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Monday, 21 February 2011

Police raid anti-fascists' offices after Dresden violence (Germany)

Police raided offices used by anti-fascists in Dresden on Saturday evening after violence erupted when demonstrators hindered three neo-Nazi marches through the city.

A spokesman for the group "Dresden Nazifrei!" said that officers from the state criminal police (LKA) seized ten laptops and six mobile phones when they stormed the group’s press office, as well as offices belonging to the Left Party and a lawyer.

Left Party MP Katja Kipping said around 20 balaclava-clad LKA officers stormed the "House of Encounter" where the "Dresden Nazifrei!" and Left Party have their offices at around 5.30 pm on Saturday, just as the demonstrations and clashes in Dresden were dying down.

She said the doors were smashed open and several volunteers working there handcuffed and forced to sit on the floor. The officers said they suspected a crime and a trespassing violation were being organised there. Kipping said the raid was excessive, while the spokesman for "Dresden Nazifrei!" said it could have been a revenge attack.

Thousands of people managed to disrupt the three neo-Nazi marches planned for Saturday in Dresden with sit-down protests and road-blocks. Violence flared when some anti-fascists tried to break through police lines to get to where the neo-Nazis were gathering.

Police said on Sunday that more than 50 officers were injured and around the same number of demonstrators arrested.

At times the protests resembled a riot as demonstrators vandalized cars, set rubbish bins on fire and pelted police with stones, bottles and fireworks. Officers reacted with water cannon and pepper spray.

The Local Germany