Get Your Popcorn Ready

It’s May Day in Berlin! And Berliners are big on tradition.

May

Tuesday I watched the riot . . .
Seen the cops out on the street
Watched ’em throwin’ rocks and stuff
And chokin’ in the heat
Listened to reports
About the whisky passin’ ’round
Seen the smoke and fire
And the market burnin’ down
Watched while everybody
On his street would take a turn
To stomp and smash and bash and crash
And slash and bust and burn

Berliner Polizei rechnet mit heftigen Krawallen – 5300 Beamte im Einsatz

German Of The Day: Migrationshintergrund

That means migrant background.

Police

And that is what the groups of thirty to fifty young people (a more strongly coded code word) had in common as it came to violent clashes with the police at a Volksfest in the little German town of Schorndorf. Other visitors at the Volksfest, these specifically of Iraqi and Afghan background, were arrested in connection with three cases of sexual assault.

Personally, I’m convinced that the victims provoked these attacks again. There’s a popular German saying here: Other countries, other customs. Germans are just a little slow when it comes to adopting these other customs, that’s all.

Unstrittig ist, dass es am Freitag und Samstag insgesamt drei sexuelle Belästigungen gab und dass in diesen Fällen gegen Iraker und Afghanen ermittelt wird.“

 

German Left-Wing Hooligans Respect The Police, Too

Police say more than 120 officers were injured and 86 demonstrators were detained during leftist riots in the German capital which police call “the most aggressive and violent protests in the last five years.”

Berlin

About 3,500 protesters participated in the rallies, which started Saturday evening and lasted until early Sunday. Activists had called for the demonstration to protest against police operations at buildings taken over the squatters in the eastern part of the city last month.

123 Polizisten wurden bei den schweren Krawallen verletzt. Die Polizei sprach von der aggressivsten und gewalttätigsten Demonstration seit Jahren in der Hauptstadt.

German Of The Day: Krawalltourismus

That means “violent demonstration tourism,” more or less. And May Day (or International Workers’ Day) is booked out completely for this every year in Berlin.

May

These international workers are off that day, you see. And it’s a bewitching event that these folks just can’t afford to miss. You know, tradition and all that?

Weder mystisch noch romantisch. Für die Berliner Polizei steht run um die Maifeiertage viel Arbeit an.

Only One-Third?

Only about one third of German students are interested in current events and politics these days.

German far-right groups and hooligans sure seem pretty interested, though.

German authorities were considering measures to limit the right to demonstrate, after dozens of policemen were injured as a protest by far-right groups purportedly aimed against Islamic extremism turned violent.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s interior minister said freedom of assembly was misused by neo-Nazi groups and members of Germany’s football hooligan scene who held a rally in Cologne, western Germany, on Sunday 26 October.

“This was no political demonstration, but a platform for violence.”

 

Are We Having A Middle East Policy Yet?

Some German commentators argue that the violence shows that Obama’s Middle East policies have failed.

“US President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy is in ruins. Like no president before him, he tried to win over the Arab world. After some initial hesitation, he came out clearly on the side of the democratic revolutions. … In this context, he must accept the fact that he has snubbed old close allies such as Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Egyptian military. And now parts of the freed societies are turning against the country which helped bring them into being. Anti-Americanism in the Arab world has even increased to levels greater than in the Bush era. It’s a bitter outcome for Obama.”

“Obama was naive to believe that one only needed to adopt a new tone and show more respect in order to dispel deep-seated reservations about the free world. In practice, the policies of the Obama administration in the region were not as naive as they may have seemed at times, and the Americans have always been much more involved in the Middle East than the passive Europeans. But Washington has provided the image of a distracted superpower in the process of decline to the societies there. This image of weakness is being exploited by Salafists and al-Qaida, who are active in North Africa from Somalia to Mali.”

“One thing is clear: If jihadists believe they can attack American installations and kill an ambassador on the anniversary of Sept. 11, then America’s deterrent power has declined considerably. For a superpower, it is not enough just to want to be loved. You have to scare the bad guys to keep them in check.”

The German Embassy Got Stormed?

Who cares? The KFC got torched.

Good thing that this was a day of prayer. Otherwise the violence would have been much worse.

Die Botschaft hat nach Angaben des Außenministeriums teilweise in Flammen gestanden. Laut Berichten aus Khartum befestigten die Angreifer zudem eine schwarze Flagge mit arabischer Aufschrift am Eingang.

WaWe 10, Where Are You?

Car 54 couldn’t make it. Man oh man. I want to see this puppy in action sooo bad.

It’s the Berlin Police Department’s brand-new water canon monster WaWe (as in Wasserwerfer) 10, specifically designed to stop those pesky May Day riots in a jiffy, without undue harm to the protesters (and hopefully washing them thoroughly in the process, as well).

But as fate would have it, this year’s anniversary festivities look like they’re going to be pretty lame after all. Kids these days. Who knows, though. Maybe something will ignite that smoldering fuse of indignation in an hour or two once the sun starts setting and WaWe 10 will get its chance to roll out into action after all, all magestic and Robocop-like. And wet. Sexy, isn’t she?

Does anybody out there know if there’s a riot-cam thingy I could link to just in case this party ever does get started?

Die für den Nahbereich gedachte “Wasserwand” soll Protestler nur nass machen und zum Gehen bewegen, ohne zu verletzen.

PS: Thanks, andBerlin! Maybe this link will do the trick.

Big 25th Anniversary Celebrations Scheduled For Tomorrow

Damn. It seems just like yesterday that Berlin’s first May Day March Freak Show Riot began. And it ain’t ended yet, 25 long years later. It’s just become more, well, ritualized, profesionalized and – you guessed it – commercialized.

But tradition is tradition. So please remember, all you hotheads out there (despite all the commercialization), just what this day really means, what it’s all about: Violence for violence sake.

YOU are here for a reason, people. So get out there and make me proud.

 „Die Berliner haben dieses Ritual satt.”

“Wann geht es denn endlich los?”

Anarchists these days. Like where’s the action already?

Scores of riot tourists in Berlin and Hamburg are now demanding their money back after violent clashes between anarchist hot heads and the Polizei failed to materialize last night.

“And this is supposed to be unbridled chaos?” asked one disappointed Berlin visitor. “I’ve seen more action at a funeral parlor. We’ve been waiting around here half the night and not a single Benz is burning. Anywhere. Berlin is poor but sexy, huh? Well it’s boring too.”

Sehr zum Unmut vieler Schaulustiger bleibt es dann an diesem Abend im Schanzenviertel weitgehend ruhig. Bei Bier und Cocktails warten sie darauf, dass Autonome sich mit der Polizei anlegen. “Wann geht es denn endlich los”, fragt ein Mädchen in engen Jeans und braunen Lederstiefeln ihren Begleiter im Polohemd. Eine Digitalkamera baumelt an ihrem Handgelenk.