Protests break out at neo-Nazi march in Dresden | Germany | News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 19.02.2011

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Protests break out at neo-Nazi march in Dresden

Clashes have broken out in Dresden after thousands gathered to protest against an authorized neo-Nazi march. The demonstration is the second in as many weeks and commemorates the infamous 1945 allied bombing of Dresden.

Rightwing extremists in Dresden clad in black

Protests preceded the neo-Nazi march in Dresden

Police used tear gas and water canons on Saturday to keep violent right-wing and left-wing extremists apart during an approved neo-Nazi demonstration in Dresden.

For the second time in a week, anti-Nazi protesters gathered to block a far-right demonstration in the eastern German city, this time causing nationalist extremists to reroute their march through the city and head for Leipzig.

Several left-wing extremists were reported detained after throwing stones at law enforcement officials and erecting flaming barricades in the city's streets.

Only some 600 Neo-Nazis showed up to the protest, rather than the 4,000 expected by police.

The other side's numbers reached 21,000, according to the German Federation of Trade Unions. Fifty-four Dresden churches formed picket lines against the Neo-Nazis.

The Saxony state government said some 5,000 police were deployed in the city to keep the two sides apart.

Demonstration follows 'funeral march'

Last Sunday, some 17,000 people braved snow and sub-zero temperatures to form a three-kilometer (two mile) human chain marking the 66th anniversary of the allied fire bombing on the city at the end of World War II.

At the same time, several hundred neo-Nazis rallied for a "funeral march" through Dresden to commemorate the massive air raid.

An official commission said that 25,000 people were killed in the bombing, at a time when critics say the war had already been decided.

Author: Gabriel Borrud, David Levitz (AFP, AP, dpa)
Editor: Kyle James

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