Rammstein fans, sex assault protesters face off at Swiss concert
Around 150 protesters gathered outside a Bern stadium on June 17, trying to out-shout thousands of Rammstein fans pouring in to see their favorite band, despite a wave of sexual assault claims.
Brandishing banners with messages such as "I believe her," and "Stop the rape culture," the small crowd raised their middle fingers towards the concert venue and the far-larger gathering of black-clad fans of the German metal band.
The fans responded in kind, with a line of police officers separating them.
Several women have come forward in recent weeks saying they were picked out at concerts and drugged to engage in sexual activity with Lindemann, 60, at Rammstein after-show parties. The alleged assaults happened during an ongoing 35-date European stadium tour by the industrial metal band, known for grinding guitar riffs, taboo-breaking antics and theatrical stage shows heavy on pyrotechnics.
The claims, which Lindemann has strenuously denied, did not dissuade the die-hard fans, decked out in black Rammstein T-shirts and many sporting tattoos of the band, flocking to the show.
The scandal erupted after a young Irish woman posted on social media that she had been drugged and propositioned by Lindemann at a backstage party in Vilnius.
A wave of similar stories has since emerged through platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
The uproar around the allegations led to all after-show parties being cancelled at a series of Rammstein concerts in Munich last week.
Young Socialists Switzerland (JS), the Social Democratic Party's youth movement, and a number of feminist groups had launched a petition urging the promoters to call off the Bern gigs, which was signed by more than 7,500 people.
"We are clearly very...