E-mail from the U.S. Embassy:
On Wednesday evening, June 25, Germany and Turkey will meet in the semifinal round of the 2008 European Football Championship in Basel, Switzerland. Various cities in Germany have set up viewing areas for the public to watch the live broadcast of this game. The "Fan Mile" in front of the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin is expected to draw up to 500,000 German and Turkish fans, Frankfurt am Main will host a public viewing area at the Rossmarkt, and Munich is setting up a large public viewing area at the Olympic Stadium where 30,000 fans are anticipated. Similar events are planned in other cities and spontaneous celebrations or demonstrations related to the match may occur throughout Germany.
Because of the high fan interest in this prestigious semi-final elimination game between Germany and Turkey, there exists the possibility that disturbances, including violent disturbances may occur before, during or after the match, which begins at 20:45. At a minimum, post-game celebrations will likely result in traffic congestion in larger cities. Crowds celebrating previous German and/or Turkish victories have blocked streets and rocked vehicles attempting to pass through them.
We remind American citizens in Germany that even mass gatherings and demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. American citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. American citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times.
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why do those soccer fans hate our freedom?
This "warning" is ridicolous..
Maybe it would be better, to tell coloured tourist to avoid the southern states in the USA, as racism is still very common there. You could get hanged by a lynch-mob!
Crowds "blocked streets and rocked cars"? The horror! They could have bothered to check the spelling of "Brandenberg (sic!) gate", though. It's right next door, for Chrissakes. Amazing display of ignorance, luckily not shared by the many Americans I've seen at public viewing sites.
If Turkey wins, it'll be a huge upset as several of their best players are out due to penalties and injury. There could be some fracas somewhere. I remember well the World Cup game in 1974 between West and East Germany--my family drove to a recreation area near Frankfurt and it was uncanny--completely deserted when usually thriving. People take their football rather seriously there. And yet, there's so much more paranoia here about locking your car, etc., plus there being so many dry counties in Texas, young college kids don't know how to drink.
Nicht zu fassen, as they say here.
funny over cautious warning. There may also be evil doers in the crowds, be warned.
I also posted this on the Well, and someone there made a comment that got me thinking.
This warning isn't so much for us who live here (the Democrats Abroad re-sent it, with a headline that said something about being careful that unruly crowds don't cause you to spill your beer) as it is for tourists. Tourists are generally clueless about some things, as I've discovered hanging out with a couple of very intelligent ones (one of whom said "What do you mean the stores are closed on Sunday?"). And, given the climate of fear this administration has chosen to use as a tool, this could be an almost unconscious overcompensation.
Anyway, the game's over, and I bet no Americans were killed. Or anyone else.
... hurray!! paranoia!!
Wonder if they send out this kind of mail before New Year's Eve when the city resembles an ammunition dump going up?
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