Over 5,000 rally against 100 German far-right protesters

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People take part in a protest rally against the German far-right party NPD in Hannover, Germany, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. Lower Saxony’s governor Stephan Weil asked people to rally against a protest Saturday by the far-right NPD party, which is marching to intimidate journalists who have reported critically about the nationalist party. (Ole Spata/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — More than 5,000 people followed the call by the governor of a northern German state on Saturday to join rallies against a far-right protest in Hannover.

Lower Saxony’s Stephan Weil had asked people to rally against a protest by the far-right NPD party, which is marching to intimidate journalists who have reported critically about the nationalist party.

“To say it loud and clear: far-right agitation against journalists … and press freedom are an attack on our democracy,” Weil had tweeted earlier.

Hannover police had tried to ban the NPD from protesting, but a court decided late Friday that the far-right protest can go ahead.

Only about 100 far-right protesters showed up for their march while the more than 5,000 counter-demonstrators — among them Governor Weil — rallied in downtown Hannover for press freedom and showed their support for the embattled journalists.

“In Hannover one can see what applies to all of Germany: the neo-Nazis and the fearmongers who agitate against journalists are a minority,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted. “Thanks for everyone who protested peacefully against this dishonorable march.”

The NPD had advertised their march by posting a picture online of a broadcast journalist who has done in-depth reporting about the far-right scene in Germany.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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