On internationalist revolutionary 1st of May in Hamburg
Then police rushed in with everything they had and that´s a lot
From the revolutionary standpoint the 1st of May 2015 in Hamburg was a political victory. It is everyday life for the struggling proletariat to confront with the bourgeoisie, its state and institutions as well as with revisionism. If it suffers temporary defeats because its forces are weaker then the enemies that just shows the necessity of the development of its forces. That the demonstration at Feldstraße was crushed does not mean that the struggle was not successful. On the contrary. The resume from 2014 “We fought together. Very different Types of people. Neighbours together with Punks, Communists together with Anarchists, workers together with students, all together against their oppressors“, the statement “The world of blatant poverty rises against the world of monstrous wealth … They have got a better world in their heads and fierce hatred in their hearts” was proven correct and the demand “Do not let the bloodsuckers have their save heaven” (from the Call of the League against imperialist Agression) was fulfilled.
First of all we have to take a look on the political situation in Hamburg before the 1st of may 2015. It differs from 2014. It was less tense. The struggle of the refugees of Lampedusa in Hamburg (Die Welt: “Demonstranten bringen Polizei ans Limit” 03-11-2013) developed strongly before 1st of may 2014 and affected almost the whole town. The protests against “danger zones” around the turn of the year (Zeit: “Mehrere hundert Menschen bei Gefahrengebiet-Demo”, 07-01-2014), the Flora-demonstration on 21st of December (NDR: “Hunderte Verletzte bei Rote-Flora-Demo” 23-12-2013; n-tv: “Was alles nicht gesagt wird” 23-12-2013) and the demonstration on walpurgis from the Rise Up! – alliance are further struggles that took place prior and around 1st of may 2014 and were lacking in 2015. The revolutionary 1st of May faced the desire for revenge of the ruling class because of the huge victory won in 2014 (SoL: Bericht zum 1. Mai 2014 in Hamburg; BILD: “Demo wird zur Straßen-Schlacht”, 03-05-2014; Hamburger Abendblatt: “Polizei überrascht von Gewaltbereitschaft bei Mai-Krawallen”, 02-05-2014; etc.).
It was impossible for the enemy do allow such a success once again. Therefore the enemy send everything to the field against revolutionary 1st of may and its organizers. One thing everyone in Hamburg knows about is that there was a parallel activity organized at the same date. For sure a lot of friends and comrades will have questions about that issue but because the class enemy trying to take advantage from that we won´t argue on that question. For these and many other reasons the necessity occurred to mobilize more powerful.
It is important that a lot of work was done by the people. In almost every district of the town posters were hung up e.g. in Altona, Barmbek, Bergedorf, Billstedt, Dulsberg, Eidelstedt, Eimsbüttel, Harburg, Horn, Lurup, Mümmelmannsberg, Neuwiedenthal, Ottensen, St. Pauli, Steilshoop, Sternschanze, Veddel, Wandsbek and Wilhelmsburg. One of the slogans of the mobilization “Long live international solidarity!” could be heard during the clashes the whole night and this shows the success. Additionally grafities and sprays were made. Beside two official mobiclips from the League against imperialist Aggression (Revolutionärer 1. Mai 2015 Hamburg, Devrimici 1 Mayis 2015 Hamburg) there were a lot of others made by others from which we want to emphasize “1.Mai 2015 in Hamburg – Frauen kämpft und wehrt euch!“ because it is the first time that a womensgroup made a call for the revolutionary 1st of may in Hamburg as far as we know.
The struggling day of the international proletariat start in Hamburg with the participation of the BGIA as the internationalist block on the unions demonstration, as every year. With round about one thousand participants it was the biggest part of the demonstration, as last years. Different Turkish organisations like ADGH, ADHK, ATIK, the popular front, Partizan, YDG and Yeni Kadin, organisations from Iran, Latin America, Palestine and German revolutionaries and anti-imperialists from Hamburg and other parts of the FRG participated. The block was what it have to be: “The vivid expression of the deepest merger with them … struggling in stormcentres of world revolution: the revolutionary parties and organisations from Africa, Asia and Latin America” (Call of the League against imperialist Agression).
At the end of the demonstration the Rise Up! – block with some hundred participants circumnavigated the police lines and made a spontaneous demonstration which was supported by members of the internationalist block. At 6 pm started the revolutionary 1st of may at Feldstraße, as last years. First we want to quote the report of the Hamburg branch of the antinationalist “Groups against Nation and Capital”: “We distributed between one and two thousand leaflets at the starting point of the revolutionary 1st of May demonstration at metro station Feldstraße. We have had some discussions at our bookstall and sold lots of our books and brochures e.g. our criticism on real socialism and Maoism. The degree of discipline and organisation of the SoL and their allies regarding the mobilization and the incredible cruel police violence was very impressive. Despite the rival demonstration they mobilized more than two thousand people (who quickly dispersed after police attacked). They also withstand outnumbered an extremely violent police. That was spectacular. That demonstrates how efficient even a small group can be if it is based on the principle of cadres and not being just a bunch of thugs.”
Others report about 1,500 participants. The numbers launched by the police through bourgeois media of 750 not surprisingly underestimates the case. The plan of the reaction regarding revolutionary 1st of may demonstration was to crush it by all means. Right at the beginning they attacked “with everything they had and that´s a lot” (NDR, Hamburg-Journal 01-05-2015). The combating participants of the demonstration were bludgeoned, beaten with batons, attacked with pepper spray, mounted police, four water cannons and two armoured vehicles. Despite that demonstrators resisted with the red flag waving at the front line the whole time. They were supported by foreign forces from other parts of the FRG, specially from North Rhine-Westphalia, which played an important role regarding the combative character of the demonstration. We want to highlight the anarchist block with some hundred militants participating, which value for the revolutionary 1st of May cannot be overestimated. It dissolved itself without any selfishness to support the first rows of the demonstrations against the attacking police.
Besides the massive attacks most demonstrators showed no fickleness and bourgeois media wrote: “dramatic scenes of violence“, “extremely aggressive behaviour”, “again and again … riots in St.Pauli, Sternschanze and Altona” (Hamburger Abendblatt: “CDU fordert “ganze Härte des Rechtsstaats””, 04-05-2015), “sad tradition“, “rioters unglued”, “pelted with fireworks, stones and bottles and attacked with flagpoles and traffic signs” (BILD: “Bittere Bilanz der Mai-Krawalle”, 04-05-2015), “massive attacks on police forces”, “hail of stones and bottles“, “riot and mounted police pushed aside the upset crowd but not without resistance“, “on Feldstraße … riots took place“, (Die Welt: “In Hamburg folgen Krawalle auf Krawalle”, 04-05-2015), “Ruckus orgy“, “relatively massive riots”, “riots same intensive as last year” (allegedly with less than a quarter of participants!), “garbage containers were set on fire“, “excessive violence“(NDR: “Krawalle und Verletzte bei Demos in Hamburg”, 03-05-2015).
It was like it is said in the call for the 1st of May: “Our way is not reconciliation and peace with the old. Our way is rebellion against anything reactionary. It must not be differently. It could not be differently. We want the struggle against the imperialist bourgeoisie, its state, its parties and its institutions. That´s the base we are marching on on 1st of may, also in 2015.” It revealed in this struggle that the problems and hiccups, the differences and contradictions could be overcome with bravery and determination in the struggle against the state and its armed institutions. Those who fought in the face of the heavily armed superiority of state terror we pay our respect. We condemn the brute force of the enemy against the masses sharply. To illustrate how hard this violence was we cite the report of “Actionmedics Hamburg”: “…one of the said police horses balked and pushed said patient with its back from the metal holder, after a repeated balking of the horse it stepped with one hoof on the face of the patient … the patient took medium-heavy to heavy injuries…” They report on Twitter of eight heavily injured people until 8 pm at Feldstraße.
Cologne | First revolutionary May demonstration great success.
Revolutionary 1st of May demonstrations, be it Hamburg, Berlin or other cities are common practice since years. In Cologne, the forth biggest city in the country, however, they where in existent. A good reason, comrades thought, to introduce this tradition to Cologne and called for the first revolutionary demonstration the evening before the 1st of May. With great success: Even though the participation didn’t exceeded a hundred demonstrators, which is far beyond the participation in other cities, a successfully combative demonstration could be held and the foundation for further revolutionary 1st of May demonstrations could be laid. Not only the demonstration moved very loudly and agitating through the workers- and immigrant quarters of Mülheim, but it also succeeded in fighting back police attacks after the official end of the demonstration. According to Express informations „ … the previously peacefully May demonstration turned violent after unknown individuals torched pyrotechnics. Thereupon the police intervened. Repeatedly it came to scuffles.“ Nonetheless clips of the assault show clearly, that the police also tried to enter the facilities of a multicultural club close by.
In Cologne a noticeable increase in the mobilisation for Kögida [Colone against the islamisation of the occident], Hogesa [Hooligans against Salafists] and against the slaughtering of refugees in the Mediterranean could be experienced in this year. In correlation to the experience, the 1st of May demonstration met great appreciation of the people in the streets. The report of Rote Aktion, part of the organizing antifascist-antimilitarist-anticapitalist coordination, states in regards to this matter: „The reactions of the people that where watching from the side walks showed us that we stroke a cord; that we are not the only ones that have had enough, that we are not the only ones that know that there has to be something else in this world than bowing, begging and embittering.“ Apart from those activities at the evening before the 1st of May there were also some activities on mayday itself. First activists of different progressive German and Turkish organisations participated in the internationalist block at the DGB demonstration, which they called for with stickers and posters. Later antifascists blocked the entrances to Colognes central train station, the station platforms at Mülheim train station and the rails to prevent fascists to travel to their demonstration. At Breslauer Platz it came to scuffles with the police.
Berlin | 18.000 at the 18 o’clock demonstration
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).
Stuttgart | A world to win! Abolish capitalism!
In homage to the slogan “… a world to win“, that became famous due to the communist manifest, 750 people participated in the revolutionary 1st of May demonstration in Stuttgart. First of all though, the comrades’ day began with the participation in the anticapitalist block at the DGB [German Trade Union Confederation] – demonstration which was called for by a variety of leftist and trade union organisations, especially ver.di [United Services Union] and RAS [Revolutionary Action Stuttgart]. In their activity report the comrades state: “With combative slogans, thematic signs, an own loudspeaker van, flags and confetti the block was the most vital expression of the demonstration.“
As the many pictures of the demonstration illustrate, also different other progressive, and especially Turkish, organizations participated. For example ATIK, Partizan and the Popular Front participated with various members, banners and partly in formation in the morning’s demonstration, apart from the organizers of the anticapitalist block itself. After the DGB demonstration had ended, the comrades where able to be a step ahead of the police and in swift manoeuvre moved a great part of the anticap block as part of a sponti to the starting point of the revolutionary demonstration and thus where able to avoid prior police checks. Nonetheless the state insisted on harassing later arriving comrades and examined them before they were able to participate.
As reported by Beobachter News apart from the police riding team, there where multiple squads of riot police as well as at least one camera van. After lighting some pyrotechnical torches „… the police intensify their presence considerably. Masked riot police wearing helmets cordoned the demonstration on both sides, multiple police vehicles spearheaded the rally. At the end of Silberburgstraße the police tried to prevent the demonstration from entering Tübinger Straße.
During the course of this event they also harassed and blocked multiple members of the press. With 750 participants and a combative demonstration, despite and also because of the police attacks, the lighting of pyrotechnic during its course, the breaking through police lines and fighting off police attacks, the organisers expressed their general satisfaction. Also the acceptance of the internationalist celebration subsequent to the demonstration in the leftist centre Lilo Herman, was a success due to the organizers. Music, food, films and talks completed the program of the 1st of May in Stuttgart and furthermore highlighted the great effort of the comrades for the 1st of May which they had already shown in its preparation.
Nuremberg | Revolutionary 1st of May demonstration big as never before
Under the slogan “Class struggle is: inappeasable – radical – anticapitalist: Forth for the revolutionary 1st of May!“ comrades from Nuremberg, especially from Organisierte Autonomie, the participation in this years revolutionary May demonstration. Despite heavy rain 2.000 people were drawn to the streets this year as well to voice their hatred against the system. Organisierte Autonomie states in their report: “The continued high participation for the revolutionary 1st of May demonstration, despite all meteorological and repressive circumstances, shows the discontent of many people with the ruling system and its immanent injustices. “2015 we observe a huge worsening of living conditions, further militarization and imperialist longings for hegemony, shielding of the EU external frontiers and continuously fueled racism and nationalism. And in this year we also know, our only answer can be: staying inappeasable, being radical and fighting anticapitalist!“.
Apart from representatives of the OA, comrades from ATIK spoke out to unmask the role of the German state as an imperialist aggressor and a collaborator with the Turkish repression machinery in regards to the incarnation of members of the legal democratic organisation in the FRG. The demonstration itself passed the celebration of the DGB, which wasn’t willing to organize a demonstration this year but committed the fighting day of the proletariat with sausages and music. According to information of the Nürnberger Zeitung the demonstration was peaceful even though firework was torched. The cops remained mostly passive.
Magdeburg | Expressive demonstration through the city
In bright sunshine approximately 250 combative comrades attended the revolutionary 1st of May rally in Magdeburg. Full of determination, fulfilled by the spirit of proletarian internationalism and deeply rooted in our class, the rally connected multiple political topics under the banner of the fight for social revolution. Be it topics like antiimperialism, antifascism and antimilitarism, the struggle against exploitation and oppression or the freedom of Palestine, the incarnation of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah or the struggle for political (open-) spaces – they all found their expression at the demonstration. By means of pyrotechnics the combative and resolute expression could be further enforced. The demonstration was organized by the Magdeburg section of Zusammen Kämpfen. In their call of participation is said: „The everyday live is fucked up: the pressure of grades in the school or apprenticeship, competition for miserable jobs, performance requirements for the job centres. Do this, do that – pay this, pay that. No matter where we look, it’s all about the money. Our daily needs fall by the wayside. Hierarchies, separation, isolation, chauvinism, misery, coursing against refugees – all that is normal in the capitalist society.
Normal is as well, that your train ticket is getting more and more expensive every year or that the price to live a life increases. The other side of the barricade on the other hand still expresses pure joy and announces big profits. Germany is still remarked as an export model. Secured through “optimized“ growth and exploitation conditions and the institutionalized co-operation between the representatives of the trade unions and the exploiters, corporations gain profits as high as never before. German weapons have met great demand by the world wide war strategists or carry the “European thought“ with bombs and Phosphor in the living rooms of our colleagues, brothers and sisters in the whole world.“
FRG | Further activities on the 1st of May
In Schwenningen 80 people participated in the combative 1st of May rally. In difference to the last years, the DGB had only organized a celebration, so that the „initiative for a combative 1st of May Villingen-Schwenningen“ organized it’s own rally. The participants torched Pyrotechnics and marched without incidents from the starting point at the train station to the DGB celebration.
In Bremen approximately 100 people attended the social revolutionary walk through the city. The unannounced action, at which slogans where loudly chanted, was organized by „self organized, extra parliamentary political associations, that regard to themselves as part of the libertarian, anticapitalist and emancipatory spectrum and that strive towards a self organized and solidary social order“. The cops, which weren’t there at the beginning, later accompanied the demonstration with multiple police vans, but stayed passive.
In Oldenburg this years autonomous 1st of May rally marked the 20th anniversary of the autonomous May activities in Oldenburg. Under the slogan “Which side are you on“ the rally demanded a clear positioning in the matter of burning questions of the movement, like the situation in Rojava. For a some time nearly all of the 400 participants held up signs with the flag of the PKK. FRG | Fascist activities and counter actions on the 1st of May
In Worms hundreds of antifascists blocked a march of NPD [National Democratic Party of Germany] which wanted to rally under the slogan „refuge fraud makes us poor“. After only 300m there was no way through for them and they were forced to turn for their way home.
According to press reports 40 partially masked fascists attacked a rally of the DGB in Weimar. They wounded 4 participants, stormed the stage and read a speech. In the end the attack could only be fought off through the intervention of the cops. We condemn the attack of the fascists, but also see the lacking ability of the trade unions to resist those assaults as problematic. Nonetheless: Our solidarity is with the injured, one of whom had to be treated in a hospital.
Also in Saalfeld it came to attacks by fascists. There, 700 gathered and beat down alleged dissidents and counter activists until they had to be taken to hospitals. Similar incidents also happened alongside the arrival routes of the different fascist groups from all over the country.
Different the situation in Neubrandenburg. There 300 fascists had to be guarded by the police against counter activists. Against the attempts of the activists to get onto the route of the march or their meeting place cops used bats and pepper spray. Despite all attempts the route of the fascist march could not been kept clear, hence they left without walking a meter.
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