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Police probe anti-migrant protest outside Merkel's office

March 23, 2018

The protesters had placed candles, roses and pictures of victims of violent crimes blamed on migrants outside Merkel's constituency office. Police say four of the candles alluded to the far-right Identitarian movement.

A nameplate outside Merkel's constituency office bearing her name on it.
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/S. Sauer

German police are investigating an apparent far-right protest against Chancellor Angela Merkel's refugee policy.

Police said the protest site, outside Merkel's constituency office in the northeastern town of Stralsund, looked like a memorial with candles, roses and photos of young victims of violence.

The photos carried the names Maria, Keira, Mia and Mireille — all four victims of violent crimes blamed on migrants or people of foreign background.

Maria's murderer was handed a life sentence on Thursday. It is not clear whether the protest outside Merkel's office was linked to the verdict.

The protesters had signed off with the words "Islam is part of Germany?" written on the sidewalk. Merkel had made the statement this week in her first speech to the German parliament since re-election.

Identitarian movement

Police said four of the 14 candles were marked with symbols of the far-right Identitarian movement, a Europe-wide movement of young right-wing activists aimed at protesting what they consider European "identity."

Read more: Far-right Identitarians want to become guardians for refugees

They are known for pulling a number of publicity stunts. Last summer, a group of German, Italian and French Identitarians chartered a ship to sail around the Mediterranean, to pick up migrants and return them to the Africa.

Germany's domestic intelligence considers the movement extremist and has it under observation.

What is the Identitarian Movement about?

ap/rt (dpa, AFP, AP)

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