Den­markedl rally swamped by anti-fas­cists

The Jewish Chronicle - - World News - BY STEPHANIE BRICK­MAN

AN ANTI-IS­LAMIST rally or­gan­ised by far-right group the English De­fence League in Aarhus last week­end was far out­num­bered by anti-fas­cist demon­stra­tors.

While the EDL had voiced hopes that the demon­stra­tion would be at­tended by some 700 of its sup­port­ers, in the event just 150 turned up.

Mean­while, the rally at­tracted a 5,000-strong counter-demon­stra­tion.

De­spite ef­forts by the East Jut­land po­lice to keep the two groups sep­a­rate, around 100 counter-demon­stra­tors broke away from the main march and made their way to a park in the cen­tre of Aarhus, where the far-right groups had as­sem­bled.

The counter-demon­stra­tors hurled paving slabs, stones and bot­tles at the EDL sup­port­ers, and four po­lice of­fi­cers were in­jured try­ing to con­trol the crowd.

No-one from the far-right rally was ar­rested, but 89 counter-demon­stra­tors were taken into cus­tody. Five were jailed for two weeks for in­jur­ing po­lice of­fi­cers.

Among Dan­ish, English and Ger­man flags, Is­raeli flags were waved by the EDL sup­port­ers.

Ela and Hen­rik Chievitz, who to­gether or­gan­ise the Dan­ish Is­raeli Union of Aarhus, said they found the day’s events dis­turb­ing.

“It’s the wrong thing to do, to use the Is­raeli flag in this way,” said Mr Chievitz. “I’m ex­pect­ing this event to be used against Is­rael and the Jewish com­mu­nity and I think it could spark ten­sion.”

Mrs Chievitz added: “It’s al­ready dif­fi­cult for me to walk in Mus­lim ar­eas be­cause I wear a Ma­gen Dovid and when there’s provo­ca­tion like yes­ter­day, it makes things worse.”

A spokesper­son for East Jut­land Po­lice Force said he knew of no ev­i­dence that the use of the Is­raeli flag in this con­text had in­flamed the sit­u­a­tion.

There are around 2,400 Jews af­fil­i­ated to the main syn­a­gogue in Copen­hagen and 8,000 Jews are es­ti­mated to live in Den­mark.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Catholic clergy carry palm fronds dur­ing the Palm Sun­day pro­ces­sion in the Church of the Holy Sepul­chre in Jerusalem this week

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