“Cowardly” May Day assault in Berlin on journalists. Authorities make arrests

May Day is always a tumultuous time in Berlin. Liz and I were in the epicenter of Berlin’s politically active Kreuzberg neighborhood on May Day in 2017.


Kreuzberg was swarming with local citizens and hundreds of Polizei

This year was no other and to make things more distressing a crew of journalists were assaulted.  Several were injured to the point of being hospitalized.

Berlin law enforcement has several suspects in custody and is investigating the “political background” of the assailants in custody.

Deutsche Welle 5.2.2020

A day after an attack on a camera crew in Berlin, police have announced that state security are looking into the political background of the suspected assailants. Protesters in Berlin also injured 20 police officers.

Authorities confirmed on Saturday that they are investigating the political motives behind an attack on the camera team of popular German satirical news show the heute-show [Today Show].

While filming on May Day, several members of the crew were attacked while filming in Berlin. Four members of the team sustained injuries severe enough to be sent to hospital. Five men and one woman were arrested.

The German Journalists’ Association described the event as an attack on the freedom of the press, although the motives of the assailants remain unclear.

German state security is now investigating the crime, Berlin Chief of Police Barbara Slowik told German broadcaster RBB on Saturday morning. She described the attack as “cowardly” and said federal investigators were looking into the political backgrounds of the assailants.

May Day II 2020

One of the suspects will appear before a judge on Saturday, she confirmed.

Read more: Labor Day — Berlin workers’ rally defies social distancing ban

‘Not a peaceful May Day’

May Day is a traditional day for protests in Germany, but they were curtailed by restrictions put in place to counter the coronavirus pandemic.

Police allowed several small-scale protests to take place in the German capital, but thousands defied the bans and took to the streets in the district of Kreuzberg in the evening to take part in demonstrations for Labor Day.

The German police union said that almost 20 officers were injured during the course of Friday night when scuffles and small-scale riots emerged from the protests. “It was not a peaceful May Day,” the union added.

Berlin May Day I 2020

Nearly 350 people were arrested or had their details noted, with police confirming the presence of right-wing activists and conspiracy theorists.

The heute-show went ahead as usual on Friday night on German TV station ZDF, with the production team condemning the attack.

“We are seriously affected by this and wish our colleagues a speedy recovery,” they wrote on Twitter.