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Thousands of Neo-Nazis, opponents mass in Dresden | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 13.02.2010

Thousands of neo-Nazis and their opponents gathered in Dresden on Saturday on the 65th anniversary of the Allied firebombing of the city.


Police spokesman Thomas Geithner said up to 7,000 far-right supporters from around Europe are expected at what organizers have called a "mourning march." By noon, about 1,000 had already turned up.


Twice as many left-wing opponents have organized rallies of their own in an attempt to block the rightist march.


"This year we are going to stop the Nazis," said Katja Kipping, deputy leader of the Left Party, at an anti-fascist protest in the city center.


Around 4,000 police, armed with water cannons and backed by five helicopters circling overheard, are in place to prevent clashes between the two groups.


Failed attempt to ban the march


The right-wing march is organized by a group known as the Junge Landsmannschaft Ostdeutschland (Young National Association of East Germany), or JLO, which is supported by Germany's right-wing party, the NPD.


German neo-Nazis claim the carpet bombing of Dresden at the end of World War II was a war crime and have been holding rallies since the 1990s to protest what they call the "bombing Holocaust."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 13th, 2010 at 11:27:01 AM EST
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