>Larnaca – violent clashes between nationalists and Rainbow festival participants [CYPRUS]

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Violent clashes broke out in Larnaca between nationalist demonstrators and participants, viewers and supporters of the annual ”Rainbow” anti-racism festival. The nationalist defile(march) consisted members of the organization “Greek Resistance Movement” and the “Movement for the Salvation of Cyprus”. Moving along the streets they are shouted slogans against immigrants, “against illegal immigration”, against “the Islamization of the country,”

The clashes started when the demostrants carrying Greek flags approached the festival area. According to eyewitnesses nationalists threw stones, chairs, bottles, sticks, flares and bullets against the supporters of festival. An eyewitness who participated in the festival states that “the police instead of protecting us, who were now being attacked in an institutionalized attack on the festival, backed the Nationalists.” There were 7 arrests of anti-racists and no fascists arrested, as they were protected by police. According other witness “Some of the nationalists had their faces covered, one lifted up his shirt and showed a swastika tattooed on his stomach,” In response “The festival-goers returned the slogans, shouting: ‘Nazis out of Cyprus’”.

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