A long-planned gathering of far rightwing movements from across Europe met in Denmark on Saturday to try to form a pan-European anti-Islamist alliance, a project that will test the cohesion of a fringe trying to build support built on fears about immigration and militant Islamists.
Members of European far-right groups, including the English Defense League (EDL) and the German Defense League, arrived in the Danish city of Aaruhus for the rally, which was expected to draw anti- Islamic crowds from Russia, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Romania and Sweden, according to the Guardian.
The meeting, eight months after anti- Islam fanatic Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in Norway, tested whether these groups are recovering from the political blow Breivik dealt them, and whether they can coordinate internationally.
Their detractors say these fringe groups, with members often associated with violent incidents, are racists seeking to latch on to tensions over immigration in Europe.
?We?re not expecting big numbers in Aarhus,? Stephen Lennon, the head of the EDL, one of the biggest groups behind the gathering, told Reuters, adding that a few hundred people would attend. ?We hope it will be the start of a European movement that will continue to grow.?
The EDL, which claims to have thousands of members, says its mission is ?to protect the inalienable rights of all people to protest against radical Islam?s encroachment into the lives of non-Muslims.?
Peter Knoope, director of the Netherlands- based International Center for Counter-Terrorism, said the murders in France by al-Qaida-inspired gunman Muhammed Merah ?will be exploited in terms of propaganda… What they [the rightists] are trying to do is to influence the political arena.?
Aahrus Mayor Jacob Bundsgaard said last week that extremists were not welcome in Aahrus.
?Let them come, and let them go away again without much ado,? the Guardian quoted him as saying.
From Danish Media:
An anti-facist group of walked into the park and suddenly threw the bottles at the Danish Defence League demonstrators. The right wing struck back briefly but left before riot police had beaten the anti-facists.
Anti-facists surprised police by quickly accosting them and throwing bottles and other objects at officers. One policeman was injured with a gash to the head.
ekstrabladet.dk’s reporter on site said that the police were resorting to arrests, and that the police had regained control of the situation.
There are several reports that more anti-facists and young immigrants armed with stones and bottles have gathered in Gr?nnegade and Vestergade, where they waited for new attacks against Danish Defence League.
There are many trails and roads into the area and the police succesfully gained control of all the streets.
?stjyllands Police have not give a total of the total number of detainees.
More group of anti-fascists gathered earlier this afternoon on the North All wind farm at around noon. Regardless of the attacks against them, the right wing tried to continue their demonstration.
The police arrived quickly en masse and notably, set 12 personnel carriers between the venue and Voxhall M?lleparken.
After a short time the police got groups of anti-fascists to pull back toward Vesterbro Torv and away from the Danish Defence League demonstration that after the brief confrontation with counter-demonstrators shrank considerably in number.
Police then arrived in combat uniforms and put an iron ring around the wind farm. Their were many anti-fascists shouting slogans and throwing firecrackers at Danish Defence League demonstrators.
ekstrabladet.dk’s reporters on the ground report that several anti-fascists had been pushed back by the officers.
Link to a short video of an ‘anti-facist’ being arrested > HERE<