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Thousands of German anti-fascists turned out on the streets of Berlin on Saturday to stop right-wing extremists staging a provocative march.
Police estimated that more than 2,000 leftwingers, trade unionists and ordinary Berliners had blocked the planned route of a demonstration organised by the National Democratic Party.
The fascist party had planned to march through the capital’s Kreuzberg district which has a large, mainly Turkish, immigrant population.
But only about 100 far-right activists tried to run the gauntlet of thousands of determined anti-racists.
The fascists were able to proceed for only a couple of hundred yards before their demonstration ground to a halt, leading local media to dub the parade “the shortest march in recent history.”
Security forces had set up cordons to separate the groups, but clashes broke out between the anti-fascist protesters and the 1,600 police on duty at the scene.
Berlin police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf claimed that “numerous policemen were injured and arrests were made for trespassing, resistance against state authorities and attempts to aid jailbreak.”
He said: “We ran into a lot of disruptions staged by the counter-protesters.
“We witnessed stones and bottles thrown at police, pyrotechnics were employed and things were set on fire.”
Four fascists were arrested for attacking counter-demonstrators with a fire extinguisher and nine anti-fascists were also detained.
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