Hundreds of nationalist protesters called for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s resignation Saturday during a march in central Berlin.
Police had to guard the protesters as they walked through the former Jewish districts of the capital shouting “Merkel must go.” Left-wing counter-demonstrators tried to stage a blockade, which police forcibly removed.
A total of 43 people from both sides were arrest during the demonstrations. Four police officers were mildly injured as they tried to prevent clashes from happening.
A police spokesman said they feared a much worse situation and that the day was “relatively peaceful” considering the circumstances, according the Associated Press.
Large rallies against Merkel’s immigration policies have become a weekly occurrence in Germany since the country open its doors to refugees in 2015. Anti-Islam movement PEGIDA managed to attract 20,000 supporters to their rallies in the city of Dresden last fall.
Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union has suffered several defeats in state election during the fall. Merkel and CDU have yet to officially declare her candidacy for a fourth term as chancellor in next year’s general election.
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