Berlin Police Slam ‘Unacceptable’ May Day Violence 

Berlin police on Sunday said they had arrested more than 250 people after May Day rallies descended into “unacceptable” violence that saw protesters pelt officers with stones and bottles and set fire to bins.   Around 30,000 people from across the political spectrum took part in several marches in the German capital on Saturday as part of the traditional Labor Day workers’ rights demonstrations.   Most of the demonstrations passed off peacefully, police said.   But the mood darkened in the evening after police pulled far-left “black block” protesters out of the crowd for not adhering to pandemic hygiene regulations such as social distancing.    Along with thousands of others, they had been marching in the “Revolutionary May Day” demonstration to protest racism, capitalism and rising rents in the city.   Heavy scuffles ensued, with protesters throwing glass bottles and stones at police and setting dustbins and wooden pallets ablaze in the streets.    Around 50 officers were injured by the time the protest was broken up, Berlin’s GdP police union said, putting the number of arrests at over 250.   “Violence during demonstrations is absolutely unacceptable,” said Berlin police chief Barbara Slowik.   “The situation did degenerate but was quickly brought under control,” she added.   The German capital had deployed around 5,600 officers on Saturday to monitor the May Day protests, which have turned violent in the past.   Similar protests took place around the world, some of which also descended into skirmishes.   In Paris, police fired tear gas at protesters who smashed windows of bank branches, set dustbins alight and threw projectiles at police. 

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