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Protests breakout in France

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posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 02:03 PM
Protests breakout in France

Police, protesters clash in France at NATO summit

STRASBOURG, France - Black-clad protesters attacked police and set a hotel and a customs station ablaze today near a bridge linking France and Germany that served hours earlier as the backdrop for a show of unity by NATO leaders.

AP photographers saw other protesters storm a nearby Ibis hotel, setting fires and pilfering alcohol from its bar. An AP reporter saw intermittent scuffles between police and demonstrators in black as they gradually made their way back from the Europe Bridge and tried to enter the city center.

Around 2:45 p.m., the protesters -- throwing rocks -- tried to storm a massive police blockade at the Pont d'Anvers bridge, and were driven back by water cannon, tear gas, flash bombs and rubber bullets. Across the canal, nearly 1,000 people gathered to watch the fracas.

Some of the protesters were hurt, but none of the injuries appeared to be serious.

Elsewhere, stacks of old tires were also set ablaze, unleashing thick plumes of black smoke that could be seen from across the river. Near the bonfire was a sign welcoming visitors to Strasbourg.

First lady Michelle Obama and other spouses canceled a visit to a cancer hospital out of concern for security, the French president's office said. Some 1,000 protesters were staked out near the hospital they were to visit.

Some of the protesters say they want an end to war and call NATO a tool of Western imperialism. Others simply appear bent on causing chaos.

Today's protest began calmly but began turning violent around noon at the same Pont d'Anvers bridge. An AP reporter saw police in body armor and helmets hoisting shields as they were pelted by several hundred protesters with rocks, sticks and then Molotov cocktails.

About 100 officers responded by lobbing flash bombs and volleys of tear gas into the crowds of demonstrators, many dressed in black and wearing masks or balaclavas.

Members of the violence-prone "black bloc" -- named for their black clothes and hoods -- then headed toward the Europe Bridge and set fire to the customs station on the French side and sprayed graffiti on the walls of buildings.

Later, German-run water cannon were driven across the Europe Bridge and used to help put out the fire. As the crowd dissipated, a convenience store was overrun and ransacked.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and two dozen other NATO leaders walked across the bridge separating Germany and France before the 60th-anniversary summit began.

Across the Rhine River in Kehl, Germany, an estimated 5,000 demonstrators gathered peacefully and hoped to cross into Strasbourg but were diverted by scores of police, backed by at least five trucks with water cannons.

"No nations, no border. Fight law and order," they chanted in unison as police clad in riot gear looked on, before the demonstration began to gradually subside around 3 p.m. (1300 GMT).

Protesters have been frustrated by large police presence in both cities. Some 15,000 German police and 9,000 French police are on call for the summit. Helicopters have patrolled the skies and police in fast boats have crisscrossed the river, too.

Earlier today, some 1,800 protesters left their camp south of Strasbourg at about 4 a.m. (0200 GMT) and headed north through deserted streets to the summit site before being turned back.

Elsewhere, a separate group of 200 French and German protesters -- including dozens dressed as clowns and a team of dancing percussionists -- occupied a central intersection in downtown Strasbourg after police launched flash bombs and tear gas at them.

German authorities had estimated that up to 25,000 protesters would take part in several demonstrations in Kehl and the German spa town of Baden-Baden, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) away, where NATO leaders met and had supper in a lavish casino.

France's interior minister has suggested 30,000 to 40,000 ultimately could show up in Strasbourg. The numbers have so far appeared much smaller.

French police find anti-NATO demonstrators have guns

French police detain 300 after anti-NATO protests

French police fire tear gas as protests erupt; in Germany, calm prevails

French Police, Protesters Clash During NATO Summit (Update2)

Turkey: Thousands of leftists stage anti-US, anti-NATO protests

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Several thousand leftists staged anti-U.S. and anti-NATO protests in Turkey on Saturday, with shouts of "Yankee Go Home!" the day before President Barack Obama's visit.

"Obama don't come! We don't want you!" the protesters shouted in the Turkish capital as riot police blocked the streets to contain the crowds. Obama was scheduled to arrive in Ankara on Sunday.

Thousands of protesters also took to the streets in Istanbul's Kadikoy district, chanting "Yankee Go Home!" A banner read: "Obama go back home."

The demonstrators in Ankara and in Istanbul called for NATO's disbandment as world leaders gathered for the Western alliance's 60th anniversary summit in Strasbourg, France. Turkey is a NATO member.

[edit on 4/4/2009 by Hx3_1963]

posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 02:09 PM

Originally posted by Hx3_1963

"No nations, no border. Fight law and order," they chanted in unison as police clad in riot gear looked on,

WTF does that mean?. I like protesters, esp violent ones, but when they say stuff like that it makes me wonder if they are really govt agents. That's a very common trick that all govts use. Hire actors to play the role of anti-govt protesters and do a deliberately bad job of it.

posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 02:14 PM
It may surprise some to learn that Europe is bit bigger than just Strasbourg. And just because there is a protest in Turkey on the same day does not mean there are riots in dozens of countries as the thread title disingenuously suggests.

It'd be like someone using the killing/hostage taking in New York State to say that fighting has broken out across the USA

posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 02:22 PM
reply to post by Hx3_1963

Strasbourg is not "across Europe," it is one medium-sized city on the border between Germany and France. That said, the riots were rather mild. No one was killed and relatively little damage occurred.

From your OP, i think you are suggesting this is the "Sit-X" survivalists are waiting for for their cue. If you think this is it, you will look very silly humping off to the woods because some Franco-German malcontents mussed up a bit of a rather sleepy and comfortable European downtown one fine Saturday's afternoon.

Before you run off into the woods, Google a bit about riots to see what is actually possible. Check out the Pullman riots, Tiannamin Square and St Petersburg, 1901, for starters. This will give you some perspective.

posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 02:28 PM
Stars 4 All!


Flame off...

Protests breakout in France

No Sit-X references...

How's that?

Twittering from the Nato protest

France cracks down on NATO protests

NATO Summit: Violent French, German Protests

Anti-NATO protest in Athens, Greece

No to War, No to NATO

[edit on 4/4/2009 by Hx3_1963]

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