morning Facebook post from Kaotic Chemnitz, a football hooligan group categorized as “extreme right-wing” by Saxony state authorities, and banned by fourth-division side Chemnitzer FC since 2012.

“Let us show together who has the say in the city!” it continued, calling on “all Chemnitz fans and sympathizers” to meet at the colossal bust of Karl Marx in the center of the city formerly known as Karl-Marx-Stadt. “Honor, loyalty and passion for club and home city,” it concluded. The post was later deleted.

The call followed the fatal stabbing of a German-Cuban named only as Daniel H., 35, who died in hospital on Sunday following an altercation late on Saturday night. A 22-year-old Iraqi and a 23-year-old Syrian remain in police custody following the incident.

While about 100 people attended a vigil organized by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party at the scene of the murder, it’s believed that between 800 and 1,000 people responded to the call from Kaotic Chemnitz. They proceeded to march through the city center, chasing and attacking people they believed were of foreign or migrant appearance and chanting slogans such as “Wir sind das Volk!” (We are the people) und “Das ist unsere Stadt!” (This is our city).

On Monday night, a second demonstration organised by the far-right Pro Chemnitz group attracted upwards of 2,000 right-wing extremists, some of whom openly gave Nazi salutes and chanted “Germany for the Germans — foreigners out” as the police maintained a policy of containment rather than direct intervention.

What has football got to do with it and who are ‘Kaotic Chemnitz’?

As in several cities in the former East Germany, the extreme-right scene in Chemnitz has close links to local football hooligans and mixed martial arts fighters.

Source: DW

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