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(en) Media: May Day riots in Germany

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 2 May 2005 09:27:16 +0200 (CEST)


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BERLIN (Reuters) - German riot police battled masked left-wing
anarchists in Berlin and Leipzig on Sunday as sporadic violence once
again marred May Day celebrations.
German riot police use water cannons against left-wing protestors
during riots in the eastern German city of Leipzig May 1, 2005.
Violence broke out on Sunday after some 2,500 left-wing
demonstrators tried to disturb a march through the city by supporters
of German far-right National Democratic Party (NPD).
About 100 people in the two cities were arrested, but police in Berlin
said the extent of the damage was less extensive than in previous years.

Throwing stones, bottles and signal rockets at police, a group of
anarchists overturned a car in Berlin's Kreuzberg district near the
government quarter but were chased away by police before they could
set it on fire.

Kreuzberg -- a Bohemian district populated with a mixture of
immigrants, students and squatters -- has been the scene of May Day
violence for the past 18 years despite extensive prevention efforts by
police.

"We had predicted it would be quieter this year, but not completely
without incident and that's what's happened," a police spokesman
said.

The most tense moment came shortly before sunset on Sunday when
a group of about 1,500 anarchists, many of them masked and
wearing dark hoods, tried to march towards the Berlin headquarters
of the Axel Springer publishing company.

"Everything for everyone and everything for free," they chanted.

They were stopped by squads of riot police from getting closer than
150 metres to the building, where several conservative newspapers
are published. About a dozen anarchists then tipped over a car and
smashed its windows in front of photographers and journalists.

"Everything has been peaceful up until now," another police official
said. "We had a few youths who got a bit over-excited and had too
much to drink, but it's calmed down again now."

After sunset, anarchists made another shortlived attack on police,
hurling bottles and stones at police near a street festival.

Ten were arrested in Berlin on Sunday evening after 65 were arrested
late on Saturday and early Sunday.

Earlier on Sunday, police in Leipzig turned water cannon on left-wing
demonstrators who battled riot police. Thirty leftists were arrested for
acts of violence to disrupt a court-approved march of 1,000
right-wing demonstrators.

A police spokesman in Leipzig said that more than 1,200 left-wing
protesters tried to block the march.

Police said three Berlin officers were slightly injured, compared with
more than 50 in the early hours of May 1, 2004 -- as several dozen
people, some masked, pelted them with bottles and stones after a
concert in the east of the city.

Many local businesses and bank offices were better prepared this
year, boarding up windows and doors. In recent years, police have
caught many May Day assailants days or weeks after the riots with
the help of photographs.

German riot police arrest a left-wing protestor during riots in the
eastern German city of Leipzig, May 1, 2005. Violence broke out on
Sunday after some 2,500 left-wing demonstrators tried to disturb a
march through the city by supporters of German far-right National
Democratic Party (NPD).
========================
Copiec from infoshop.org


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