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why 1000 in Cologne need organising in a city of almost a million

Reader comment on item: "Charlie Hebdo shocked France. But that shock wore off."

Submitted by myth (Germany), Jan 11, 2016 at 17:49

Ezra's argument that having a mob of merely 1000 in a city of almost a million does not organising sounds appropriate. Here's my view as someone who knows Cologne.

I'd have no trouble asking 1000 myself Turks in Cologne in an hour to meet some place. Finding 1000 Arabic-speakers is a much harder task. Note, that the mob was identified as North-African and Arab, not Turks. The largest reservoir of Arabic-speakers would be in Bonn-Bad Godesberg 35km away, but quite diverse with respect to their country of origin. These people are the remainders of the embassies that were located in the former capital.

I would conclude there must have been organisation to find all these North-Africans.

To look at this from the organiser's persepective where would I look for a large number of North-Africans to find like-minded people? Netherlands and Belgium have large numbers of Moroccan or Algerian immigrants. Cologne is a 45min drive away from the border with both Belgium and The Netherlands in Aachen. Li├Ęge/BE, Verviers/BE and Maastricht/NL are but an hour away from Cologne. Give it two hours and Brussels/BE and Utrecht/NL are within range.

This leads to the assumption that the central station as a rallying point offered itself. People joining the mob by train could arrive from other countries and not have to search for unknown places. The square immediately in front of the station has never been used as a meeting point in night life anyway. Tourists would go for the square in front of the cathedral. That's 50 meters up the stairs from the station. The choice of location to me points to a non-local mob. I would celebrate New Year's Eve on the railway bridge crossing the Rhine in that neighborhood, never in front of either the cathedral or the station.


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