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Police union warns of carnage during May Day protests

The Local · 15 Apr 2010, 15:21

Published: 15 Apr 2010 15:21 GMT+02:00

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The expected wave of left wing extremism “will become more violent than in previous years,” Konrad Freiberg, the chairman of the Union of Police (GdP), told the Leipziger Volkszeitung.

Recent Interior Ministry figures showed that the number of left-wing extremist crimes climbed to 9,375 last year, a 39.4 percent rise on the previous year. Among those were 1,822 violent offences – a rise of 53.4 percent on the year before.

Freiberg said that in addition to the increasingly boisterous left, right-wing extremists were also a major worry. Clashes between the two sides will be a serious danger, he said.

“We are extremely worried that it could come to hundreds of injuries around May 1st this year and, hopefully not, even to one or two deaths.”

May 1st, often known as May Day, is the traditional day of protest for leftists and has traditionally led to violent clashes between protesters and police, particularly in the Berlin districts of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain.

With protests planned in cities across the country, staff cuts to police forces mean that Berlin in particular will have trouble deploying enough police personnel, Freiberg said.

“The country is short everywhere,” he said. “In the face of manpower crises in the police, we have to expect security gaps. These gaps will become apparent on May 1st. The police are, on the whole, no longer in a position to properly manage these large scale operations everywhere at once.”

Story continues below…

On days such as May 1st, Germany will be short by “thousands of police,” he said.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:32 April 15, 2010 by deutschamer
The extreme left has always been more violent than the extreme right. For example, Stalin killed many more than Hitler. (I'm not defending Hitler) And yet the outrage against right wing violence is always more intense than the outrage against the left wing violence. Why?
17:19 April 15, 2010 by Henckel
Yes, it's interesting how much more violent the Left is. In the USA, every presidential assassin (1865, 1881, 1901, 1963) and attempted presidential assassin (1835, 1912, 1933, 1950, 1975--twice) has been to the left politically.
17:25 April 15, 2010 by William Thirteen
Tell that to Walter Rathenau.
17:36 April 15, 2010 by So36
John Wilkes Booth was supposedly a lefty? Are you insane or being wilfully silly? He was pro-slavery for pete's sake.
18:23 April 15, 2010 by cobalisk
Violence is abhorrent regardless of which 'side' it comes from.

These comments attacking the 'left' make little sense.

Extremists on both sides cause misery and suffering, one group of extremists is not 'better' than the other.

What US assassination attempts have to do with this article is a mystery. Also, keep in mind the US political parties flipped over time so counting events occurring in the 1800's against the left is in fact incorrect.
19:42 April 15, 2010 by Prufrock2010
I was unaware that a "left wing" still exists. I suppose that would include anyone to the left of Dick Cheney.
22:26 April 15, 2010 by ColoSlim
Take Police from quiet little villages and bring them in to the city for May day uh events. If the Police fail it will politicize their campaign to add more to their ranks. Talk about self defeating. What ever happened to "we will work around the clock to ensure public safety yahda yahda...
09:43 April 16, 2010 by OkieinBerlin
This is the stupidest article discussion I've seen yet. I think I'll go eat a big

hamburger, or maybe a fat blutwurst.
16:03 April 16, 2010 by So36
What's to exaggerate? The cops said they expected deaths and hundreds of injuries.
16:53 April 16, 2010 by Talonx
Living in Berlin in the Kreuzberg area, from what I saw, the police instigated most violence last May Day. Fact is, over the years the police have become more brazen and regardless of their 'deescalation' rhetoric they often do the exact opposite. Taunting protesters by standing in formation and tapping body armor with clubs in unison whilst advancing on the crowd doesn't really seem like 'deescalation' to me. Add to that the gasing of all of Kreuzberg regardless of problems occuring only on one small part of a street, do they expect people will be more or less angry at them the next year? Regardless, If they say they are expecting deaths, you can bet they are the ones willing to push it to that level.
17:00 April 16, 2010 by dbert4
@So36- No, the LOCAL stated that during their usual poor attempts to translate the Germany news.

The actual interview with the "Vorsitzende der Gewerkschaft der Polizei", Herr Konrad Freiberg,is here,

00:53 April 18, 2010 by wmm208
Talonx: Thats why you live in a "Polizei stadt". Eins, zwei, polizei...

The wonderful "youth" of Germany should find some nice German made cars to burn during the summer of uprising...
12:20 April 18, 2010 by Talonx
It's no more a police state than exists anywhere else in the world, except perhaps what they have going on in the Middle East (including Israel), China, Iran, NK, etc..
14:36 April 18, 2010 by Beynch
The Police are correct in worrying about May Day violence from the Left. The violence will be almost exclusively choreografed by marxists, anarchists and assorted socialist vermin, with no interest in a better German society. Most of this extreme, useless, leftist trash don't want to do anything meaningful anyway, other than to cause havoc and disturbances and scrawl graffiti. They don't want to work or contribute at all. Their only objective is to live off the fat of others, and suck the the blood from decent tax payers, while throwing rocks and singing "pacifist" songs. Let's hope the Police are prepared with teargas, batons and ammunition. Crush the left!
18:54 April 18, 2010 by Talonx
@ Beynch

Don't worry, just like last year the riot police will come out in force and gas all of Kreuzberg in order to hold down one street, harass old ladies and push around uninvolved locals . . . and then next year even more people will come out, that's called positive feedback. The police need to grow a brain.
23:09 April 21, 2010 by wmm208
Perhaps the leftists are writing a Manifesto on how to make German life better with quality and social rights for the German people and there will be no violence. The German people would follow this manifesto and the long term outlook would be better. But who will lead this new leftist social party?
15:22 April 23, 2010 by RobCon
Thanks to The Local for using the term left-wing to describe these protesters who have the reputation for violence on May Day.

The media often airbrushes the political motivations of these extreme activists.
03:29 April 24, 2010 by optomlinson

The extreme left has always been more violent than the extreme right. For example, Stalin killed many more than Hitler. --- uh deutschamer ... Stalin --United Soviet SOCIALIST Repuplic ... Hitler -- NAZI-- National SOCIALIST German Worker's Party -- They were both leftists.

Do not simply repeat what you have heard. Be circumspect and think through that with you have been indoctrinated. On the extreme right would be anarchy. The far left is fewer in authority with extreme oppression of their subjects. The extreme right is the terror of every man for himself. The best place to be is a Constitutional

republic, which we are rapidly losing here in the US.
09:59 April 25, 2010 by Talonx
@ optomlinson

The Peoples REPUBLIC of China and the United Soviet Socialist REPUBLIC, the REPUBLICan party!!!! OMG!!!!

Your political philosophy is divorced from both reality and any discussion had by scholars and historians on the topic of modality. To claim that the right = anarchy is absurd and ignorant of all political thought expounded by anarchists. Maybe instead of watching Becksters chalkboard you should read a proper book or two, written by someone who has devoted their entire life to the study of history and political philosophy on the subjects you are struggeling to address.
03:43 April 26, 2010 by wetdawg~
The Southern Democrats were leftists, including JWB. Lincoln was a Republican, hence on the "right".

Hitler was a "National" Socialist and on the left. Stalin, too was a "Comunist" Socialist and likewise on the left. Alikes clash. The American right has picked up the banner of National Socialism, so everyone assumes Hilter was a "rightest". Wrong!
09:38 April 26, 2010 by Talonx
@ Wetdawg

Leftists are generally progressives, rightests are generally conservatives. What these are for any particular movement has to do with the background history such a movement is splayed against.

Hitler was a rightest/conservative concerned with preserving monarchical forms of authority (they way in which govt. interacts with the individual), 'traditional' family relations, and German purity. The term 'National Socialism' was come up with in 1920 in order to try and bring people in from the left, it was a corporate rebranding, Drexler (leader at that time) imagined an apolitical DAP. It didn't work, however the name stuck because Drexler liked imagining things and one year later when Hitler took charge they had gained renown with the NSDAP name specifically. During this time period and even today; the term 'national socialist' is as perplexing as the term 'anarcho-capitalist', the are both really disguise monikers, one for fascism the other for libertarianism.

I could go into more detail but maybe you should just read the definitive 'The Nazi Dictatorship' by Ian Kershaw as an intro to this exact topic.
12:50 April 26, 2010 by wetdawg~

I agree that the left was invited in as the party was really two parties, Freecorps "Nationalists" & Leftist "Socialists", with Hilter being the ampersand, however, I think Hitler began as a "reformer", such as liberals do, but died a "Nihilist", after losing sight of the mission, not a Facist.
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