Peace activists protests of the NATO Summit in France and Germany have turned violent. There is burning, looting and police officers are working to keep the German and French protesters from joining each other across the border. Read about it below, see a map and videos of the riots.

french german border

French German Border Map

The American press is reporting great successes for Barack Obama’s first trip to Europe. However, there seems to be little if any evidence that anything substantive is being accomplished. Where ever he and the other world leaders involved in the G20 and NATO summits have gone, there have been the usual gaggle of protesters protesting whatever the cause du jour is. The majority of the protesters represent anti-war, anti-globalization and anarchist groups.

Ironically, the peace activists and others have gotten very violent in Strasbourg, France and Baden Baden, Germany. On the French side of the border, rioters have virtually closed down Strasbourg, setting the Ibis hotel and border post on fire. The rioting forced First Ladies Carla Bruni Sarkosy and Michelle Obama to cancel a trip to visit a cancer hospice center. About 1000 protesters stood in front of the hospice waving banners and chanting. They called Bruni and Obama ‘spoiled tools of capitalism’.

At the Rhine River, protesters spray painted slogans on the Europa Bridge and French customs station. Riot police used tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons and flash bombs in an attempt to control the crowd.

German polizei have guarded the German side of the Pont de l’Europe to prevent German protesters from crossing the Rhine to join the more violent French protesters. On the French side, French police attempted to prevent the rioters from setting fires and crossing the bridge. The police eventually retreated against the thousands of surging protesters. At that point, they began setting fires and throwing rocks to break windows.

A member of the French Left Party blamed the French police for their violent acts saying they have the right to protest and their actions escalated as a result of the police attempting to stop them.

The NATO summit held on the French German border towns of Strasbourg and Baden Baden marked NATO’s 60th anniversary.

Photos of the Strasbourg riots can be seen here. There are several riot videos below.

Violent NATO Summit Protests – Video

Violent NATO Summit Protests – Video

Violent NATO Summit Protests – Video

Violent NATO Summit Protests – Video