Saturday, December 06, 2008

1,600 cops keep the peace between 700 Nazis and several hundred protesters in Berlin

German Youth give the finger to 700 Neo-Nazis

About 1,600 German cops, mostly in riot gear and helmets, were deployed in a Berlin suburb today to keep 700 Neo-Nazis and a few hundred protesters separated (roughly a 1:1 cops to citizens ratio). The police arrested more than 40 demonstrators trying to block the Nazi march Saturday.

The protesters chanted "Nazis out" and "Get Lost", and then tried to confront the 700 neo-Nazis, who carried black and red banners with the slogans "Young people need a future".

The far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) is described by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution as racist, anti-Semitic and revisionist (namely that they deny the holocaust).

Television pictures showed cops using water cannons to disperse the left-wingers who held banners saying "Berlin against Nazis". Wrecked cars could be seen in the streets of Berlin's Lichtenberg suburb, where the march and protest took place.

Dustups between the left and right are frequent in Germany, however, neo-Nazi demonstrations are often banned to avoid the violence.

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