Clashes with riot police erupted during a reportedly spontaneous Antifa demonstration in the Schanzenviertel neighbourhood of Hamburg on Saturday. Some reports suggest it was directly linked to the rival anti-immigration march of right-wing radicals that had been banned from the same area.
Protesters fought off police at Hamburg’s main railway station, smashing windows, attacking officers with pepper spray, and throwing fire crackers.
Ruptly’s footage shows police knocking down a seemingly innocent bystander by barging into him at full speed after blinding him with pepper spray. They are then seen running past him to attack other protesters.
Police also forcefully blocked paramedics trying to reach the unconscious man, as the crowd screamed around them.
Officers were seen wielding batons, while demonstrators threw bottles and pyrotechnics. The chaotic scene reportedly ended with several dozen arrests.
Authorities had to temporary shut the station down, although a conflicting report said the disruption in railway traffic was due to a group of people who went to protest on the tracks, rather than the clashes.
Earlier on Saturday, around 14,000 people had gathered for an anti-racism protest in the square in front of Hamburg’s town hall, according to police. That rally was “absolutely peaceful,” a police spokeswoman told local media.
Demonstrators spoke about cultural diversity and the city’s Mayor, Olaf Scholz, told the crowd that Hamburg was “showing its true colors” by speaking out against racism.
Germany has been overwhelmed with massive anti-migrant vs. pro-migrant standoffs amid the refugee crisis.
In one of the latest demonstrations, around 10,000 members of PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans against Western Islamization) gathered and marched through Dresden, the city where the group was founded, protesting against the tidal wave of migrants coming to Europe and, in particular, the arrival of Muslim refugees en masse in Germany.