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Should police ban Kurdish marches?

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Should police ban Kurdish marches?
Police were out in force in Hamburg for Friday prayers. Photo: DPA
11:20 CEST+02:00
UPDATE: Violence between Islamists and Kurds on Germany's streets this week has prompted some conservative politicians to call for a ban on demonstrations, amid fears further planned protests will get out of control.

Violence broke out between Yazidi Kurds and Muslim fundamentalists in Celle, Lower Saxony on Monday night, and there was a mass brawl involving 800 people Kurds and Islamists in Hamburg on Tuesday.

The trouble continued throughout the week but tensions appeared to have decreased in Hamburg on Thursday after 1,300 police officers were deployed overnight to keep Kurds and Muslim fundamentalists apart.

For Friday prayers, police deployed 2,000 officers and had water cannons on standby. Police found baseball bats and knives on people they searched.

Politicians in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) now want to ban further Kurdish demonstrations due to the violence, the Rheinische Post reported on Friday.

“We can't do any more against the ringleaders of the violence with de-escalation measures,” deputy CDU leader in the NRW state parliament Peter Biesenbach told the newspaper.

Police unionists were also calling for legal measures to end the “proxy war” on German streets.

Munich sit-in

On Thursday around 15 Kurdish students conducted a peaceful sit-in at the headquarters of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) in Munich in protest against the actions of Islamists in the Middle East.

The members of the Federation of Kurdish Students in Europe (YXK) called on the international community to take stronger action against the Islamic fundamentalist terror group.

In a press release, the organization demanded support from the West for Kurdish fighters defending Kobane on the Turkish-Syrian border, which is under siege from Islamic terror group, Isis.

They also accuse Turkey of supporting the Muslim extremist fighters against the Kurds, whose independence movement the Turkish government has long resisted.

And they called on the German government to lift the ban on the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which conducted a decades-long armed struggle against the Turkish state.

“Isis will destroy all cultures in the Middle East if political, military and humanitarian measures are not taken immediately,” the statement reads.

After they requested to speak with CSU MPs and the Bavarian state government, student leader Mehmet Tag had a telephone conversation with CSU secretary-general Andreas Scheuer.

“The conversation was friendly and to the point,” Tag said, although he would not go into detail about the content.

“Herr Scheuer made it clear that the CSU is strongly engaged in the fight against Isis,” CSU spokesman Simon Rehak said.

The students agreed to leave the building after an hour and a half, shouting “stop the massacre in Kurdistan!” as they did so.

On Monday Kurdish protesters briefly occupied the studios of Westdeutsche Rundfunk in Düsseldorf and Deutsche Welle in Bonn, as well as marching through the centre of Berlin and other German cities.

And the European Parliament in Brussels was occupied by 50 Kurds on Tuesday, while in Germany demonstrators occupied a Social Democratic Party (SPD) office in Bielefeld on Wednesday.

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