Eight arrested during May 1st demo in Copenhagen

Traffic was stopped and eight people arrested by police after a demonstration near Queen Louise’s Bridge in central Copenhagen on Wednesday.

Eight arrested during May 1st demo in Copenhagen
Photo: Philip Davali / Ritzau Scanpix

Both the bridge and nearby Søtorvet area were temporarily closed off following a demonstration around 500 metres away at the Israels Plads square, which then moved towards the busy crossing.

Several police officers drew batons, according to photographers at the scene, while there was a “massive” police presence, Copenhagen Police tweeted.

Photo: Philip Davali / Ritzau Scanpix

Police confirmed at 4:30pm on Wednesday that eight arrests had been made in connection with the unrest.

“Not all of the arrests were made at Israels Plads. Some were made elsewhere in the city,” the police communications department said.

Five of the arrests were made due to violence against officers, police confirmed in a tweet.

One arrest was made for breaching Denmark's ban on face-masking garments and one for misuse of fireworks. One person has been charged with public order offences, the tweet added.

A large number of people from the ‘Revolutionary Antifascists’ (Revolutionære Antifascister) group, and a smaller counter demonstration organized by the youth wings of the Liberal (Venstre) and Liberal Alliance parties were present at Israels Plads, Ritzau reports.

A counter demonstrator holds a sign reading “No to political violence”. Photo: Philip Davali / Ritzau Scanpix

According to tabloid Ekstra Bladet, the situation began to escalate after plainclothes police officers were referred to by a speaker using a megaphone.

Police cut short the demonstration by the anti-fascist group on Queen Louise’s Bridge. Calm had been returned by late afternoon with demonstrators moving towards the Fælledparken park, police said.

READ ALSO: Labour Day: your guide to May 1st in Denmark

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Antifa film director warns of far-right threat in Germany

Germany is not doing enough to combat the far right, the makers of a German movie about anti-fascist activists claimed Thursday as it was premiered at the Venice film festival.

Antifa film director warns of far-right threat in Germany
Counter-demonstrators of a rally against the coronavirus measures held in Berlin on August 29th gather and hold a banner that says "Masks on, Nazis out".

“Things have really started to escalate in the last five years,” warned Julia von Heinz, the German director of “And Tomorrow the Entire World”, the story of an idealist law student who flirts with violence as a way of stopping the rapid rise of the extreme right.

She claimed there was a risk that “Antifa” groups frustrated by the lack of state action could take the matter into their own hands.

“We have too often the feeling that connections between the police and army and the right-wing structures are too tight,” von Heinz told reporters.

“If there is mistrust people start to get violent themselves,” she added.

READ ALSO: From the NSU to anti-Semitic attacks – how racist and far-right terror in Germany is rising

Von Heinz and her actors wore masks carrying the names of people killed by far-right groups in Germany to a press conference before the premiere.

“We all know the names of the murderers, but we want to remember the victims who did nothing wrong other than having the wrong colour of skin, being disabled, or speaking out against neo-fascism,” she told reporters.

Von Heinz said it was dangerous that more people in democracies seemed to be “looking for very easy answers” to their problems.

She added that an anti-face mask rally in Berlin last week that led to far-right activists attempting to storm the Reichstag building was typical of this search.

READ ALSO: 'Anti-coronavirus' demonstation takes place in Berlin

The director, who is vying for Venice's top Golden Lion prize, said the march allowed “a strange mix of people – nationalists, hippies and esoterics – to protest together under a easy populist slogan.”

An antifa activist herself in the 1990s, von Heinz said her film was not at all autobiographical.

But she did draw from her own experience in the movement, which she argued is now more diverse than it was then.