'Anti-Islamisation' event abandoned after protests


GERMANY:A FAR-RIGHT group was forced to abandon a press conference launching a campaign against plans for a new mosque and Muslim immigration in the German city of Cologne yesterday when protesters targeted them with stones and paint.

"Mosques are shooting out of the ground like mushrooms" and "headscarves are flooding our streets" were among the inflammatory statements the Pro-Cologne group used to drum up support for its three-day "Anti-Islamisation conference".

But the talks were disrupted early on when stone-throwing protesters pelted a boat on the Rhine river, the stage for the opening press conference, eventually forcing organisers to scrap the event. Windows were smashed and police arrested six people.

Pro-Cologne has run a vociferous campaign against the development, winning some seats on the city council.

According to organisers, the aim of the conference was to forge a "European, patriotic, populist right-wing movement" by uniting far-right supporters from across Europe.

German government officials spoke out against the conference, saying it would be divisive in a city where more than one-third of the 1 million residents are mostly of Turkish origin. - ( Guardianservice)