May Day arrests in Leipzig as neo-Nazis clash with leftists
Monday 02 May 2005
Traditional May Day demonstrations sparked violence in Russia and Germany, where up to 100 people were arrested.
A neo-Nazi march in Leipzig had to be abandoned as police turned water cannons against a group of left-wing protesters who threw fireworks at officers securing the route.
Thousands of leftist demonstrators rallied peacefully before the planned far-right extremist march. But when the 800 neo-Nazis began moving through the streets, a group of the leftists began throwing firecrackers at officers charged with keeping the two sides apart.
Police responded with water cannons and baton charges and 30 leftists were arrested.
In Berlin, police arrested 65 people in clashes with revellers celebrating May Day in the early hours of yesterday. But the authorities said the disturbances had been mild compared with previous years. Police were swamped by demonstrators in the early hours of 1 May 2004, and 50 officers were hurt by flying bottles and stones after a concert in the east of the city.
"Given the amount of damage and the number of police injured, it's clear that there was less trouble than on this night last year - so that the situation could almost be described as peaceful," said a Berlin police spokesman.
In Moscow tens of thousands of Communists, unionists and opposition activists rallied for protests over sweeping social changes mixed with anti-government demonstrations. Police closed many streets in the centre and searched demonstrators.
Communists marched under pictures of Lenin and Stalin and traditional hammer-and-sickle banners, with slogans such as "Rise, Save Russia!".
Radical activists from the National Bolshevik Party and the Red Youth Avant-Garde political group clashed with riot police, erecting improvised metal barricades after several activists were detained by police.
In Paris, far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen marked the May Day workers' holiday by urging the French to reject the EU constitution, while thousands used traditional marches to voice job concerns and resentment over the cancellation of the traditional Pentecost bank holiday, which falls on 16 May. "Don't mess with my holiday," said banners held up by members of the CFTC trade union.
Unions said that 100,000 people turned out to march at demonstrations across France, although police put the figure at 72,000. The largest march was organised by the powerful Communist-backed CGT union in Paris, attracting 9,000 people.
M. Le Pen and some 3,000 supporters of his far-right National Front party used the May Day rally to broadcast their anti-immigrant, nationalist message.
Wellcome Image Awards: The most striking images from the world of science, including breast cancer cells under chemical attack and a photographer’s own kidney stone
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Terrorism explanation 'cannot be ruled out', says CIA
Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
Oscar Pistorius murder trial: Athlete repeatedly sick as court hears 'graphic details' of Reeva Steenkamp's post-mortem
How climate change helped Genghis Khan: Scientists believe a sudden period of warmer weather allowed the Mongols to invade with such success
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Pakistan vs Paul Smith: Sandal-wearers bemused by famed British designer's attempts to sell traditional Peshawari chappal-style shoes for the distinctly untraditional sum of £300
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 First Kiss: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 4 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 5 Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: One of the largest mobile advert...
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client specialises in creati...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Private Cli...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residential...