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Berlin March by Rightists Ends as Anti-Racists Block Their Way

November 26, 2000|Associated Press

BERLIN — A far-right march in Berlin sparked violent confrontations Saturday with counterdemonstrators who were kept away by German police using water cannons and truncheons.

About 1,400 rightists converged on the capital to protest government plans to outlaw the far-right National Democratic Party, known by the German acronym NPD.

Marchers carried German flags, and one hoisted a sign reading "Germans, defend yourself," an echo of Nazi hate propaganda against Jews before the Holocaust.

Police in riot gear escorted the marchers on their route to a central square, where leftist protesters blocked their way and showered them with taunts, rocks and bottles. Officers broke up the march and put participants on trains out of the city. Three far-right activists were arrested.

About 3,000 people turned out for anti-racism rallies near the march route. Protesters carried green balloons emblazoned with the words "No to neo-Nazis."

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