Hamburg fell victim to further riots on the evening of Halloween as hundreds of masked vandals launched fireworks at police and had to be dispersed by water cannons.
In scenes reminiscent of the same time last year, around 350 individuals gathered in the Harburg district of the Geman port city intent on causing civil unrest. The group smashed windows of businesses and set garbage cans alight, and when faced with an order to leave the area by riot police, the vandals targeted officers with pyrotechnics and bottles.
Anti-Semitic chants were also heard by the authorities, NDR Info reported, suggesting a link between the rioters’ sympathy for the Hamas-run Gaza Strip amid the ongoing conflict with Israel.
“Firecrackers were thrown at emergency services,” a police spokesperson told local media, revealing a significant police operation was required to control the situation.
Footage circulated on social media showed police deploying water cannons to restore order after significant damage was inflicted on the affected neighborhood.
NEWS | GERMANY | Riots reported in the Lurup district of Hamburg, Germany during Halloween night celebrations.— THE CONTENT FACTORY (@ainewsnetworks) October 31, 2023
An estimated 150 to 200 young individuals, their numbers later swelling to 300 to 350, engaged in a riotous frenzy, hurling firecrackers at emergency services,… pic.twitter.com/5jpDmnF9gL
A separate group of around 50 vandals in the Lurup district of the city was also contained by police.
Police initiated criminal proceedings against 33 participants in the riots, and three officers have been confirmed to have sustained injuries in Hamburg.
HALLOWEEN IN HAMBURG 😡— CW Junior ⬛🟥🟨 💙 (@CWjunior3) October 31, 2023
Mülleimer wurden angezündet, ein Streifenwagen mit Böllern beworfen. In der Umgebung hört man immer wieder schwere Detonationen. Seit Stunden explodieren Böller. Aus div. Wohnungen wurden Feuerwerkskörper direkt auf Beamte geworfen.
Germoney hat fertig pic.twitter.com/vnxhMNJBbp
Incidents were also reported in other cities across the country, including in Berlin where similar scenes were witnessed.
“Someone didn’t understand Halloween. The first reports have been written,” said a police spokesperson from the German capital.
The AfD parliamentary group in the Hamburg state parliament claimed the riots were initiated by the city’s migrant population, and said the scenes “ruthlessly exposed the excesses of the parallel society.”
“Hamburg needs a consistent zero-tolerance strategy against rioting migrant mobs and no-go areas,” the party’s parliamentary group leader Dirk Nockemann added.
The national party also called for a crackdown on migrant disorder and urged for all foreign criminals to be removed from Germany.
“It must not be tolerated that Halloween and New Year’s Eve celebrations lead to war-like states of emergency every year,” it posted on X, formerly Twitter. “All criminals with foreign citizenship must be deported immediately. The security of our country is non-negotiable!” it added.
Hamburg’s police union issued a statement claiming “it can no longer be denied that we have an ever-increasing problem with violence in Germany and Hamburg.
“It is naive to believe that, due to the length of criminal proceedings, the jurisprudence is sufficient to achieve preventive effects,” said its chairman Horst Niens. “We have to strengthen the rule of law again and regain authority over criminals,” he added, calling for harsher penalties for those involved in the disorder.