May Day in Berlin is often a time of rowdy and violent street demonstrations. 2021 was no exception. Germany is still in the midst of recovering from the economic and social strain of the Pandemic, astronomic housing costs and national elections to be held next September.
The current political atmosphere of May Day in Berlin is a far cry from that of the Nazi era. Check out the article in Jacobin Magazine at the conclusion of this blog post .
Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 5.2.2021
Around 4,000 officers were deployed on the streets of Berlin, where past May Day rallies have been accompanied by disorder, particularly after nightfall. Saturday’s clashes between protesters and police saw trash cans and street barricades set on fire.
The first of May, the annual holiday for workers’ rights, is typically heralded by loud protests and well-attended street marches.
This year, with many people unhappy at the coronavirus restrictions currently in place, authorities have been on increased alert.
Left meets right in Germany
Thousands of police officers were on hand ahead of and after the protests, with unrest emerging among both left- and right-wing demonstrators.
Protesters in Berlin threw bottles, firecrackers and stones at police during May Day marches in the Neukölln neighborhood of the German capital.
According to police tallies, 5,000 people took part in the rally, while organizers put the turnout closer to 20,000. Police took several demonstrators into custody.
A reporter for Berlin’s Tagesspiegel newspaper noted that after confrontations between protesters and police, the situation in Neukölln had calmed somewhat.
DW journalist Elliot Douglas said fire was still raging in Neukölln shortly before curfew, but crowds started leaving as riot police were taking over the scene.
While the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) held its main rally in Hamburg with a motto that “Solidarity is the Future,” the authorities’ main focus was elsewhere.
During the Nazi regime (1933-1945) Hitler thugs destroyed the focus of a workers holiday and turned it into a celebration of the Reich.
The Nazis Stole May Day, But Socialists Took It Back
A deep look at what May Day was like during the Nazi regime can be found by opening the link to Jacobin Magazine.