‘Appalling anger’: Clashes in Leipzig as protesters attempt to stop migrant’s deportation
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Protesters clashed with riot police in Leipzig, Germany after they surrounded a patrol car and barricaded a street with furniture, hoping to derail the deportation of a migrant.
Police were scheduled to remove the migrant, who was due to be deported, from his apartment in the city of Leipzig in eastern Germany at 8:30pm local time on Tuesday. There were several dozen protesters at first, but the crowd had grown to around 500 people within a few hours.
Details of the migrant’s identity were not immediately available. According to a local lawmaker from the opposition Left Party, Juliane Nagel, who was in contact with the man’s family, he was a 20-year-old man being deported to Spain, where he had earlier claimed asylum. A politician from the Green Party, Jurgen Kasek, who was present at the scene, said that the man was likely a Syrian Kurd.
Chanting ‘No to deportation’ and ‘You are stealing our neighbors,’ the people blocked the street and staged a sit-in in front of a police car.
Nachtrag zur letzten Nacht: Nach der Abschiebung wollte die Polizei einzelne Demonstrierende in Gewahrsam nehmen, was Lage aus dem Ruder laufen lies. Gab viele Verletzte, ganze Straßenzüge mit Pfefferspray eingesprüht & Polizei eskalierte massiv. Sowas muss aufhören! #le0907pic.twitter.com/dwJQBLQT8z
— Marco Böhme (@BoehmeMarco) July 10, 2019
They also brought pieces of furniture like cupboards and couches, attempting to stop the vehicle from transporting the migrant away.
The standoff led to several clashes with police. The protesters threw stones and bottles at the officers, who responded with batons and pepper spray as they tried to disperse the crowd. The police failed to transport the migrant by car, so they had to escort him away on foot instead, surrounded by officers on all sides.
A total of 11 officers were injured during the clashes and three vehicles were damaged, according to officials. At least one protester was hurt as well. A witness told local media that he saw a woman being evacuated on a stretcher from the site.
Three suspects were arrested for public disturbances and assaulting the officers, one of whom was later released.
Saxony’s Interior Minister Roland Woller condemned the violence, saying that he was “appalled by the anger” with which the protesters were attacking the officers. He vowed to identify all of the suspects and bring them to justice.
Juliane Nagel, on the other hand, thanked the people for coming to “oppose the [state’s] decisions, based on the faulty asylum laws, and the actions by police.”
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