May 1st: Over 20,000 people at left-wing demos – few incidents

1st of May
Over 20,000 people at left-wing demos – few incidents

Police units clash with demonstrators during the Revolutionary May 1st demonstration in downtown Stuttgart. Pepper spray was also used. photo

© Christoph Schmidt/dpa

Labor Day is not only a day for the unions, but also for the left-wing scene. The police are therefore on a large scale in Berlin and Hamburg.

More than 20,000 people took part in left-wing and far-left demonstrations on May 1st, especially in Berlin and Hamburg. Feared riots and riots did not materialize there until the evening.

The police were on hand with a large contingent of several thousand emergency services. In Stuttgart, however, a demonstration was broken up after incidents. There were also traditional trade union demonstrations for more social justice on Labor Day.

In recent years, the demonstrations of the left-wing scene in Berlin and Hamburg have remained mostly quiet, at least in comparison to the riots of earlier times. This year, however, there were fears that, against the backdrop of tensions over the Gaza war, there could be pro-Palestinian actions, with possibly banned slogans against Israel, which could degenerate into violence.

Berlin: Police previously discovered stone deposits

According to the police, around 11,600 people marched through the Kreuzberg and Neukölln districts of Berlin during the evening so-called Revolutionary May Day demonstration. The left-wing and left-wing radical organizers spoke of 25,000 to 30,000 participants on the online platform X. The police paid particular attention to the Arab-influenced Sonnenallee in Neukölln after there were joyous rallies there after the terrorist attack by the Islamist Hamas on Israel on October 7, 2023 and repeated pro-Palestinian actions thereafter.

Palestine flags and large anti-Israel posters could also be seen at the demonstration. Among other things, it read “No weapons for Israel” or “Free Palestine”. Aggressive anti-police chants could also be heard. Bengali fireworks were set off on the roof of a building and in the demonstration. The police held back. Following tips from residents along the route, she had already discovered and secured stone deposits along the route in the afternoon. In the evening, the police put this into perspective, according to “Tagesspiegel”: “We are clarifying whether these are construction sites that we were not previously aware of,” said a spokesman. One cannot say with certainty that they served in all cases to prepare for the demonstration.

Berlin’s Governing Mayor Kai Wegner (CDU) and Interior Senator Iris Spranger (SPD) emphasized that the police intervene consistently in the event of crimes. This also includes banned slogans. “What is legally permitted is also used to prevent crimes,” Wegner said.

During the day, at least 4,000 people in the capital had already followed the satirical call for a “raid in the villa district” of the Grunewald district. There were 19 meetings in total. The police accompanied them with 5,600 people, including from other federal states.

Berlin: Political motive in suspected arson attack not ruled out

After a suspected arson attack on the van of a large mail order company in Berlin-Reinickendorf early in the morning, a letter of responsibility emerged, the police confirmed. A political motive for the crime cannot be ruled out. The “Tagesspiegel” had previously reported. 16 vehicles were damaged by fire or heat.

Hamburg: Police draw positive conclusions

In Hamburg, around 9,000 people – around 4,000 more than last year – took to the streets with left-wing and left-wing extremist groups. Police spokeswoman Sandra Levgrün summed up: “The demonstrations on this sunny day were characterized by peaceful and responsible participants, so the Hamburg police draw a very positive conclusion.”

As the last of three left-wing and left-wing extremist demonstrations, the Revolutionary May 1st demonstration there by the Red Organization, which the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution classified as violence-oriented, came to an end in the evening. According to police figures, 1,800 people took part at the peak. It was said that pyrotechnics were ignited in isolated cases. But there were no major incidents.

According to the police, the largest demonstration with around 6,000 participants had already passed through the posh districts of Pöseldorf and Harvestehude. The redistribution alliance “He who has, gives” called for this. According to the police, 1,350 people marched through the Schanzenviertel with the anarchist alliance “Black-Red May 1st” in the afternoon. As the train passed the left-wing autonomous center Rote Flora, fireworks and smoke pots were set off on the roof. Overall, the procession was peaceful, said a police spokesman.

1,800 officers were on duty in the Hanseatic city. Water cannons, clearing tanks and the cavalry squadron were ready. Helicopters circled in the air.

Stuttgart: Police break up demonstration

In Stuttgart, a demonstration by the left-wing scene was ended after attacks on emergency services, as the police announced on X. The officers used pepper spray and batons. According to the police, the demonstration was “against social cuts”, was “for a society based on solidarity” and was registered by an individual. There were “massive crimes and violations of regulations”.

Queer feminist demos against capital and patriarchy

The left-wing extremist marches began on Walpurgis Night with queer-feminist demonstrations in both Berlin and Hamburg. According to the police, up to 2,800 mainly female demonstrators took part under the motto “Take back the Night” in Berlin-Friedrichshain and in Hamburg-St. Pauli around 900. Eight people were temporarily arrested in Berlin. There were no major incidents in Hamburg.


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