German locals purchase town's entire beer supply ahead of neo-Nazi rock festival
From Coachella to Glastonbury to the Gathering of the Juggalos, there's no shortage of summer music festivals. The music varies depending on the event, but each experience is essentially the same. You camp out in the desert/countryside, watch bands on multiple stages, and of course, get totally drunk, day and night. (And maybe you responsibly partake in other drugs, depending on the lenience of security.)
However, hundreds of people at a neo-Nazi rock festival in Ostritz, Germany had a very dry, sober weekend. In previous years, The Schild und Schwert Festival (Shield and Sword Festival) was scheduled during Hitler's birthday (April 20), but this year the event took place on June 21 and 22. In order to prevent violence from erupting, a court in Dresden banned the sale of alcohol and possession of alcohol at the festival, Deutsche Welle reported.
The Saxony police force revealed on Twitter that they confiscated 1,109 gallons (4,200 liters) of beer from the white supremacists on Friday. The following day, they reportedly seized an additional 53 gallons (200 liters). It is not clear what will happen to all that alcohol, but one thing's for sure: It won't be consumed by Nazis at The Schild und Schwert Festival.
"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 Saxony police tweeted. "Alcoholic beverages are taken off before entering the premises."
Since the ban was announced ahead of the event, the German locals predicted that festival-goers would attempt to purchase alcohol in town. Seeking to spoil neo-Nazi fun, the angry residents of Ostritz, which has a population of 2,700, purchased all the beer from the supermarkets beforehand. Images broadcast from the public-service TV channel Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) show locals pushing shopping carts full of booze and loading them into vehicles.
"The plan was devised a week in advance. We wanted to dry the Nazis out," Ostritz activist Georg Salditt explained to The Bild, per the BBC. "We thought, if an alcohol ban is coming, we'll empty the shelves at the Penny [supermarket]."
Reportedly 1,400 police officers were deployed at the festival, while 600 people attended and 2,000 protestors showed up. The police said they dealt with 32 crimes connected to the event, including 16 violations of assembly law and 10 people allegedly displaying anti-constitutional organizations. In addition, a 33-year-old bassist was arrested after changing into a balaclava mid-performance, a violation of Germany's anti-mask laws, which prevent covering faces in public.