Backlash mounts against Merkel, 'Traitor to the People' (PHOTOS)

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Beatrix von Storch, member of the European Parliament of the Alternative fuer Deutschland (Alternative for Germany) political party, holds a red card as a symbol for their protest, at a rally in the city center on November 6, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. 
Carsten Koall

As Germany faces its influx of refugees — a group that is expected to number one million this year — its chancellor finds herself combating a mounting backlash. 

This weekend, that backlash took to the streets. Police said around 5,000 people turned out for an anti-migrant protest, organized by the eurosceptic, populist-nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party under the banner "Asylum Has Its Limits — Red Card for Merkel."

A supporter of the Alternative fuer Deutschland (Alternative for Germany) political party in Berlin, Germany.

"We are demonstrating against the asylum chaos caused by Angela Merkel," AfD member and European Parliament deputy Beatrix von Storch said at the rally.

Beatrix von Storch.

Participants at the demo waved German flags and chanted "Merkel must go" and "Traitor to the people."

Alternative for Germany (AfD) demonstration in Berlin on November 7, 2015.

The chancellor and her open door policy are not without proponents, however. Five counter-protests in support of migrants were attended by a total of around 800 people. Organizers had expected a turnout of several thousand.

Left wing activists protest against the Alternative fuer Deutschland rally.

More than 1,100 police were deployed in the capital to prevent trouble between the rival demonstrators.

Riot police secure the train station as Afd supporters rally in Berlin.

They were not entirely successful. Police clashed with left-wing activists. More than 40 people were arrested and one officer was lightly wounded, police said.

The scuffles erupted after police broke up a sit-in by counter-demonstrators, some of whom tried to break through the barriers separating them from the anti-migrant march. Officers also intervened to stop angry exchanges between rival demonstrators.

A counter-protester opposing the AfD rally is cared for by comrades after being pepper-sprayed by police on Nov. 7, 2015.

Brace yourself, chancellor. The fury mounts.

Alternative for Germany (AfD) supporters.
Frauke Petry (2nd.L), Chairwoman of the Alternative fuer Deutschland political party, Alexander Gauland (C), Vice-Chairman of the AfD and Beatrix von Storch (3rd.R), AfD member of the European Parliament, walk in the first line at a rally in Berlin.
Alternative fuer Deutschland rally.

(Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.)