The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

Mayday 1987 Remembered

Posted by rantingkraut on April 30, 2007

20 years ago traditional May Day celebrations in Berlin degenerated into one of the city’s worst riots after World War II. This event started a tradition of ritualised May Day riots lasting to the present day. As part of the original ‘celebrations‘ 20 years ago, one major supermarket was looted and burned to the ground. The German left wing daily ‘taz’ now reports that the fire in that supermarket was unfairly blamed on militant left-wingers, the real culprit was a pyromaniac with no political background.

Just how blameless the left-wing militants (the autonomen) really were is something anyone can judge from the taz’ interview with said pyromaniac:

The ‘black block’ started rioting. The police retreated, They were throwing stones, torching cars and a supermarket was being looted. At some point they started to throw Molotov Cocktails into the supermarket. I just thought: that’s not going to work. There will be hardly any damage. Let me show them how to do it properly …” (Source)

Then, towards the end of the interview:

taz: Can you say something about the 1 May 1987 as this has been celebrated as a popular uprising by parts of the left?

loony: From what I have seen, people just wanted to loot shops and chase cops. They even attacked small shops. In the end, the looters started stealing from one another.

Whatever myths are being busted now, this tradition is unlikely to die soon. If you are in Berlin this Tuesday be careful where you park your car…

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