Police announce results after Lina E. riots in Leipzig
Radical left groups had called for a demonstration in Leipzig for “Day X”. Saturday was initially largely peaceful before the situation escalated again in the evening.
According to the police, around 50 police officers were injured in the riots by left-wing radicals in Leipzig. In addition, there were also injuries on the part of the demonstrators, said police chief René Demmler on Sunday – but he could not quantify the exact number. The police are investigating about serious breaches of the peace and attacks on police officers. There have been almost 30 arrests, for which detention applications are now being examined, Demmler said. In addition, between 40 and 50 people were taken into custody and released by Sunday noon.
The city administration and the police defended their actions. “Unfortunately, we have to experience that even with a peacefully announced demonstration, violent criminals mix with it, that it is exploited and that violence then erupts as a result,” said Mayor Burkhard Jung (SPD). It was therefore right to ban two other demonstrations beforehand. He thanked the police for their work. In this way it was possible to keep the city viable despite the “terrible events”.
Police chief Demmler spoke of “a lot of senseless, extreme violence”. It was therefore necessary to de-escalate through strength. Demmler emphasized that no meeting was dissolved. It had been tried for an hour with the leader of the meeting to reach a stationary rally. At the demonstration under the motto “Freedom of assembly also applies in Leipzig” with around 1,500 participants, stones, bottles and an incendiary device were thrown at police officers after a peaceful start on Saturday. The police surrounded around 1,000 of the demonstrators and spoke of “massive riots”.
clashes on Saturday night
After the judgment against Lina E. for left-wing extremist acts of violence, there were renewed clashes between the police and demonstrators in Leipzig at night. The police were deployed in large numbers, helicopters were circling over the city, and barricades were burning in several places in the Connewitz district. There had already been riots on Saturday afternoon. By late evening, five arrest warrants had been issued, and the men between the ages of 20 and 32 were accused of breaching the peace.
In the late afternoon, stones, bottles and an incendiary device were thrown at police officers during a demonstration in the south of Leipzig. Several officers were injured. The police surrounded some of the demonstrators and spoke of “massive riots”. According to the police, around 1,500 participants had gathered for the demonstration, a third of whom were believed to be violent. 100 demonstrators were registered. Several water cannons were launched, but were not used.
Police surround 500 people
According to a police spokesman, an estimated 500 people were surrounded. In the evening, the personal details of those trapped were started to be recorded. The police held the demonstrators in the early hours of the morning.
The left criticized the actions of the police. Her parliamentary secretary in the Saxon state parliament, Marco Böhme, accused the police on Twitter of having allowed the situation to escalate with the “actual ban”. He also criticized the fact that those trapped were sometimes stuck for hours. Police said everyone involved was being cared for. There is also the option of using a mobile toilet.
CDU MP defends police operation
The CDU member of parliament Sebastian Fischer defended the mission: “The monopoly on the use of force lies with the state! Anyone who uses violence feels the consequences,” said the politician via Twitter. Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer, who visited the situation center with Interior Minister Armin Schuster (both CDU) in the afternoon, thanked the police for their efforts. “The goal is to protect people and property and to arrest violent criminals,” said the CDU politician on Twitter in the afternoon.
Left-wing circles were mobilized nationwide for the demonstration on Saturday. The reason was the verdict against Lina E. and three co-defendants for attacks on alleged or actual neo-Nazis, in which several people were injured, some seriously. The 28-year-old was sentenced to five years and three months in prison by the Dresden Higher Regional Court on Wednesday.
Large contingent of the police
The situation initially remained peaceful until Saturday afternoon. Despite the final ban on a large “Day X” demonstration by the radical left-wing scene, the police were present in large numbers in the city. In addition, the Saxony Cup final, the city festival and a concert by Herbert Grönemeyer took place in the city. There were checkpoints all day long on access roads to the city and at the train station.
Several vehicles and garbage cans were on fire early Saturday afternoon. Later in the evening, as darkness fell, the protest moved to Connewitz. There, numerous barricades burned in various places, some of which were extinguished with water cannons. Several hundred masked people fought a cat-and-mouse game with the police in the district. Stones were thrown at the local police station on the Wiedebachpassage, torn-out cobblestones were lying around. According to the police, two officers who were guarding the object were injured. According to the police, several hundred people gathered in the area around the Connewitzer Kreuz.
The “Day X” demo was supposed to take place in the district in the south of Leipzig on Saturday afternoon. The city of Leipzig had banned this, however, because an unpeaceful course was to be feared. Several courts upheld the bans.