May Day

May Day in Kreuzberg.  

The 1st of May has a strange significance for Berlin.  Traditionally a day to celebrate the humble worker, for the last few years it has been a day where anarchists and neo-Nazis take to the streets, often with violent clashes with the police.  The burning of cars and bloody fighting between police and protesters  is not unusual.  In an effort to try to reduce violent clashes the police and government have given over two blocks of Kreuzberg to the people on May 1st.  

In theory, anything goes.  We wandered down in the mid-afternoon and it was actually very calm and resembled every other street festival I've been to.  Although with one exception - almost all of the food being sold seemed to be made by people who lived in the apartments above the street.  Most tenants had simply set up a table on the street and were selling homemade Koftas, Kebab, Kuche (cake) and, of course, beer for 1-2 euro.  There didn't really seem to be much threat of violence either, although much later on Saturday night there were helicopters and the constant wail of police sirens so it, perhaps, got nastier after dark.  Another layer to this strange and eclectic city I'm living in.

Happy May Day!  

1 comment:

April said...

Happy May Day to you, too!