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May 1 protests in Berlin: more than 350 people arrested


Berlin city official Andreas Geisel condemned the violence on Sunday, saying it had “nothing to do with political protests”.

“We will not accept that some people seeking violence want to deprive us of May 1 as a day of peaceful protest,” Geisel said. “We do not give in to violence”.

Clashes broke out between police and protesters in the Neukölln neighborhood on Saturday evening, as Berlin police tweeted that some protesters threw stones and bottles at police officers and set fire to rubbish bins.

“Violence during protests is absolutely unacceptable,” Berlin police chief Barbara Slowik said on Saturday.

“The situation escalated but was quickly brought under control,” she added.

Slowik said up to 10,000 people took part in the protests. Organizers said the number of attendees exceeded 20,000, according to CNN affiliate RTL.

During the day, several rallies took place in the German capital. Most of the protests were peaceful, police said.

RTL reported that around 10,000 cyclists demonstrated against capitalism in the district of Grunewald.

In Lichtenberg, around 200 people protested against the pandemic measures. Around the Ostbahnhof station, people gathered “to revitalize the cultural and club scene”.

May 1 protests in Berlin: more than 350 people arrested

Berlin has also seen protests against the coronavirus lockdown measures.

In August 2020, city police ordered a demonstration to stop, citing the crowd’s non-compliance with social distancing guidelines.

May 1 protests in Berlin: more than 350 people arrested

Thousands of people took to the streets of the capital, including a large contingent of far-right groups and members identifying with the US-based right-wing conspiracy movement QAnon.

At the end of April, the German intelligence services announced that they would put some anti-lockout activists under surveillance over fears that they were trying to undermine the legitimacy of the federal state.

May 1 protests in Berlin: more than 350 people arrested

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) has announced that the new supervision will focus on certain members of the “Querdenker” group.

The movement has promoted skepticism about coronaviruses and vaccines as well as other conspiracy theories, and has been involved in violent protests against the lockdown.

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