A gang of antifa extremists broke into a woman’s home in the German city of Leipzig and viciously beat her as part of an ongoing campaign of violent intimidation and vandalism. The victim, who worked for a real estate company, was the latest target of a campaign of terror meant to stop the gentrification of a neighbourhood in the eastern German city that the antifa extremists consider “their” territory.

Police spokesman Andreas Loepki stated that, after the attack, the gang of antifa extremists taunted their victim, saying: “Greetings from Connewitz.” The Connewitz neighbourhood in Leipzig is one of the most prominent anarchist strongholds in Germany. The CDU Interior Minister of Saxony, Markus Ulbig, has described the squat-ridden suburb as a “breeding ground” for left-wing extremists. Leipzig police chief Bernd Merbitz described the neighbourhood as a “lawless space”. On May-day and after left-wing demonstrations, rioting and attacks by mobs of black-masked thugs are common in the streets of the area.

At the entrance to the area, graffiti declaring an “Antifa Zone” and making threats against police are common. As Connewitz has gotten wealthier and gentrification has taken place, real estate companies have begun to develop properties in what has increasingly become a trendy student area. The extremists have been waging a campaign of violence and intimidation in response, burning cranes and vandalising properties. This home invasion marks a new escalation in their campaign.

Leipzig Lord Mayor Burkhard Jung, a member of the left-wing Social Democrats (SPD), condemned the violence, saying: “A line has been crossed: the militant left scene does not even shy away from attacks on defenceless women.”

“The line spread by the extreme left-wing scene, that they are violent only against things and state institutions, but not against people, is exposed for what it always was: a lie,” he added.

The extremists involved in the attack took credit on the far-left publishing platform Indymedia, saying they “decided to meet those responsible for building a problematic project in the south of Leipzig where it really hurts: in their face”.

Antifa violence and thuggery are common in Germany, but are usually directed against political dissidents on the right. Antifa extremists published an “assassination guide” online in February, with tips on how to kill AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) politicians and other political enemies. The mass Antifa riots in 2017 left sections of the city of Hamburg in ruins and dozens of police in hospital.

Antifa in Leipzig may feel particularly under siege. Outside their urban strongholds, the countryside of Saxony is turning increasingly to ideas they would consider abhorrent. At this year’s state elections, the AfD almost tripled its vote to score 27% and placed second behind the centre-right CDU.

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