Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hamburg sees first May Day clashes

In the night before May Day, clashes between police and leftist demonstrators in Hamburg left 14 people injured. In Berlin, however, the feared violence did not materialize.

Friday night's violence in Hamburg was centred around the city's Schanzenviertel neighborhood, where according to police some 150 left-wing demonstrators lit a bonfire in a street outside a youth centre, threw bottles and stones at police, and damaged a bank branch.

At least 14 people were injured in the clashes, including a passer-by who was taken to hospital after being hit on the head by a flying rock. In addition, thirteen police officers and three police dogs sustained injuries. Seven rioters were arrested.

Hamburg's Schanzenviertel neighborhood has been the scene of similar May Day clashes in recent years.

In Berlin, however, the night passed comparatively uneventfully, despite fears that the levels of May Day violence could be high this year. Berlin police reported that the around 4,000 people celebrating Walpurgis Night in the streets of the German capital did so relatively peacefully.

At Berlin's Boxhagener Platz in the Friedrichshain neighborhood, a few bottles and beer cans were thrown at police, but the large contingent of officers on the scene kept the situation under control. Several inebriated people were arrested but no injuries were reported.

The situation thus far has been markedly calmer than in 2009, when violence on the May Day weekend returned to the capital with a vengeance. Last year some 500 officers were injured and just under 300 people arrested.

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  1. Could not understand why it happens on May day every year? For what event? why have to turn to violence and injure time?

  2. Yes, thats difficult to explain. In Berlin and Hamburg they have big communities of left wing anarchist, who oppose any governemt authority. As the 1st of May is international labor day, they use this day every year to cause violence against government, banks and institutions. Really sad, that people can not live in peace and use such a holiday for their violence.