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Leftist violence undermines Leipzig's gentrification debate

Germany's eastern city of Leipzig has long had a hardcore alternative left-wing scene, which staged street protests that turned ugly. Some residents say the media's focus on the violence is obscuring legitimate concerns.

 In the days following the latest outbreak of violence the tension was still palpable in Leipzig's Connewitz district. Some residents were still sensitive about media interest in the few graffiti-covered facades overlooking the remains of barricades made of trolleys and mattresses.
"We don't want that here, I don't come round to take pictures of your house either, do I?" an angry resident said.

Some ugly scenes had unfolded at the spot during the previous weekend. This corner of the eastern city of Leipzig, which has a reputation as a haven for the alternative far-left scene, saw a night of violence as an anti-gentrification demonstration escalated when an occupied building was cleared by police in riot gear. This followed a week of protests in other parts of the city that gradually grew from small and peaceful to large and angry.

Read more: Germany is the birthplace of 'Antifa'

There were some alarming scenes – officers were peppered with stones, fireworks were thrown at new buildings, dumpsters were set on fire. Meanwhile, the police kettled protesters and social media showed footage of a police van being driven wildly down Bornaische Strasse before braking suddenly and causing a crash with another police van (the resulting image was used by some papers to illustrate the damage caused by left-wing extremists).

The subsequent Saxony police statement claimed that 1,300 officers had been deployed altogether over the three days, 20 of whom were injured. Some 38 investigations had been launched against "52 known and more unknown suspects" for a list of crimes that included arson, severe bodily harm, and "dangerous intervention in air traffic" (someone allegedly tried to dazzle a police helicopter pilot with a lazar).

 Saxony sent out a massive police force to deal with the riots

Source: DW
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