• Germany's news in English
 

Kurdish gathering turns violent in Mannheim

Published: 09 Sep 2012 09:13 GMT+02:00

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 dusters.

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.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/mbw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

10:45 September 9, 2012 by raandy
I suspect the authorities did expect trouble with a gathering of 40,000 Kurdish people, you would be obtuse to think otherwise. The police were overwhelmed by the degree of kaos, as one stated he had never seen this in his 30 years on the force.

Let this be a wake up call for the next gathering.
11:15 September 9, 2012 by smart2012
Kurds, Turkish, Germans. I thought there were no problems in Germany. The local, do u do it on purpose to publish articles supporting me just after a conversation on the topic happened the day before in the comment section? :)
11:45 September 9, 2012 by bwjijsdtd
Simple solution ... DEPORTATION ... for the 2,500 and a Thousand Euro fine to the others ... Nothing justifies attacking law enforcement officers ...
12:21 September 9, 2012 by simski
"such events would have to be checked more closely before being allowed in the future, if they are allowed at all"

Yeah, let's just throw out the constitution and forbid cultural festivals if people with weird skin colors are involved.
12:33 September 9, 2012 by raandy
simski you think Kurdish people have weird skin color?
12:52 September 9, 2012 by smart2012
Raandy, I hope Simski is making a joke. Otherwise he is an idiot.
14:54 September 9, 2012 by Zubair Khan
Sad to know, in its own motherland the deprived community resorted to aggression that too on police of the country which accommodated them respectfully. This reminds me annual gatherings of Ahamdiyya Muslim Community Germany. From 1995 to 2010 the Muslim Community each year organized its annual religious gathering known as Jalsa Salana in maimarktgelände. Due to shortage of space in 2011 the community moved to DM Arena Karlsruhe. In the Ahamdiyya gathering the participants always remained between 30 to 40 thousands from Europe and elsewhere. Never ever any such chaos or disturbance occurred. Neighbours, police and city administration always praised the community. Since Ahamdiyya Community is lead by a Khalifa (Spiritual Supreme Head) and each member of the community shows unconditional allegiance and obedience to the supreme head as such probably no chance for such chaos and confusion.
17:07 September 9, 2012 by Anonym
We Turks would be happy to take these PKK sympathisers from Germany and be nice to them.
12:57 September 11, 2012 by raandy
smart2012 I don't think it was a joke ;-)
Today's headlines
Train strikes
Train drivers confirm new strikes
Trains cancelled. Photo: DPA

Train drivers confirm new strikes

German Train Drivers' Union (GDL) boss Claus Weselsky said on Wednesday that his members would walk off the job after DB refused to accept an ultimatum he issued earlier in the week, although he did not say when or for how long they would strike. READ  

Judge rules smoking senior can't be evicted
Friedhelm Adolfs. Photo: DPA

Judge rules smoking senior can't be evicted

The Supreme Court (BGH) has decided that a landlord had no right to throw out the man being called "Germany's second-most famous smoker after Helmut Schmidt" without due notice. READ  

Fearlessly Jewish on the streets of Munich

Fearlessly Jewish on the streets of Munich

While the world watched with shock as a Jewish man encountered abuse on the streets of Paris for wearing a kippah, The Local talks to a Munich man who has been doing the same for two years - with surprising results. READ  

'Bomb' sent from Germany to Sweden

'Bomb' sent from Germany to Sweden

Swedish police are checking a suspicious package apparently sent from Germany to a local newspaper in Sweden that previously published controversial Muhammad cartoons. READ  

Ukraine crisis
Government condemns Ukraine rebel advance
Ukrainian government troops ride a tank on the way out of Debaltseve on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Government condemns Ukraine rebel advance

The German government said on Wednesday that pro-Russian rebels' advance into the eastern Ukrainian city of Debaltseve was a serious breach of ceasefire terms agreed last week in Minsk. READ  

The Local List
Germany and the seven deadly sins

Germany and the seven deadly sins

Beer, chocolate, car keys! Lock them all away, say Germans, who more than half say they partake in Lent, the seven-week fasting period before Easter, but more for health rather than religious reasons. READ  

Schäuble rejects Greek bailout without reforms
Wolfgang Schäuble at negotiations in Brussels on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Schäuble rejects Greek bailout without reforms

UPDATE: A spokesman for Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said on Wednesday that any extension of international loans to Greece beyond the end of the month was "inextricably" linked to reforms agreed to by Athens under its current bailout. READ  

Politician wants last call on late-night beers
Day drinking it is! Photo: DPA

Politician wants last call on late-night beers

A municipal politician is saying that Berlin needs to reconsider its alcohol sales rules and is proposing a ban on booze sales between 10pm and 5am. READ  

Police find 104 rabbits in Stuttgart flat
Imagine ten times this many rabbits. Photo: Shutterstock

Police find 104 rabbits in Stuttgart flat

Police in Stuttgart were in for a hopping surprise when they searched a flat on Tuesday and found it full to bursting with furry mammals. READ  

German reporter 'spy' arrested in Mozambique
A South African National Defense Force sodlier takes part in a training exercise as part of Operation Rhino in the Kruger National Park, South Africa's flagship national wildlife park on 19 July 2011

German reporter 'spy' arrested in Mozambique

Two journalists, a German and a Swede, were held briefly by police on Monday while investigating rhino poaching in southern Mozambique. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,526
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd