More than 350 people were arrested after clashing with police during May Day protests in Germany
- More than 350 people were reportedly arrested at May Day protests in Berlin, Germany.
- Approximately 30,000 protesters gathered in the city on Saturday, according to Reuters.
- Officials said about 90 officers were injured, AP reported.
More than 350 people were reportedly arrested at May Day protests in Berlin, Germany after demonstrators clashed with police.
Approximately 30,000 protesters gathered in the city on Saturday, Reutersreported. Police reportedly cited physical assaults and trespassing as the reason for the arrests. The outlet reported that the peaceful protests escalated when demonstrators threw fireworks and rocks at local police. Protesters lit cars and trash cans on fire before police in riot gear responded with pepper spray and water cannons.
Thousands of people also gathered for several protests throughout the country including in Leipzig and Hamburg, according to Reuters.
May Day is an internationally recognized day that is historically used an occasion for demonstrators "to commemorate workers or protest for their rights," the Associated Press previously reported. This year's demonstrations came after a year of unprecedented death and illness rates amid widespread financial distress.
Officials said at least 93 officers were injured as a result of the confrontations in the capital city, according to the Associated Press.
"Violence against police officers and a blind, destructive rage has nothing to do with political protest, "Andreas Geisel, Berlin state interior minister said, according to the AP.
Berlin police chief Barbara Slowik called the incidents "absolutely unacceptable," CNN reported. Slowik told the outlet approximately 10,000 people attended the demonstrations, but organizers said it was closer to 20,000.
The mass demonstrations follow major lockdown restrictions in the country, including a curfew instituted in an effort to slow down the spread of the new variant of COVID-19. According to John Hopkins University data, Germany has had 3,423,900 cases and 83,207 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Germany wasn't the only European country where May Day demonstrations sparked arrests and injury. Reuters reported that at least 106,000 people marched in protests across France, including 17,000 in Paris, where 46 people were arrested.