March 22, 2024 | Tagesschau

German far-right circles react to pro-democracy demonstrations triggered by a mass deportation plan

Following the German research centre Correctiv exposure of the coordination of a mass deportation plan between far-right politicians, powerful business owners and Identitarian extremists in early January, hundreds of Germans took to the streets to protest far-right extremism and anti-democratic ambitions. ISD Project Coordinator Solveig Barth spoke to Tagesschau Faktenfinder about a recent ISD investigation she co-authored analysing the tactics being used by the German far-right to delegitimise these pro-democracy demonstrations.

“The success of the demonstrations against far-right extremism has naturally put these groups under pressure,” she explained. As a result, the German far right has attempted to “put themselves in the ‘correct’ light and present themselves as the true protectors of democracy.”

The article references the seven tactics ISD identified as being used by the German far right to discredit protests, all of which involved the use of mis- and disinformation, as well as conspiracy narratives. For instance, ISD found that far-right alternative media and Telegram channels have repeatedly claimed the demonstrations were state-orchestrated, portrayed the Correctiv research centre as government instrument, and questioned the number of participants. Solveig then explained how these narratives have the intention of “deflecting attention from their own responsibility and the actual origin of the demonstrations against the right.”

The ISD Dispatch referenced in the report is available in English and German.