Central Europe

Climate protesters shut down The Hague

Climate protestors who attempted to create a road blockade at The Hague were detained April 6 by Dutch police. Among those detained was prominent climate activist Greta Thunberg. Protestors took to the streets to oppose fossil fuel subsidies, and especially the Dutch government's tax concessions for companies such as Royal Dutch Shell. Hundreds of demonstrators marched from The Hague city center to a field next to the A12 highway, a main artery through the Netherlands, which some then tried to block with their bodies.

Slovakia: protests over authoritarian tilt

The European Commission has expressed regret over Slovakia dissolving its Special Prosecutor's Office without safeguards to ensure the continuity of criminal investigations in the country. The office was officially dissolved on March 20 after its dissolution was approved in a fast-track procedure by the Slovak parliament, despite nationwide protests. Thousands of protesters gathered in front of the parliament building in Bratislava on Feb. 7, with mobilizations also held that day in 30 other Slovak cities and towns. 

Germany: RAF fugitive remanded in custody

A former member of the Red Army Faction (RAF) arrested in Berlin last week after 30 years on the run has been remanded in custody. Daniela Klette was apprehended following an informant's tip, prosecutors announced Feb. 27 A second suspect was also detained in the operation, although authorities later determined that he is not tied to the group. Popularly known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang, the RAF was founded by Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof in the 1970s, and has carried out a series of bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, robberies and shoot-outs with the police.

Polish farmers clash with police

Polish farmers clashed with police on March 6 during a mobilization on Warsaw, part of ongoing protests over increasing economic pressures on the agricultural industry. Warsaw police stated on X (formerly Twitter) that they arrested 55 people in connection with the protest, and that 13 officers were injured in the clashes. Police described the protesters' behavior toward officers as "provocative." In contrast, the Rural Solidarity trade union, representing the farmers, described the police behavior as "provocative." Rural Solidarity said the protest was "successful" and "peaceful" until the police arrived to break up the demonstration. 

Antifa march against Budapest Nazi-nostalgia fest

Anti-fascist protestors marched in Budapest on Feb. 10 in response to a previously banned right-wing gathering to commemorate the so-called "Day of Honor." Activists travelled from across Europe to take part. The dueling rallies came amid diplomatic tensions between Budapest and Rome, as an Italian anti-fascist activist remains imprisoned in Hungary.

Thousands protest far-right party in Germany

Mass protests took place across 114 cities in Germany on Jan. 21 against the far-right political party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). The demonstrations came in response to revelations that party leaders held a national meeting of extremist to discuss mass deportations, including of "non-assimilated citizens." According to activist group Together Against the Right, the weekend demonstrations brought out over 1.5 million attendees across the country, under slogans such as "DEFEND DEMOCRACY," "IT FEELS LIKE 1933," and "NEVER AGAIN IS NOW."

Synagogues attacked in Germany, Tunisia

On Oct. 18, unknown assailants targeted a Berlin synagogue with Molotov cocktails, while rioters in Tunisia burned down the historic El Hamma synagogue. Berlin police reported that two unidentified persons threw the Molotov cocktails at the Kahal Adass Jisroel synagogue in the center of the city. No casualties or significant property damage were reported. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz condemned the attack and promised to protect the country's Jewish communities, saying, "Anti-Semitism has no place in Germany." He also noted in later comments that the legacy of the Holocaust means Germany must be extra vigilant. The Kahal Adass Jisroel community was resolute, with the synagogue's chairperson saying, "We will live on, we will be strong, we will stay."

Nord Stream pipeline sabotage: rush to judgment

Ukraine is denying involvement in September's attack on the Nord Stream pipelines, which were built to carry Russian natural gas to Germany (but had already been shut by Russia before the apparent sabotage). The denials follow a March 7 report in the New York Times, citing anonymous US intelligence officials to the effect that an unnamed "pro-Ukrainian group" was to blame. (BBC News) German prosecutors simultaneoulsy announced their investigators had found "traces" of explosive on a yacht that had sailed to the site of the attack from Rostok just beforehand, and had been rented from a Polish-based company that is "apparently owned by two Ukrainians." (Politico, The Guardian)

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