BONN (May. 14)
Neo-Nazi violence caused injuries and damaged property in the German town of Wolfersheim over the weekend, after local authorities canceled an agreement to rent a public hall to the extremist National Democratic Party.
Right-wing activists assaulted passersby in the streets and smashed shop windows and parked cars. Several people were treated for minor injuries and two arrests were made.
Wolfersheim, in the federal state of Hesse, is a National Democratic stronghold where the neo-Nazi party polled 17.5 percent of the popular vote in the most recent local election.
Mayor Herbert Bommersheim was persuaded to rent the NPD a hall for a meeting of right-wing extremists from all over Germany. They were supposed to discuss plans to merge dozens of organizations on the far right.
But trade unions and nearby Jewish communities protested. The mayor had second thoughts when 300 anti-Nazi demonstrators showed up with banners demanding a ban on extremist groups.
Fearing a full-scale riot, he canceled the contract for the hall, but violence erupted nonetheless. The NPD said it would sue the town for damages.