A force of 1600 riot police with water cannons.
A swarm of about 700 neo-Nazi protest marchers.
An ad hoc coalition of punks, anarchists, Communists, and a tossed salad of "progressive" leftists of non-descript affiliations.
Just "a perfect Saturday afternoon in Germany," says Berlin-based Australian freelancer, David Wroe in The Local.
The neo-Nazis marched. Down the road the counter-protesters prepared to confront them. The Nazis chanted provocative slogans. The punks, anarchists and leftists became increasingly riled. The police held back the counter-protesters. The Nazis blockaded the street, formed a human phalanx, and "charged like rugby players." The police brought in the water cannons and tried to disperse the ensuing riot, spraying high-powered bursts of water in all directions for maximum soakage. Hell broke loose. And not an asteroid in sight. Damn!
"Berlin spent at least €200,000 it cannot afford," says David Wroe, "to ensure that a bunch of knuckleheads could exercise their democratic right to march while being abused by another bunch of knuckleheads."
So, asks Wroe, "who wins when we defend people's right to act like bigots and idiots? Is it possible that a liberal democracy's tolerance of all views might actually sap its strength?"
Let's weigh up the situation. The neo-Nazis had a permit to march. Fair enough; you can't ban people from marching, however deplorable their message. They were, for most part, well-disciplined.
The anti-Nazi demonstrators, by contrast, were a rabble. Don't misunderstand me; it is a fine reflection on modern German society that people bother to get out on a cold Saturday and show their abhorrence toward the worst ideology mankind has ever constructed. It is only a shame that the "fuck the police" brigade overshadowed the well-intentioned.
As for the police:
... caught between jackbooted Nazi thugs and bottle-throwing leftist fools, a well-trained and accountable police force shepherded more than 1,000 angry people through an incendiary afternoon and brought the day to a close with no injuries and with both sides going their separate ways having exercised their democratic rights.
The winner, declares Wroe, was liberal democracy itself, and by extension, ordinary people. For all of its messiness, absurdity, and cumbersome stretches to the limits of tolerance for moonbats of all descriptions, liberal democracy time and again proves itself to be "pretty good at knocking the sharp edges off human folly."
I sincerely wish I could share Wroe's optimism about that last point.
**Related** Doomsday Asteroid: February 1, 2019
"Scientists are tracking a newly discovered Asteroid, 2002 NT7. Preliminary reports show this Asteroid, which is about two miles in circumference, is on a Collision Course with earth and early projections show Impact on 1 FEB 2019 AD."
Apparently, it's foretold in Revelation, according to this apocalyptic website.
Photo Credit: freeimageslive.com