German Minister for Food and Agriculture Cem Ozdemir of the Green party. EPA-EFE/CLEMENS BILAN

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German Greens booed off at campaign event

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Bavarian Green Party leader Katharina Schulze and Green Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Cem Özdemir seem to be unwanted by their own party, having been booed and jeered at a campaign event.

The Green politicians were campaigning in the Bavaria region, Germany, ahead of state parliament elections in October.

In the municipality of Chieming, there was a party tent where the event, titled Political night of the Greens, took place. Many of the approximately 2,500 attendees expressed their displeasure, booing loudly when the politicians tried to address the audience.

Even before they spoke, the situation had deteriorated to the point where police had to intervene to escort the politicians to the podium and place officers between the two and the baying crowd.

The deafening chorus of boos and whistles made it hard to hear what the pair were trying to say, with many yelling angrily for the politicians to leave.

According to public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk, Özdemir tried in vain to calm the situation. “You don’t have to agree with us,” he shouted into the microphone. “That’s the beauty of Germany, that’s the beauty of democracy.”

He added: “You let me talk now, and after the speech, I’ll stay here. I won’t leave right away.”

Schulze had tried to appeal to the crowd, saying: “Part of a culture of discussion is listening to each other.”

On August 2, Schulze told local media that she was “still shocked” by what had happened. “I have often spoken in the beer tent. But I have never experienced such an atmosphere and especially such massive police protection.”

Özdemir, on the other hand, tried to downplay the incident: “Please don’t glorify the few agitators as a ‘peasant’ protest. The farmers did not deserve that, it was not [such a protest],” he wrote on Twitter.