10,000 stop neo-Nazi rally in Berlin



BERLIN- Several thousand people on Saturday stopped far-right extremists from marching in Berlin as nearly half a million people rallied throughout Germany in traditional May Day demonstrations.
Seven hundred neo-Nazis sought to rally in the German capital's central Prenzlauer Berg district but police said about 10,000 counter-demonstrators blocked streets with sit-ins for several hours forcing the far-right extremists to return to their starting point.



Demonstrators dispersed in the afternoon.
However police were bracing for possible clashes with far-left extremists and anarchists late Saturday, a common fixture of May Day celebrations in Berlin for several years.
Anti-neo-Nazi demonstrations were also held in other German cities but were peaceful.
Overnight Friday police arrested 50 people in Berlin and the northern port of Hamburg. Seventeen police officers and a passer-by were slightly wounded as protesters hurled stones and bottles. Far-left extremists also set fire to waste containers, authorities said.
Traditional Labour Day demonstrations organised by trade unions drew 484,000 demonstrators to 440 rallies throughout Germany, the DGB umbrella union said.
The figure was roughly the same as last year.
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Saturday, May 1st 2010
AFP
           


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