German Labor Day rioting: Firecrackers and water cannons unleashed (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Berlin and Hamburg were the scenes of massive demonstrations on Wednesday. In the capital, around 9,000 people, some of them masked, marched the streets as some 7,000 officers were on stand-by.
As night approached, several incidents of violence occurred. Protesters threw stones and bottles and police and emergency vehicles, damaged a bank office and several parked cars. At least one person was arrested.
In Hamburg, the protesting crowd numbered about 1,400 participants closely monitored by a cordon of 1,600 police officers. The traditionally passionate rally escalated into violence. Several officers were injured as they used water guns, pepper sprays and batons against rioting troublemakers. At least eight of those were arrested.
Despite the incidents, a police spokesman said the service was satisfied with how the demonstrations were handled, saying the violence was less severe than in previous years. German police took the strategy to deescalate pressure on radical protesters on Labor Day.