After the attack on SPD politician Matthias Ecke, thousands of people demonstrated for democracy and against violence in Dresden and Berlin. In Dresden, around 3,000 people gathered in the Striesen district early on Sunday evening. There, Ecke was beaten up by four young men while hanging up election posters on Friday evening. Shortly before, the same group had allegedly attacked and injured a 28-year-old Green Party campaign worker nearby.

In Berlin, around 1,000 people came to the Brandenburg Gate to show solidarity with the attacked politician. Originally, 50 participants were announced for the rally, as the police said in advance. The Green Party chairmen Ricarda Lang and Omid Nouripour, SPD leader Lars Klingbeil, SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert, as well as the Prime Ministers of Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, Michael Kretschmer and Hendrik Wüst (both CDU), also came to the demonstration.

Klingbeil, speaking on behalf of the SPD, expressed shock at the act of violence. “The Höckes and the Gaulands and the Weidels may not have raised their fists and may not have hit anyone directly. But I’m telling you, they helped create the social climate in this country that causes other people to attack volunteers, activists and politicians.”

Climate activist Neubauer: “Then we are all included”

Climate activist Luisa Neubauer emphasized that the attack on Ecke meant all Democrats. “When people who stand up for democracy are attacked, when people who speak out for justice are torn apart on the Internet, when people no longer dare to stand up freely for non-violence, for democracy, for a better society, then we are everyone is meant.”

Wüst previously said in the ARD “Report from Berlin” that violence is not an effective means in politics. The attacks were reminiscent of the darkest chapters in German history.

Ecke was attacked while putting up posters in Dresden

Matthias Ecke is Saxony’s SPD top candidate for the European elections. The 41-year-old was attacked on Friday evening while putting up posters. He suffered a fracture of his cheekbone and eye socket as well as hematomas on his face, said Saxony’s SPD leader Henning Homann on Sunday afternoon.

On Thursday in Essen, Bundestag member Kai Gehring (Greens) and his party colleague Rolf Fliß said they were attacked and Fliß was beaten. A few days ago, Bundestag Vice President Katrin-Göring-Eckardt (Greens) was aggressively harassed after an event in eastern Brandenburg and prevented from leaving for a long time. According to police, an AfD member of the state parliament was beaten at an information stand in Nordhorn, Lower Saxony, on Saturday morning.