• Germany's news in English

Arrests and parties mark start of May 1

DPA/The Local · 1 May 2009, 11:28

Published: 01 May 2009 11:28 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Nearly 50 people were arrested in Berlin while three were held in Hamburg, as tensions grew in many other places ahead of Friday’s many left- and right-wing political demonstrations.

In Berlin, despite the 48 reportedly injured police officers, authorities welcomed the numbers, saying that it was one of the more peaceful pre-May 1 nights.

At least 2,000 police officers had been stationed around areas where younger and anti-authoritarian people usually gather to celebrate the night with music and outdoor drinking.

The Mauerpark in northern Berlin was almost completely surrounded by police, while Boxhagenerplatz in Friedrichshain in the south also attracted the intense attention of the authorities. Bands played at both spots, and around 2,000 people were estimated to have gathered at each.

Later a group of around 200 gathered in the southern district and threw bottles and stones at the police.

Three police officers were hurt in Hamburg, where three people were arrested after a number of confrontations in the Schanzenviertel area following a left-wing march through the St Pauli area.

Friday May 1st is a public holiday and a traditional time for both left- and right-wing political demonstrations, when the two sides often face off to each other, separated by police.

Three neo-Nazi demonstrations are planned for the Rhineland area, with one in Mainz on Friday, others in Kaiserslautern and Neustadt an der Weinstrasse on Saturday.

At least 3,000 anti-Nazi demonstrators are expected to march against the around 200 neo-Nazis expected to march through Mainz, while smaller marches and counter-demonstrations are expected in the other towns.

The neo-Nazi party, the NPD, which organises many of the marches, announced on Friday morning that its planned march in Neubrandenburg in Brandenburg, was cancelled. It only received legal permission to march late on Thursday, but under the condition that drums and burning torches were not used. This was apparently disappointing enough to make them call the whole thing off.

Story continues below…

Around 300 people demonstrated on Friday morning in the Köpenick district of Berlin ahead of a planned NPD march later in the day where several hundred neo-Nazis are expected – and more counter-demonstrators.

And in Ulm, in Baden-Wurttemberg, three people were arrested on Friday morning after bottles and stones were thrown from a crowd of up to 150 anti-Nazi demonstrators when three neo-Nazis appeared at the train station.

The biggest fear of violence remains Berlin, where at least 5,000 police are deployed, largely in the Kreuzberg area where an all-day party and music festival usually descends into confrontation and sometimes violence after dark.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

02:17 April 11, 2010 by Jason U.
"Back in the day" when there were protests against the US Pershing II missiles every Easter Monday, there would be a bunch of Police and water cannons. I had never seen such a thing. We were all told to stay on base and avoid going near the demonstrations. Good times ;-) (Wiley Kaserne Neu Ulm Germany 1987-1991).
Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd