St. Gallen cantonal police prevent right-wing extremists from meeting

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Kaltbrunn

Kapo St. Gallen prevents right-wing extremists from meeting thanks to a new article in the police law: “It is possible that the organizer has therefore moved to the canton of Zurich”

Several dozen right-wing extremists wanted to meet on Saturday for a concert in Kaltbrunn. However, the cantonal police of St. Gallen were able to ban the event thanks to a new article of the law on the police. The police do not exclude a link with right-wing extremists who marched in Rüti (ZH) on Saturday.

The meeting of right-wing extremists should have taken place in Kaltbrunn. The police stopped him.

Symbolic image: Keystone

On Friday, June 17, the cantonal police of St. Gallen were informed that a meeting and possibly a concert of an extreme right-wing network was to take place on Saturday in the canton. “We immediately launched investigations using a lot of resources,” said Hanspeter Krüsi, spokesman for the cantonal police of St. Gallen. These revealed that the organizers of the far-right meeting had rented a bar in Kaltbrunn.

The owner of this restaurant was very cooperative. He was not informed that the tenants were members of an extremist group. Krüsi advises owners to always ask for a copy of their ID and specific information about the planned event. Also to prevent an association of their own bar with far-right circles.

St. Gallen law change prevented far-right meetings for the first time

The lease with the far-right group was immediately terminated by the landlord. In addition, the cantonal police of St. Gallen issued a canton-wide ban on demonstrations against the organizer. The addendum to Article 50quater to the Police Act was used for the first time.

This was implemented in response to a similar incident in the canton of St. Gallen in the summer of 2020. In October 2016, more than 5,000 right-wing extremists from half of Europe made the pilgrimage to Unterwasser to a right-wing rock concert. It was one of the largest neo-Nazi marches ever organized in Switzerland.

At the time, this flyer advertised the right-wing rock concert in Unterwasser.

At the time, this flyer advertised the right-wing rock concert in Unterwasser.

Image: Screenshot Twitter/antifa_bern

Police hands were tied at the time. The event had a permit, although it was granted based on incorrect information. The director of the police of St. Gallen Fredy Fässler therefore sent an amendment to the law which was a novelty for Switzerland. It should allow the police to issue a ban on demonstrations if the basic democratic and constitutional order or the public’s sense of security is significantly compromised.

Connection with Mars in Rüti (ZH) possible

The law could now be applied for the first time on Saturday, since both conditions were met in the case of the planned far-right festival in Kaltbrunn, says police spokesman Krüsi and adds by way of example:

Hanspeter Krüsi, spokesman for the cantonal police of St. Gallen.

Hanspeter Krüsi, spokesman for the cantonal police of St. Gallen.

Image: Ralph Ribi

“Xenophobic slogans are chanted and spread at such events.”

The cantonal police of St. Gallen assume that several dozen people from Switzerland and Germany wanted to come to the meeting. Other than the banning of the event, however, there were no other consequences for the organizers, members or attendees.

A party organized by right-wing extremists also took place on Saturday in Rüti in the canton of Zurich. More than 50 people rented a forest cabin using false information. The Zurich cantonal police carried out a major check and turned back around twenty people. Krusi says:

“It is entirely possible that the organizer moved to the canton of Zurich after we issued our ban.”

These organizers would often search multiple sites in order to keep all options open. Such a law in the canton of St. Gallen does not exist in the neighboring canton.

“The canton of St. Gallen has no problem with right-wing extremism”

This is not the first time that right-wing extremists have visited Kaltbrunn. Also in October 2016, an event organized by the Swiss Party of National Orientation (PNOS) took place at the restaurant Löwen. The event triggered a major police operation.

The cantonal police of St. Gallen were then criticized for having concluded a “deal” with the group “Flank” which had been invited. According to PNOS, the police offered the band to finish their concert before they were kicked out due to a band member being banned from entering.

A PNOS event took place in 2016 at the Löwen restaurant in Kaltbrunn.

A PNOS event took place in 2016 at the Löwen restaurant in Kaltbrunn.

Image: Benjamin Manser (2016)

The cantonal police of St. Gallen responded to this accusation with a correction: the short-term entry ban issued by the Federal Office for Police Abroad could not yet be opened at that time. Although the border authorities were informed, the gang member managed to enter Switzerland without control or recognition.

“For reasons of proportionality within the framework of the whole operation, the cantonal police of St. Gallen decided not to issue the entry ban to the man until after his appearance,” he said. -He specifies. Immediately after the concert, the man was escorted across the border by the police.

Although the region has already been chosen several times by right-wing extremists to spread their slogans and their network, police spokesman Hanspeter Krüsi makes it clear:

“We have no problem with right-wing extremism in the canton of St. Gallen.”

There are only a few problem people in the whole township, but they are known to the police.

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