(TMU) — The majority of festivals are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike—but the same cannot be said for the recent Schild and Schwert (Sword and Shield) festival. The event, which was held in the German town of Ostritz, attracted Nazi sympathizers like gnats to spoiled fruit. With the intent of preventing violence, a court imposed a ban preventing attendees from purchasing alcohol. Local residents took it a step further, however, by buying up all of the beer from local supermarkets, ensuring that the weekend was a long, dry one for the far-right Conservatives.
The BBC reports that in recent years, Ostritz has struggled with far-right activism. For this reason, the population came forward to prevent fascist attendees from enjoying a warm welcome. Residents purchased more than 200 crates of beer from the local supermarket.
“The plan was devised a week in advance. We wanted to dry the Nazis out,” Ostritz activist, Georg Salditt, told the Bild newspaper. “We thought, if an alcohol ban is coming, we’ll empty the shelves at the Penny [supermarket].”
A ban was also imposed ahead of the festival by a court in Dresden, east Germany. The goal was to prevent violence from erupting. Deutsche Welle reports that on June 21, police confiscated approximately 4,200 liters (1,109 gallons) of beer. An additional 200 liters were seized on Saturday. During the festival, the force tweeted an image of the officers seizing alcohol.
Aufgrund des Alkoholverbotes haben wir auf dem Gelände des Rechtsrock-Festivals in #Ostritz unter anderem 4.200 Liter Bier sichergestellt und mit Hilfe des #THW Ortsverbandes Bautzen abtransportiert. pic.twitter.com/BNmvKG8ojH
— Polizei Sachsen (@PolizeiSachsen) June 21, 2019
“The alcohol ban at the meeting/event site of the Neo-Nazi meeting in Ostritz has been consistently enforced by our forces since yesterday,” the department wrote on Twitter. “Alcoholic beverages are taken off before entering the premises.”
— Polizei Sachsen (@PolizeiSachsen) June 22, 2019
Approximately 600 people attended the neo-Nazi festival, according to Newsweek. Numbers slightly dwindled by the second night. In total, police dealt with 32 crimes, 16 of which were violations of assembly law with 10 people allegedly displaying anti-constitutional organizations.
“For us it’s important to send the message from Ostritz that there are people here who won’t tolerate this, who say ‘we have different values here, we’re setting an example, which is not the image of a far-right concert, which dominates the media coverage’,” a local woman told the press.
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