• Germany's news in English

High-tech water cannon ready for Berlin May Day

The Local · 30 Apr 2012, 14:34

Published: 30 Apr 2012 14:34 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Tuesday is the 25th anniversary of the first May Day troubles in the city, when police used tear gas on rioters who burned out shops and turned over at least one police van. May 1 is traditionally a day for political marches - internationally it is a day for demonstrations of solidarity for workers, and has often been used by the far Right for counter marches.

Since 1987 Berlin riots have become an annual event, with many people coming into the city centre to fight the police. Over the last few years, Walpurgis night on April 30 has morphed into a "warm up" for May Day, with clashes between demonstrators, party-goers and police.

See pictures of the police's new May Day toy here

Police said that 3,000 officers would be on duty on the night of April 30, when hundreds are expected to take part in an "anti-capitalist Walpurgis Night" in the northern district of Wedding.

Some 15,000 demonstrators are expected on Tuesday evening, with up to 7,000 police officers on duty throughout the city. Police said their officers would show restraint, but that troublemakers would be targeted.

New protest routes have been planned to go past the German finance ministry and other major buildings.

Despite the talk of restraint, the police force is prepared to introduce potential May Day rioters to their new "little friend" – the state-of-the-art water cannon truck "WaWe 10".

The four-metre-high colossus is armed with three cannon on the front and sides, which shoot water to a distance of 60 metres. Anyone who gets in the way can expect serious bruises and even broken ribs.

It also has other settings, including the "water-wall", designed to simply soak people who get too near, without injuring them.

The WaWe 10, with its 10,000-litre water tank and €1-million price tag, has only been part of the Berlin police force since October 2011.

Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit has called for calm ahead of the traditionally tense day, while the city's interior minister Frank Henkel has expressed confidence in the police.

Story continues below…

"The police have acquired a lot of experience of large-scale situations in the last few years," he told Die Welt newspaper. "I have complete trust in the experienced police commanders."

The far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) has also planned three demonstrations in the eastern part of the city on May 1, increasing the possibility of violence.

The Local/DPA/bk

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

16:46 April 30, 2012 by reallybigdog
And when its not tactically in use it will make one hell of a street cleaner!
19:45 April 30, 2012 by Sayer
Bring shampoo!
02:11 May 1, 2012 by MeinSchwanz
Well, at least they will put it to good use fighting off the Libtards.

IN the US we have the opposite problem, Libtards buy the vehicles but never use them

03:44 May 1, 2012 by jeff10renatus
The water cannon only will encourage more protesters to demonstrate on May 1st, b/c now the State will supply to them the water for their annual bath, at no cost to the demonstrators. Perhaps a mud-cannon might be more effective in discouraging protesters from participating in the May 1st mayhem.
09:24 May 1, 2012 by Englishted
Why not put dye in the water so you can spot the people later .
10:47 May 1, 2012 by siddal
Protests may have more genuine grounds this year perhaps more than any other?
18:42 May 1, 2012 by jeff10renatus
The protesters should be protesting against crony capitalism and excessive gov't involvement in the economy. If they want to improve their economic lot, they shold protest in favor of free enterprise with minimal gov't interference and stronger property laws to protect the people against the biggest thief of property and the greatest threat to freedom - too much gov't and its central banks and too many laws governing all aspects of people's lives.
Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd