Another night of violence in Leipzig over eviction of squatters

The eastern German city of Leipzig saw a third night of violence on Saturday after a demonstration against gentrification in the city's Connewitz district grew out of hand shortly after it kicked off, dpa reported.

Police disbanded the procession after some began throwing stones out of the windows of nearby buildings. Afterwards, chaos ensued as investigators chased down protesters wearing masks. Two police officers were injured and several people were detained, police said early Sunday. Tram traffic to the area was stopped. A police helicopter circled the area.

According to initial police estimates, about 500 people had gathered for the demonstration, and despite a ban, they lit off firecrackers. Some 150 protesters remained in the area after midnight. They defaced a tram with graffiti, built street barricades and set trash containers alight.

The demonstrations in Leipzig started after police evacuated a house occupied by a group of squatters since 21 August. They are protesting against gentrification and a lack of affordable housing in the city. The owner of the house, which was otherwise empty, filed a criminal complaint for trespassing. The Leipzig district court then issued an eviction order. Police evacuated the house early on Wednesday, but that has seemed to move the protest from the occupied house to the street.

The mayor of Leipzig condemned the violence against police.

 

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