Police Crack Down on Protests Against Neo-nazis in Germany

Thousands of demonstrators clashed with police over the weekend as they protested neo-Nazi political rallies in cities and towns throughout West Germany.

Tear gas was used to disperse the angry crowds. Dozens of police and demonstrators were injured, and arrests were made.

The most serious confrontations occurred Sunday and Monday in Gottingen and Mainz.

Police were out in force in Gottingen to protect a rally of the extreme right-wing National Democratic Party (NPD). About 2,000 protestors, mainly leftists, made several unsuccessful attempts to burst into the open-air meeting.

Police pushed them back, but they managed to cut off several microphones. Three were arrested.

The Gottingen authorities originally banned the NPD rally. But a Braunschweig court ruled last week that the neo-Nazis had a right to assemble.

In Mainz, a meeting of another neo-Nazi group, the German People’s Union, coincided with a music festival. Hundreds of music lovers descended on the rally. Police intervened with tear gas.

The far right-wing parties, most of them subscribing to Nazi doctrines, are campaigning vigorously this month for election to the Parliament of Europe, to be held on June 18.

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