Around 80 police officers were injured and 31 people arrested in
Mannheim on Saturday after an international gathering of about
40,000 Kurds erupted in violence triggered when a teenager
was stopped with a banned flag.
(The man says police had to retreat after stones and bottles had been thrown at them
and even the peacefully demonstrating Kurds weren't able to calm down the violent mob.)
Police stopped the 14-year-old at the entrance to cultural festival on the city’s Maimarkt because he was carrying a forbidden flag, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported on Sunday.
After security guards unsuccessfully tried to block him from entering the festival’s grounds, they called the police for backup.
Before long around 2,500 Kurds were in an hours-long stand-off with 600
police officers, the paper reported. The police spokesperson said the
“outbreak of violence was enormous,” and added that he had never
experienced something like it in his 30 years on the force.
Hundreds, “if not more than a thousand” people ran at the police, some
throwing stones, water bottles, bricks and fireworks, a police spokesman
told the paper.
The police used pepper spray and confiscated flags and T-shirts of
banned organizations, along with four knives and a set of brass knuckle
The police spokesman said those being violent and rushing the police
were supported by thousands of their fellow participants, and that they
had “no chance” of calming the crowd. The area eventually cleared at
around 8 pm.
The news outlet Tagesschau.de reported early indications that the
violence could have been influenced by targeted propaganda, such as a
rumours among the Kurdish participants that on Friday night police in
Mannheim had mistreated a Kurdish demonstrator.
Various smaller incidents were reported during Friday as the Kurds
gathered in Mannheim. Police stopped a march on Friday by a Kurdish
youth group after some involved attacked Turkish-looking passersby.
One group waved a banned PKK flag and shouted slogans in support of the
group banned and regarded by the authorities as terrorists.
Reinhold Gall, interior minister of the state of Baden-Württemberg said
he was shocked by the incident, and that such events would have to be
checked more closely before being allowed in the future, if they are
allowed at all, Tagesschau reported.
from youtube some shaky camera material by a person in the crowd (bit longish)
In: Regional News
Tags: Kurds, gathering, Mannheim, violence, mob
Location: Mannheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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