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Neo-Nazis and protestors fill a tense Dresden

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Neo-Nazis and protestors fill a tense Dresden
Police await neo-Nazis in Dresden. Photo: DPA
13:30 CET+01:00
Thousands of anti-fascists and neo-Nazis as well as police officers trying to keep them apart filled Dresden's city centre on Saturday after organisers of three neo-Nazi demonstrations were given the judicial go-ahead to march.

Up to 6,000 neo-Nazis are expected to take part in the marches through the city, while up to 20,000 anti-Nazi protestors are also expected. Last weekend 17,000 Dresden residents formed a human chain to show their disdain for the far right.

Fighting had already broken out between demonstrators and police by lunchtime on Saturday, with the police using pepper spray and a water cannon. Some witnesses said demonstrators threw fireworks at the police.

A police spokesman said thousands of left-wing anti-fascists were streaming into the city, some of whom could be prepared to use violence.

Politicians attending the anti-Nazi demonstration included Wolfgang Thierse, deputy parliamentary president. “It must proceed absolutely peacefully,” he said, calling for protesters to remain calm.

Thierse, a member of the Social Democratic Party, was joined by Saxony-Anhalt Interior Minister Holger Hövelmann, a party colleague, and fellow Deputy Parliamentary President Katrin Göring Eckardt from the Green Party as well as Left Party member Petra Pau.

DAPD/hc

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