Wild clashes when nationalists attack anti-racism festival (Cyprus)
Larnaca, Cyprus – From the Greek media
5 Nov 2010 – Bloody episodes in Larnaca. Violent events unfolded this afternoon on the quay in Larnaca Palm Tree Promenade, between nationalist demonstrators and people attending the annual ”Rainbow” anti-racism festival and ”Cypriots and immigrants united against Crisis” organized by KISA.
First information says there are more than five wounded, one of which may be severe, as he received stab wounds. The nationalists’ front, which consisted of the organization “Greek Resistance Movement”, the PAK and the “Movement for the Salvation of Cyprus” marched shouting abusive slogans against immigrants and settlers, while calling “against illegal immigration”, against “the Islamization of the country,” and for the “immediate abolition of provocative allowances etc. of political refugees.” According to confirmed information a member of the Democratic Party, Zacharias Koula, was there on the side of the nationalists.
Around 19:30 the nationalists started a march at European Square and along the coastal road to the church of St. Lazarus, at a time when people were attending the anti-racism festival in the seaside boulevard and sidewalks and chanting slogans in support of diversity. Police intervention failed to prevent incidents between the two sides. A woman police officer was injured. At least 3 migrants were badly beaten and a young girl received a stone to her head. There were 7 arrests of anti-racists and no fascists arrested, as they were protected by police.
According to eyewitnesses nationalists threw stones, chairs, bottles, sticks, flares and bullets against the anti-racism festival goers, and “did not hesitate to push even young children who were playing at the 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.”