Violent Protests in Leipzig, Germany (video)

 In Foreign

Violent protests erupted in Leipzig, Germany on Saturday between left wing demonstrators and  police.
When right-wing protesters held a demonstration, everything was peaceful. But when the left-wing counter protesters showed up, that went south in a hurry. They were NOT peaceful, which set off riots.

violent protests

Twitter photo via Leipzig police

At least 69 police officers were injured in the rioting that ensued after left wing protesters staged a counter rally against the right wing group that was marching on Saturday.

The right wing march

Die Rechte (the Right), Offensive für Deutschland (OfD) (Offensive for Germany), and a division of the PEGIDA movement called Thugida had a march set for the day. PEGIDA is an anti-Islamic group, and Die Rechte is listed as a neo-Nazi group. The group OFD, posted a statement on their Facebook Page. This is an excerpt:

“We, who had filed a protest march in Leipzig Connewitz want to distance ourselves from this “left” anti-German and anti-democratic sentiments of terror against demonstrators. This was not the result of what we had hoped for and would be expected as dialogue among “normal” people…”

leipzig1

Twitter photo via Marco Böhme

Citizen participation?

About a dozen counter-protesters  from various left wing groups showed up, and thousands of people joined with them. Police deployed about 800 police to keep them apart. They managed to accomplish the separation, but major clashes with the counter-protesters erupted in doing so.

The crowd threw rocks and bottles at police, set waste containers on fire, and damaged police cars.

“Some protesters from a group of about 1,000 people attacked police officers deployed to the scene [in the southern part of the city].” Leipzig police

RT reported,

Masked men who took part in the counter protests threw stones, bottles and pyrotechnics at police officers forcing them to respond with tear gas, smoke grenades and water cannons, Der Spiegel reports.

Some counter protesters erected barricades on a number of streets and attempted a sit-down demo. Police cleared the protesters after they failed to comply with requests to quit the scene…

On some other streets, counter-protesters erected barricades from wood and trash containers and then set them on fire. They also overturned glass containers, broke shop-windows and demolished a bus stop.

Police became aggressive with a reporter

One of RT’s producers was videotaping the clashes when police ran at him, knocked his camera down and then punched him in the face. (see video below)

Right wingers peaceful, left wingers not so much

The right wing protest ended peacefully around 4 p.m. local time. Clashes with the left-wing counter protesters continued until police had to disperse the crowds with tear gas, pepper spray, and water cannons.

The damages

The Leipzig police wrote, (translated)

With 50 violations of the Criminal Code, the Narcotics Act, SprengstoffG and Assembly Act, 23 custody names, 69 injured officers – where two police officers, one of them, at least four weeks are incapacitated, several injured protesters, 50 damaged official vehicles – four of which are no longer roadworthy, is the extent of the excess, today’s violence palpable.

Leipzig Mayor Jung Burkhard condemned the incidents by saying,

These outbreaks of violence [provoked] by anarchists… are shocking. These are actions of reckless criminals. This is open street terror. Numerous injuries to police officers… were deliberately inflicted. Aggressive criminals disguised as anti-fascists attacked the city [of Leipzig].

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