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Punks Battle Police in Hanover; 94 Police Hurt

August 5, 1995

HANOVER, Germany (AP) _ Young anarchists set fire to cars and trash containers Saturday during a third night of clashes with police.

Police called in hundreds of reinforcements and arrested 630 people after 94 officers were wounded by flying bottles and stones in an all-night battle Friday _ part of the punks’ ``Chaos Days″ summer gathering.

The police casualty toll rose to 160 by 11 p.m. Saturday.

A police spokeswoman said rioters were making forays in small groups out of the university district, setting fire to an unknown number of cars and other objects. One apartment was on fire, said the spokeswoman, who did not permit use of her name.

There were no figures on the number of injuries among the punks, but ARD national television showed one being kicked repeatedly by police, who also hurled stones back at their assailants.

A police spokeswoman said the kicking incident would be investigated to decide on possible disciplinary action, but said it occurred against a background of massive assaults on the police.

``I won’t excuse it, but the situation escalated on both sides,″ said the spokeswoman, who refused to be named. ``Some of the police officers were in action for 15 to 20 hours.″

The interior minister of Lower Saxony state, Gerhard Glogowski, congratulated the police for keeping the punks in check.

Last year more than 1,000 were arrested in riots. Chancellor Helmut Kohl and others had criticized local authorities for permitting the punks to storm through the northern city of 500,000, breaking windows and burning cars.

This year, police were turning back punks arriving by train or car, but the young anarchists _ coming mainly from Berlin and Hamburg, with some from outside Germany _ claimed to have found other ways to reach Hanover.

Several hundred reinforcements were called in Saturday from states neighboring Lower Saxony, of which Hanover is the capital.

Some punks were injured in street fights with hooligans and skinheads, as well as in clashes with police, police said.

Punks threw firebombs and used steel bars to attack police, who mobilized water cannons and armored cars to try to break through street barricades the anarchists set ablaze Friday night in the university quarter.

The anarchists plundered two supermarkets for food and beer. Many shops had boarded their windows to stave off damage.

A leaflet circulated last month said the punks’ goal for this year’s ``Chaos Days″ would be 10,000 arrests, but it was unlikely that target could be reached.

Police expected about 2,500 punks to try to reach Hanover during the weekend, while the punks claimed 5,000 were coming.

The police, in addition to arresting 630 by dawn Saturday, booked 980 others and ordered them to leave the city, an order that many ignored. Police said charges of assault, rioting and causing property damage would be brought against the arrested punks.

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