A march by self-proclaimed ‘anti-fascists’ brought the German city of Leipzig to its knees on Saturday as far-left activists vandalised shop windows, hurled rocks and bottles at police and set fire to road barricades.
The demonstration saw between 3-5,000 hooded and masked radicals take to the streets a week before Germans head to the polls in Sunday’s federal election, pledging to “take a stand against the shift to the right”.
Many who attended were reportedly also marching in solidarity with a fellow ‘anti-fascist’, 26-year-old student Lina E who is standing trial in Dresden for leading a far-left extremist group who attacked right-wingers last year.
German tabloid BILD reported how 1,000 police from three federal states were brought in to tackle the demonstration which saw authorities use water cannons to hold back protestors intent on causing anarchy.
Footage of the demonstration posted on social media showed radicals smashing up shop windows, destroying cars and setting makeshift road blockades on fire.
Rocks, bottles, flares and bags of red paint were launched at the police headquarters in the town as the hooligans protested so-called state repression against anti-fascists wanting to silence activists who don’t agree with them.
Police reported that several officers were injured with at least one far-left activist arrested as protestors tore cobblestones out of the ground and hurled them indiscriminately at police officers attempting to contain the situation.
A police spokesperson said: “As a result, investigative proceedings were initiated for, among other things, serious breach of the peace, breach of the peace, dangerous bodily harm, numerous damage to property, the disruption of the public peace through threats of criminal offenses and violations of the assembly law.”