As tens of thousands of peaceful anti-globalization demonstrators marched in protest against the upcoming G8 summit in the German town of Rostock Saturday, some clashed violently with police, injuring at least 100.
Police used irritant liquids and water guns to deal with violent protestors
Several hundred protestors pelted police with Molotov cocktails, bottles and fireworks.
German police officers and demonstrators clash
Violence broke out as tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of Rostock near the Baltic resort of Heiligendamm where the leaders of the world's most industrialized nations will begin a three-day meeting on Wednesday.
Police officers injured
A hooded demonstrator throws a stone towards German police officers
The stone-throwing demonstrators were from a far-left anti-globalization group and wore black masks and hoods, AFP reporters said.
A police spokesman said the protestors "were definitely seeking a confrontation with the police."
By late afternoon, some 100 police officers had been reported injured, including a few with severe injuries.
A wide spectrum of protestors urged G8 action on issues such as HIV/AIDS, African poverty and climate change
The organizers of the Rostock march, including anti-globalization group Attac and anti-poverty campaigners, said 80,000 people were taking part, but police put the figure at 20,000 to 30,000.
The atmosphere in Rostock had been peaceful when the march started.
Protestors carried banners reading: "G8 = terrorism, war, climate killer" and "No dialogue with capitalism."
The demonstration kicked off a week of protests against the summit of the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.
Not all encounters between police and protestors were violent
Militant protestors have threatened to block roads around Rostock airport from Wednesday to prevent the leaders and their delegations from reaching the summit venue.
The German authorities have mounted an extensive security operation, with up to 16,000 police on duty.
Saturday's clashes bear out fears expressed by the German police that left-wing militants would seek to cause unrest during protests against the summit.
Past G8 summits have been scarred by violence, most notoriously in the Italian city of Genoa in 2001 when a demonstrator was shot dead by police during riots.
No neo-Nazi march
A few neo-Nazis demonstrated in Berlin
A planned march of Germany's biggest neo-Nazi group to coincide with the Rostock demonstration was banned by a court on Saturday because of the risk of violence.
All around the summit venue in the northern German resort of Heiligendamm, tented camps have been springing up and anti-globalization groups are planning an 'alternative' summit to highlight poverty in Africa and inequality.
As is now customary for G8 summits, the luxury beachfront hotel on the Baltic coast where US President George W. Bush and his counterparts will hold talks is surrounded by a heavily guarded fence topped with barbed wire. An underwater barrier has been erected to prevent ships approaching the hotel.