May 1st: “Political (Holi)day” or “(political) Holiday”?

OK, we were some four to six thousand and they were maybe a hundred, and our noisy and chants of disgust filled the streets much more than their heroic songs could ever do. But: They marched. The Nazi demonstration took place in a suburb of Berlin, protected by german police. The sad thing is that in other places big masses of people crowding in the streets (also referred to as “blockading”) could prevent such events.

With the sad impression in mind that we had been many, but yet to few, I went home after their march was over. To get home, I had to pass Kreuzberg – Berlin’s vibrant and colourful district with a long history of very different people living together; resistance, party, squatting, riots and annual May 1st events. The “MyFest” that I witnessed when trying to cycle home blew my mind: What (still paranoid from the events just lying behind me) I first thought was tear gas turned out to be a gigantic cloud of smoke from hundreds of barbeque stands on Mariannenplatz square. Tens of thousands of people concentrated under it: Eating, drinking, having fun in the (smoke-cloud-reduced) sun. The same situation in the narrower Mariannenstrasse: I almost couldn’t move. The whole way that I usually cicle in 5 minutes across Oranienstrasse and Kottbusser Tor took me about half an hour walking in a gigantic flood of human bodys who seemed to enjoy the atmosphere that just made me incredibly sad: Had all these people been there three to four hours earlier, just two districs further down, a Nazi March would have been technically impossible.

So that’s the holy leftist holiday then in Berlin’s traditional leftist district with ridiculously “symbolical” May 1st “resistance” and events: Beer, Music, roasted sausages and some broken windows. Seems as if even in Berlin-Kreuzberg not much is left of this historical political holiday, if it is not possible to mobilise people 20 minutes further away at 9 o’clock in the morning for some really political direct action. It is twice sad that on the day of traditional left values, right radicals could march through the streets of a capital again where they have already ruled some decades ago and thereby killed dozens of millions.

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