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Chemnitz concert: #WirSindMehr becomes a trending topic

September 4, 2018

The anti-racism concert in Chemnitz following last week's violent protest marches drew a crowd of nearly 65,000 people. Social media picked up on the event's hashtag, #WirSindMehr.

Deutschland, Chemnitz: Screenshot: Konzert "wir sind mehr" Campino und Rod
Image: YouTube/CM Styles

Die Toten Hosen, Kraftklub, Trettmann: the list of bands who performed in Chemnitz Monday evening reads like a who's who of German rock.

The #WirSindMehr (We are more) concert was quickly organized by local band Kraftklub last week after several protest marches took over the East German city last week and demonstrations grew violent.

Read more: Chemnitz rocks against the far-right

Their appeal to fans from around Germany to descend on the city as a sign of tolerance drew an audience of 65,000 to the streets of Chemnitz. "So many resilient people here on stage, backstage and out in the public," the band tweeted Tuesday with a bird's eye view of the impressive crowd.

The concert, originally planned to be held near a statue dedicated to Karl Marx, as the city had formally been known as the Karl-Marx-Stadt until reunification, had to be moved as the estimated number of attendees more than doubled in size. Thousands of fans arriving from Leipzig brought the main train station to a standstill just hours before the concert began.

'Writing history'

"This is not about the fight between right and left, it's about basic decency," said singer Campino of the headline act, Die Toten Hosen.

The band brought Rodrigo González of Die Ärzte and Arnim Teutoburg-Weiss of Beatsteaks to the stage for a rendition of the Ärzte song "Schrei nach Liebe." The 1993 hit speaks out against the neo-Nazi movement with lyrics that translate roughly to "Your violence is just a muted scream for love, your combat boots are longing for tenderness."

On Twitter, Die Toten Hosen also celebrated the concert as a history-making event.

"Thanks to everyone who was here and to everyone who didn't make it because they were stuck in the traffic chaos. You wrote history today!" the tweet says.

Different politicians similarly shared their enthusiasm following the concert, such as in this tweet by the European Greens. 

However, followers of the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) were quick to pick up the hashtag to rebuke the success of the event. 

Most notably, Beatrix von Storch, the AfD's deputy leader, used an aggressive tone on Twitter: "You are not more. You are Merkel's subjects, you are abominable and you dance on graves." 

The event opened with a moment of silence for the German-Cuban stabbing victim, identified as Daniel H, whose death sparked the original demonstration by right-wing activists last week. 

ct/eg (with dpa)