One of the things I missed last week in Germany while on vacation in NY City....was a fairly dramatic protest episode in Leipzig.
This started out as a protest walk/march by 200 (at least the news media reports this number) neo-Nazi folks.
Oddly, if you were looking for hotbeds of neo-Nazi activity.....there's more in former DDR (eastern Germany) than in western Germany. Various analysts, government experts, and journalists will argue about why higher numbers exist there, and this usually comes back to the reform period of the 1960s and 1970s.....where western Germans will claim they cleaned their hostility problem up.
I don't usually buy the western Germany idea of a cleaned up hostility. My view is that there's simply more unemployment and unhappy 18-to-30 year old guys sitting around and looking for a 'gang' or 'club' to sit, talk, drink beer, and blame their problems on something (anything really).
My brother has this simplistic concept of idle people.....they tend to get into more trouble if they haven't sweated or worked enough each day to get frustrations out of their mind. In his theory of life, it doesn't matter if we are talking about California, Mexico, China or Germany....idle minds and hands end up in trouble.
In this case, the 200-odd neo-Nazi folks were met by approximately 2,500 leftists (various groups).....as reported by the local news folks of Leipzig. I have some doubts about the 2,500 number but in this case....it's a lesser part of the story.
Somewhere in the mix of things.....the German police were calling in reinforcements from the region, and met both groups.
In the aftermath of things.....sixty-nine German cops were injured, and reports indicate that fifty police cars were damaged in some way (some were literally burnt to the ground).
When you look at the sixty-nine cops injured....you have to stand and assess the impact. Each spent time in an emergency room.....reports were generated.....time-off declared....pay will occur but some of these cops will be out-of-action for days, possibly even weeks. Some might be out for a month or two in some recovery process.
Some towns or villages will likely have a couple of their cops sidelined and lesser patrols will exist for a week or two.
Leftists detained? Somewhere in the news reporting, you come to this one single line where twenty-three people were actually arrested for throwing rocks or stones at the police or destruction of public property.
These were people brought into a station....kept for a number of hours....and given notice to appear in front of judge at a later date. Each will show up and deny they were there or conducting any destructive activities. Some video will be displayed and note the guy or gal throwing rocks/stones, and the judge will grin at the youth for a minute before assessing some type of punishment or fine. German judges usually hate sending some youth off to six months in some jail, so it'll end up being a creative deal...perhaps a weekend in some jail.....a light fine....and a record created of destructive behavior.
The German public sits there and shakes their head. These riots never solve much of anything but create tensions for future episodes. Cops shake their heads because it's a manpower crisis for them after each riot as guys sit in hospitals or on home-rest. Political figures shake their head because they'd like to keep a stable and safe environment for the public, but end up having to find more money to replace or repair cop cars damaged, or renovate public structures damaged during the riots.