Berlin leftists aim to thwart neo-Nazis on 8 May

3rd May 2005, Comments 0 comments

3 May 2005, BERLIN - Leftist groups in Berlin announced on Tuesday their aim to try to thwart a planned demonstration by the neo-Nazi NPD party on 8 May, the 60th anniversary date of Germany's capitulation ending World War Two in Europe.

3 May 2005

BERLIN - Leftist groups in Berlin announced on Tuesday their aim to try to thwart a planned demonstration by the neo-Nazi NPD party on 8 May, the 60th anniversary date of Germany's capitulation ending World War Two in Europe.

A spokesman for the '8 May Alliance' of leftist groups said they would use "every means" to prevent the NPD march and expected 5,000 persons from around Germany to come to Berlin to help them.

The aim is to surround the central Alexanderplatz square with so many counter-demonstrators that the National Democratic Party (NPD) will have no chance to stage their march along the historic Unter den Linden boulevard, he said.

Primarily the leftists will stage sit-in blockades, but other tactics may also be considered, he added.

The prospect of the 8 May anniversary date turning Berlin into a battleground between leftists and neo-Nazis looms large over the German capital, with authorities planning to despatch thousands of riot police to try to prevent violence.

Among the official ceremonies by Germany, the highlights will include a speech in the Reichstag by Federal President Horst Koehler and a religious service in the city's 18th century St. Hedwig's Cathedral.

Authorities have already issued a ban against the NPD marching past the soon-to-be opened Holocaust memorial and through the Brandenburg Gate - which was a favoured venue for Adolf Hitler's torch-carrying Nazis.

DPA

Subject: German news

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