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(en) MEDIA on First of May

Date Sat, 02 May 2009 09:20:29 +0300

Riot police working overtime as unions and anarchists link arms for May Day Police use
tear gas against protesters gathered behind fences during an outlawed May Day rally in
central Istanbul ---- Protesters turned traditional May Day demonstrations into a rallying
call against global capitalism as unrest spread through city streets across Europe
yesterday. ---- Politicians in Germany and France had been warning that the financial
crisis was about to spark social unrest. In some towns the words became reality, even if
the skirmishes and petrol bombings felt choreographed. ---- “We want social disturbances,
upheaval, and we will do everything towards that end,” said Markus Bernhardt, a spokesman
for Class Struggle Bloc, which helped to steer the riots. “The system is violent and now
violence is being met by violence.”

Unions estimated that 484,000 people took part in 400 protests across Germany. Riots in
Berlin began on Thursday night when cars and rubbish containers were set alight. On May
Day morning 700 anarchists blocked a railway station in an attempt to sabotage a neo-Nazi

A force of 5,000 German police officers found it difficult to contain the rioting.
Officials said 48 officers were hurt and 57 people detained. “One can only advise drivers
not to park their cars on the street,” Dieter Glietsch, the head of the Berlin police, said.

In Istanbul officers used teargas and water cannon to prevent protesters entering Taksim
Square. Riot police mounted three charges against protesters who had joined the
demonstrations staged every May Day by the organised labour movement. Police said more
than 100 youths ended up in cells there and in Ankara.

There was little to separate the words of the trade unionists and the anarchic fringes,
with the global recession seemingly radicalising the leaders of the unions as they attempt
to exploit popular anger.
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