Neo-Nazis, leftists clash in Germany

Neo-Nazis, leftists clash in Germany

Neo-Nazis, leftists clash in Germany

Police remove protestors during protests against a demonstration of a neo-Nazi group in downtown Hamburg, northern Germany in this June 2 photo. REUTERS photo

Clashes between neo-Nazi demonstrators and far-left counter-protesters overnight in the northern German port city of Hamburg left 38 police officers injured, police said yesterday.

Security forces were pelted with rocks, bottles and fireworks and responded by turning water canon and pepper spray on the rioting groups who turned out at a march by the far right. At least two parked cars and a police cruiser were set ablaze.

Police, who deployed 4,400 officers to keep the peace between the two sides, took 63 demonstrators into custody and formally arrested another 17. Around 3,500 people, mainly from the hard left, turned out to block a procession of about 700 right-wing skinheads, while more than 10,000 people attended a separate, peaceful rally against neo-Nazis in front of city hall. Police chief Wolfgang Kopitzsch said he was pleased “that so many people demonstrated peacefully for an open and tolerant Hamburg” but said “nothing could justify” the clashes. Organized marches by neo-Nazis in Germany generally meet with much larger counter-protests but are often accompanied by violence between the far-left and far-right.

Greek neo-Nazi MPs detained after attack

In the meantime, two freshly elected Greek MPs from the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party and its leader’s daughter were among six people briefly detained after an attack on a Pakistani immigrant, a police source said on June 2.

 The two lawmakers, Ilias Panagiotaros and Ioannis Vouldis, as well as leader Nikos Michaloliakos’s daughter, were taken into custody but released for lack of evidence after the incident in Athens late, the source said.

The 31-year-old Pakistani man needed hospital treatment after being assaulted on June 1 by a group in helmets taking part in a motorbike demonstration “that started off from the headquarters of a political party,” police said. Golden Dawn party has denied its supporters were behind an attack.

Compiled from AFP and AP stories by the Daily News staff.