Police out in force at Bonn Central Station: Police evaluate video recordings after major clashes

Police out in force at Bonn Central Station : Police evaluate video recordings after major clashes

Right-wing extremists were returning from a demonstration in Remagen, when they became involved in a major brawl with left-wing protestors at Bonn Central Station on Saturday evening. Now video footage should help to clarify exactly what happened.

After a mass brawl at Bonn Central Station, police are evaluating videos to clarify exactly what happened. In order to determine who was the source of the aggression, police are sifting through the footage. "We checked out the people involved and took down identifications. With the help of the recordings, we may be able to determine who committed possible crimes in order to initiate proceedings," said Christian Große-Onnebrink, spokesman for the federal police, on Sunday. According to the spokesman, fire extinguishers and flagpoles were used in the brawl, but the police were not aware of any injuries.

The brawl took place on Saturday evening shortly after 6 pm. Responding to a GA inquiry, authorities said that both federal police and Bonn police officers were called to Bonn Central Station in full force, because of violent clashes on the train back from Remagen between right-and left-wing demonstrators. According to the federal police, there were 100 people, 20 of whom belonged to the right-wing extremist scene, while the remaining 80 belonged to left-wing groups.

As the GA reported, right-wing extremists had gathered on Saturday for the twelfth time for their so-called „Trauermarsch“ (“funeral march”) in Remagen. Remagen once again responded to this event with a "Day of Democracy", while numerous left-wing demonstrators also travelled to Remagen for the counter-demonstration.

Bus and rail traffic restricted

Große-Onnebrink went on to say that on the way back from Remagen on a regional express train to Oberhausen, no police officers appeared to be on the train. It is not yet clear why all of the 100 demonstrators got off the train at Bonn's main station and why there was a mass brawl there. Große-Onnebrink, responding to questioning, said that the tight conditions on the platform as a result of construction at the main station had probably not played a role in the dispute escalating to such an extent. After the identities of those involved in the brawl had been recorded, many of them continued their journey by train. From Bonn they were then accompanied by police officers on board. There were no further incidents at the subsequent stations.

The police in Bonn do not know whether the dispute resulted in property damage in the vicinity of the main station, according to their spokesman Robert Scholten. "We have no knowledge that the windows were broken or that other damage was caused by the brawl." So far there have been no reports that some of the demonstrators may have continued their dispute in Bonn's city center.

The commotion and police response on track 1 caused not only rail traffic to be disrupted but also bus and trams in the area were temporarily affected as the wider area around the station was cordoned off by police. After about an hour, the area was opened up again so buses and trams could pass.

Numerous officers with helmets, protective clothing and dogs were called to track 1 to bring the situation under control. Police checked for identifications of those involved and arrested some demonstrators. Meanwhile, the railway informed travelers of delays and cancellations through announcements. At around 6:45 pm the police opened up the platform again, according to Große-Onnebrink. After more than an hour-long closure, trains were able to start again. Police are investigating and state authorities who specialize in politically motivated crimes are also involved.

Orig. text: Lisa Inhoffen and Maximilian Mühlens (with material from dpa)

Translation: ck