Saturday, May 02, 2009

Peaceful Leftists Celebrate May Day in Berlin, 273 Police Injured

Maybe they ought to take a cue from Tea Party protesters on how to get your message out without resorting to violence.

Then again, these are leftists we're talking about. They're not interested in peace.
More than 270 police officers were injured in this year's May Day riots in the German capital, prompting criticism Saturday of Berlin security officials and calls for more officers.

Though the majority of the 273 officers suffered only minor injuries Friday, 14 were badly enough hurt that they will need to take time off work, said Berlin police chief Dieter Glietsch. He did not have more specifics.

In all, 5,800 police officers were on hand to try to keep a lid on the violence that has become a yearly ritual in Berlin. They used tear gas, pepper spray and water cannon as some of the roughly 5,000 leftist demonstrators, marching under the motto "capitalism is war and crisis," threw stones and bottles.

Dozens of demonstrators were injured but there were no exact figures; 289 were arrested. A bank and a fire station had windows broken.

This year's demonstrations turned violent earlier than in previous years, leading to more injuries and arrests. Last year, 112 police officers were hurt and 150 demonstrators arrested.

Rainer Wendt, chairman of one of Germany's national police unions, criticized Berlin interior minister Erhart Koerting's handling of the operation, saying protesters were allowed too much time to get out of hand and urging that a "no tolerance" policy be adopted in the future.

"Whoever throws a stone or wears a mask must be immediately taken out of play," he told the Neuen Osnabruecker Zeitung newspaper.
Fire away.

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