Leftist youth demonstrations ruffle West German cities
Two anti-American and anti-establishment demonstrations in West Germany over the weekend probably do not signal any resurgence of the 1968 youth turmoil and political activism.
But the various leftist demonstrations that resumed in 1980 -- against public swearing-in of West German Army recruits, against housing shortages and evictions of squatters, and now against US support for the junta in El Salvador -- are turning into a chronic feature of West German cities.
In West Berlin, youths rioted in protest at the eviction of squatters. The Frankfurt protest, in which windows of American and West German banks were broken and tires of American cars were slashed, introduced into West German street politics the new issue of Washington's military aid to the El Salvador government. Most of the thousands who joined the downtown Frankfurt march called by leftist and church organization were peaceful. But small numbers wielded clubs and threw rocks.
This issue may be expected to attract more West German youths as President Reagan moves away from ex-President Carter's condemnation of human-rights violations among US allies t o unambiguous backing of rightist allies.