German police have busted a group of far-right vigilantes called the “Red Tide,” who have been patrolling the Polish border for months, following a spike in violence. The men have been breaking into abandoned buildings in Poland and searching for migrants, even as German police have been warning the European Union of an increasingly dangerous migrant crisis over the last few years.
Their actions sparked criticism from Poland, which said that the men were “dangerous” and linked them to Russia and the far-right nationalists who were fighting in Ukraine. They also caused concern in Berlin.
Police Commissioner Friedrich Zieschang in Bremen began to receive reports from townships in Lower Saxony about surveillance group members arriving and sending “wrong signals” to migrants, and began investigating. He eventually discovered about 80 members, many of whom appear to be in their mid-20s, though there’s no word on whether any of them have been arrested.
Polish authorities have released statements criticizing the vigilantes and appealing to German authorities to halt their activities. They also sent a police force of around 100 officers to the area.
The group claims to represent the communities they patrol but their tactics have often been a source of tension and concern within the nation. There have been reports of locals complaining that the Red Tide has been stopping their children playing soccer in a neighborhood and causing traffic problems when they’ve searched for migrants.
Despite the distaste for the group, many supporters of the vigilantes have told media that it could provide a measure of comfort to citizens who are afraid of asylum seekers.
Read the full story at The Guardian.
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