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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Germany. Leipzig. A rally of left-wing extremists turned into a riot

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About 50 police officers were injured in the riots that broke out in Leipzig on Saturday during a demonstration of the radical left, the head of the local police said on Sunday. About 30 people have been arrested, he said.

Riots broke out on Saturday during a demonstration in Leipzig, which was announced by far-left circles as Day X. About 1,500 people gathered at the rally under the slogan “Freedom of assembly also applies to Leipzig”, although the manifestation was registered for 100 people.

In the afternoon at Alexis Schumann Platz, firecrackers, stones, bottles and Molotov cocktails flew towards the police. The demonstrators, mostly wearing balaclavas, were surrounded by the police. A large police force (about 2.5 thousand officers) was on site, equipped with e.g. water cannons, armored vehicles, helicopter.

Riots in Leipzig. Left-wing extremists clashed with the policePAP/EPA/STR

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“Lots of senseless, extreme violence”

The police investigation concerns “serious breaches of public order and attacks on police officers”. “There have been almost 30 arrests for which applications for arrest are pending,” local police chief René Demmler said. In addition, by Sunday noon, about 40-50 people had been detained and had already been released.

Demmler spoke of the emergence of “a lot of senseless, extreme violence” that necessitated a “forceful de-escalation” by the police. He stressed that none of the rally had been resolved.

– Unfortunately, even with a demonstration announced as peaceful, there are aggressive people prone to crime. The demonstration is being instrumentalised, resulting in outbursts of violence, said Leipzig Mayor Burkhard Jung (SPD), arguing that it was right to ban two other demonstrations. He also thanked the police for their work, thanks to which “we managed to keep the city functioning despite the terrible events.”

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/STR

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