Police in Bremen battled five thousand leftist demonstrators on Tuesday (6 May) at a ceremony commemorating West Germany's twenty-fifth anniversary in the NATO alliance.
GV & SV Demonstrators gathering with banners and placards at Weser Football Stadium, Bremen (3 shots)
CU Demonstrators with bandaged head
SV ZOOM OUT Torn-up paving stones across road with demonstrators around
GV Helicopter flying overhead
SV Demonstrators on stadium steps PULL OUT TO police cordon with demonstrators throwing stones
GV Riot police advancing
SV Injured policemen having head-wound bandaged
GV Fire engines PULL UP TO burning vehicle (2 shots)
GV Demonstrators sets vehicle alight as others stand around wrecked car (2 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Police in Bremen battled five thousand leftist demonstrators on Tuesday (6 May) at a ceremony commemorating West Germany's twenty-fifth anniversary in the NATO alliance. The West German government condemned the demonstration, during which more than two hundred and fifty riot police and about forty demonstrators were injured. During the ceremony, in Weser Stadium, President Karl Carstens heard twelve hundred soldiers swear allegiance to West Germany. Beforehand, there'd been much political and public controversy in Bremen about the ceremony.
SYNOPSIS: The West German government has described the incidents outside the ceremony as acts of violence which had nothing to do with citizens' constitutional right to demonstrate. Signal flares and fireworks rockets were directed at helicopters bringing the President, Defence Minister Hans Apel and Mayor Hands Koschnick to the stadium.
The rampaging protestors who tried to storm the gates were mainly youths, many wearing crash helmets, with faces hidden by scarves. Some used Varey pistols to fire signal flares over the walls, into the stadium. But their main missiles were stones.
The police had been ordered not to provoke the demonstrators, but after the paving stones began flying, they were forced to move in.
Fire engines arrived to put out vehicles set ablaze. One soldiers was badly burned by a Molotov cocktail lobbed into an army minibus. Police resorted to batons and water cannon to control the rioters, who set fire to three military buses and five cars. The government defended their membership of the alliance as a guarantee to maintaining detente.