Traditionally, Berlin is one of the greatest trouble spots and social tinder boxes in the FRG. And that for a reason: In the capital the contradictions between the poor and the rich, east and west, gentrified and decayed, Immigrants and Germans are visible on a partiality extreme scale. In combination with the combative history of the 80s and 90s principally an ideal hotbed for progressive, consequent class conscious politics with an unappeasing stand towards the bourgeois state should be visible at the 1st of May. Nevertheless the struggles are declining, the police is able to gain more ground and the political character of the demonstrations is vanishing because there is no force determined enough to lead the struggle of the enormous amount of malcontents. The same thing happened this year. Despite the still respectable number of 18.000 participants at the revolutionary 1st of May rally, the reaction is celebrating the „most peaceful 1st of May since 1987, the chief of police is backslapping himself for the great success of his concept. But it is still there, the will to fight, as in example shown in the Liveticker of the Tagesspiegel:

21:00 – The atmosphere becomes more aggressive: The rally arrived at Lausitzer Platz. The police is taking offenders captive from within the mass of autonomous and is meanwhile attacked by sympathisers. Firecrackers are thrown. The police must massively shield their arrests to force their way through the protesters.

21.17 – Stones and bottles are thrown against police vans: At the crossing Skalizter Straße / Zeughofstraße personnel carriers of the police are attacked with stones, bottles and firecrackers. Sporadic stones are thrown at police groups. The police is defending itself with pepper spray and irritant gas.


But that is it. No mass militancy, no agitation, no politics. The lack of organisation and structure is so immanent, the absence of political content so pressing, that even the commentators at Indymedia agree, that the current situation is disastrous:

„The first of may [in regards to Berlin] is not what it used to be. It has nothing in common with political struggle. You can’t achieve anything on this day. The day is rotten. […]

The riot – character of the 80s that partially lasted until the 2000s is out of reach. Every act of violence from the rally is nearly meaningless. What it still means though is: riot tourism and desperation“

„The problem is the missing of a conclusive concept. And a concept that the people, as well as the political scene, are interested in and which enthuses them. People can talk as many empty words as they want and plan utopic campaigns, demonstrations and open spaces – if there is no one providing the structure or is organizing one, then doing the work and implementing new concepts everything is in vane!!“

„the rally is simply degenerated to an identification event, a tourist attraction and that is also what it is perceived like from the outside. Maybe it is still a little more political than the Mayfest but it is en route to it. There is nothing that seriously questions or attacks the system. The demonstration is basically a part of the system, the critique on capitalism as a product of capitalism.“

In contrast to that, the DGB demonstration is characterized by bourgeois pacifism. Never the less: With the anticapitalist block, the strong presence of antiimperialist forces that this year tried to form an antiimperialist block and an internationalist character the political struggle, agitation and propaganda take place, are the forces politically struggling with one another and are not just celebrating an empty ritual (at least the progressive ones).

1 mai berlin klassenkampf

1 mai berlin antiimp