Far-Left “anti-fascists” (antifa) have injured at least two police officers and torched a squad car in Cologne, Germany, after attempts to shut down a party convention for the anti-mass immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) led to clashes with the authorities.The protestors, many in all-black, identity-concealing Blac Bloc attire, tried to prevent roughly 600 party delegates from entering their hotel venue, requiring police to escort them through the security venue. The Guardian newspaper reports that one officer sustained a “facial injury” while doing so, leading to an arrest.
Up to 4,000 police, many in riot gear or mounted on horseback, were deployed to control an estimated 50,000 demonstrators, including a thousand Far-Left agitators.
A police spokesman described the atmosphere as “very dynamic” and “fairly aggressive” in places. Footage broadcast by the n-dtv network showed antifa marching under the cover of smoke bombs, throwing lit flares and trying to frighten police horses.
Thirteen wedding couples had to be escorted by police for their own safety, with one bride telling reporters, “We’re getting straight out and celebrating in Bochum [another city in the region].”
The violence in Cologne comes just days after antifa members in Berkeley, California, attacked a free speech rally attended by a number of popular conservatives.
Rally attendees fought back, driving the antifa back a fair distance after one of their own smoke bombs was blown into their lines by the wind.
Police told the Los Angeles Times that sixteen people were arrested and nine people were injured. Six had to attend the hospital for treatment, including one stabbing victim.
One attendee, Donald Trump supporter AJ Alegria, described how he was surrounded by a dozen black-clad activists, pepper sprayed and beaten with sticks.
“These people create violence all the time… somebody has to stand up to them,” he said.