BERLIN (AP) – At least 93 police officers were injured and 354 protesters were detained after traditional May Day protests in Berlin turned violent, city security officials said on Sunday.
More than 20 different rallies took place in the German capital on Saturday and were mostly peaceful. However, the left march of 8,000 people through the urban neighborhoods of Neukoelln and Kreuzberg, which has seen clashes in recent decades, turned violent. Protesters threw bottles and stones at officers, and burned trash cans and wooden pallets in the streets.
“Violence against police officers and indiscriminate anger has nothing to do with political protests,” said Berlin interior minister Andreas Geisel.
Geisel condemned the throwing of bottles and stones, burning barricades in the streets and especially violence against police.
“The number of injured officers makes me dumbfounded. I hope those who are injured while carrying out their duties get well soon, “he said.
There are curfews in most parts of Germany due to the high number of coronavirus infections, but political protests and religious gatherings are excluded from curfews.
In France, May Day marches in Paris and the southern city of Lyon have also been marred by widespread violence, with riot officers being targeted by small groups of demonstrators throwing projectiles and trash cans. Police made 56 arrests – 46 of them in Paris, the Interior Ministry said on Sunday. It said six officers had suffered injuries, three of them in Paris.
The CGT trade union which organized the main Paris march said the violent demonstrators also targeted the demonstrators at the end of the demonstrations, showering them with projectiles, beatings and homophobic, sexist and racist insults. The union said 21 of its participants were injured, four seriously.
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