German authorities brace for riots as the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party meets for a congress, with leftist organisations calling for disruptions. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. German authorities braced for riots as the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party meets for a congress on Saturday (April 22). Many protesters had followed the call of leftist organisations to protest around the Maritim hotel in Cologne, where the right-wing AfD holds their two-day meeting. A spokesman for the Cologne police said the situation in the city was "very dynamic" and there was a "fairly aggressive mood" in some areas. Police was still very much in control of the situation though, he added. A total of 50,000 people were expected throughout the day. AfD co-chief Frauke Petry announced on Wednesday (April 19) she would not lead the party's national election campaign. Petry had become the face of the anti-immigration party, which hurt Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives during the migrant crisis but has leaked support this year. Petry's shock move was widely seen as an admission of defeat, even though she stays on as the party's joint leader. In a test of how much influence she still wields, Petry will this weekend try and push through a motion at a party congress aimed at making the AfD able to join coalitions in the future. Her rivals, she has said, want the AfD to be a "fundamental opposition" party.