Police, protesters in a showdown during May Day rallies in Berlin
BERLIN (GERMANY) -Around 30,000 protesters rallied during May Day rallies in Berlin on Saturday, police said. It added that around 30 officers had injuries as some of the demonstrations turned violent.
Police made around 240 arrests, Berlin’s head of police Barbara Slowik was quoted as saying by local broadcaster rbb24.
“The violent riots that occurred is something that I very much regret,” Slowik said.
Some of the injuries occurred after some demonstrators threw fireworks, bottles and rocks during protests over social inequality. About 5,600 police were deployed, and some responded with pepper spray.
The demonstrations were the second May Day protests since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Turnout was much higher than last year, even though social distancing requirements remain in place.
Protests hit other European capitals too, most notably Paris, where police made 46 arrests as garbage bins were set on fire and the windows of a bank branch were smashed.
In Berlin, police used water cannon to extinguish fires as protesters set ablaze waste bins, barricades and cars.
Demonstrations also took place in several other German cities, including Hamburg and Leipzig, despite Europe’s largest economy grappling with a third wave of the pandemic.