PICS: Antifa, Fires, and Foreign Flags at May Day Protests in Germany

Germany
TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images

A mishmash of Antifa banners, foreign flags, and communist and LGBT symbols covered the streets of Berlin, Germany as crowds of leftists turned out for International Workers’ Day, or May Day, on Saturday.

As in Paris, France, the protests would later turn violent, with photographers capturing riot policemen arresting demonstrators, often against a backdrop of licking flames, and dozens of officers reportedly injured.

 

Germany

BERLIN, GERMANY – MAY 01: Demonstrators participate in the annual “Revolutionary May 1” leftist protest march on May Day during the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic on May 1, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. Various groups championing different causes have been taking to the streets throughout the day in the German capital. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

 

Germany

BERLIN, GERMANY – MAY 01: Demonstrators participate in the annual “Revolutionary May 1” leftist protest march on May Day during the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic on May 1, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. Various groups championing different causes have been taking to the streets throughout the day in the German capital. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

 

Germany

BERLIN, GERMANY – MAY 01: Demonstrators participate in the annual “Revolutionary May 1” leftist protest march on May Day during the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic on May 1, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. Various groups championing different causes have been taking to the streets throughout the day in the German capital. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

 

Germany

BERLIN, GERMANY – MAY 01: A demonstrator holds up a sign reading “Abolish Capitalism” during the annual “Revolutionary May 1” leftist protest march on May Day during the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic on May 1, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. Various groups championing different causes have been taking to the streets throughout the day in the German capital. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

 

Signs carried by leftist protesters through the multicultural capital announced a wide-ranging and somewhat conflicting set of demands — sometimes on the same banner, as in the case of one group calling for “BREAD, ROSES, QUEER LIBERATION & FREE PALESTINE”.

(The Palestinian Authority has never introduced specific civil rights protections for LGBT people, male homosexuality remains a criminal offence in the Gaza Strip, and gay Palestinians often flee to Israel to escape persecution.)

Many of the leftists’ messages appeared to be intended for an international audience, calling to “ABOLISH CAPITALISM” and “Open the borders” and regularise the residency of “undocumented migrants” (illegal aliens) in English rather than German, for example.

 

BERLIN, GERMANY – MAY 01: Demonstrators hold up a banner reading “Bread, Roses, Queer Liberation & Free Palestine” as they participate in the annual “Revolutionary May 1” leftist protest march on May Day during the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic on May 1, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. Various groups championing different causes have been taking to the streets throughout the day in the German capital. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

 

BERLIN, GERMANY – MAY 01: Demonstrators participate in the annual “Revolutionary May 1” leftist protest march on May Day during the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic on May 1, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. Various groups championing different causes have been taking to the streets throughout the day in the German capital. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

 

BERLIN, GERMANY – MAY 01: Left-wing demonstrators protest against Querdenken movement as they march against coronavirus lockdown restrictions during May Day protests during the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic on May 1, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. Various groups championing different causes are taking to the streets throughout the day in the German capital. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

 

A banner which reads Racism is a pandemic too hangs from a window of an apartment along the route of the so-called “Revolutionary Mayday” protests in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district on May 1, 2021. (Photo by David GANNON / AFP) (Photo by DAVID GANNON/AFP via Getty Images)

 

As darkness began to fall the demonstrations became more violent, with some leftists lighting fires and attacking law enforcement, leaving around 50 police officers injured.

Berlin police chief Barbara Slowik branded the violence “unacceptable” but insisted that while the “situation did degenerate” it was “quickly brought under control.”

Approximately 250 protesters were arrested, according to reports.

 

BERLIN, GERMANY – MAY 01: Demonstrators hold up flags and a flare as they participate in the annual “Revolutionary May 1” leftist protest march on May Day during the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic on May 1, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. Various groups championing different causes have been taking to the streets throughout the day in the German capital. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

 

Police move in the clear a street after clashes broke out at the so-called “Revolutionary Mayday” demonstration in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district on May 1, 2021. (Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP) (Photo by TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images)

 

BERLIN, GERMANY – MAY 01: Police stand in front of a fire during the annual “Revolutionary May 1” leftist protest march on May Day during the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic on May 1, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. Various groups championing different causes have been taking to the streets throughout the day in the German capital. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

 

Police stand in front of a fire started during the so-called “Revolutionary Mayday” demonstration in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district on May 1, 2021. (Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP) (Photo by TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images)

 

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