Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Germany: Police attack anti-Nazi protesters

On February 19, more than 21,000 anti-fascist protesters took to the streets to stop up to 3,000 neo-Nazis from commemorating the Allied firebombing of Dresden during World War II. 

The police again protected the fascists from protesters, but - unlike in 2009 - didn't give them an armed guard in their march.

For the second year running, the anti-fascists successfully stopped the march form taking place, and the neo-Nazis were forced to leave the town centre via the railway to the nearby town of Leipzig, where they were also denied the right to march.

The victory was again marred by police violence against the anti-fascists.

After the rally, police broke into the offices of several organising groups, including the Dresden headquarters of left-wing party Die Linke — Germany’s fourth largest parliamentary party. Some reports say police were carrying chainsaws.

Everyone present was detained without access to lawyers while the police rifled through the offices, seizing papers and computers, before releasing everyone without charge. A number of people were injured in the process.

Police engaged in near-identical behaviour before last year’s rally, and - while they have so far refrained from supporting the fascists - it is clear that the police, as well as some of the city's conservative politicians, consider Die Linke and the left-wing, anti-fascist, citizens of Dresden as more of a threat than marauding hordes of Nazis.

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