Over 250 detained in violent May Day protest in Berlin

A violent May Day demonstration in Berlin resulted in more than 50 police officers injured and over 250 participants detained, the GdP police union in the German capital said on Sunday.

Three police officers were treated in hospital with broken bones, GdP state vice president Stephan Kelm said, as quoted by dpa. Slowik also admitted the "situation did degenerate but was quickly brought under control."

According to a separate announcement by the state of Berlin's Interior Ministry, however, data shows that the injured officers were at least 93 and those detained were 354, 

"Violence against police officers and a blind, destructive rage has nothing to do with political protest," state Interior Minister Andreas Geisel said.

On Saturday, after mostly peaceful workers' rights rallies, clashes broke out at a leftist protest attended by 8,000 to 10,000 people in the city's Neukoelln neighbourhood. Police responded with pepper spray as the crowd threw objects and lit small fires.

"These are clear signs that this is not about political expression, but that the basic right to freedom of assembly is being abused to legitimise serious crimes," Kelm said.

Similar protests took place elsewhere in Germany and around the world, some of which also descended into skirmishes. In Paris, for instance, police fired tear gas at protesters who smashed windows of bank branches, set fire to dustbins and threw projectiles at police.

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