Marx + Engels Founders of Modern Socialism
Happy May Day 2012 !
‘May Day’ is a world-wide celebration of the social and economic achievements and progress of the workers and Labour movement – it is also refered to as ‘International Workers’ Day’, or ‘Labour Day’ and is the primary Communist and Socialist celebration now encompassing all manner of left or anti-capitalist groupings.
Many people also use May Day as a day for political protest, such as today in Athens Greece where demonstrations and rallies have been called by Greek unions as a national day of protest. Also in Nepal today May 1st was used to protest against the sitting government and Maoist Communists have staged a large rally to urge the government to step down.
Marches are traditional in Germany on the first of May, centered usually in the Northern cities of Hamburg and Berlin – this because of their historical bond to the labour movement and also having the largest left-wing electoral support in the country.
The history for choosing just this day can be found in ‘the Haymarket affair’ which took place after a 3-day general strike in 1886 Chicago
The strike involved common labourers – mostly newly arrived immigrants- and followed an incident in which police killed 4 strikers workers and the subsequent rally the following day at ‘Haymarket Square’.
When the thus far peaceful rally was coming to an end of the rally, aggressive police moved in – then an unknown person threw a bomb into the crowd of police.
The bomb and resulting police riot left at least a dozen people dead, including seven policemen.
In the sensational show trial which followed it became clear that the police were on the side of the company and 8 defendants were openly tried for their political beliefs and had nothing to do with any involvement in the bombing.
This trial led to the eventual public hanging of 4 anarchists and consequently ‘the Haymarket incident’ was a source of outrage from people around the world.
The ‘Second Socialist International’ at this time took up the idea to use May 1st as a commemoration for the workers martyred by the state in the 1886 Haymarket affair.
Protests between police and protesters have become an institution in the Berlin district of Kreuzberg during the last decade with anarchists, ‘assorted opportunists’ and other idiotic and childish louts who seem to have nothing more productive to do– and this year including the moronic far-right.
It is also in the Kreuzberg area where the mindless burning of so-called ‘cars of the wealthy’ have taken place – there is very little politics and very little ‘May Day’ left in what often turns into street fights between lumpen elements and police who exchange rocks, bottles and tear gas.
This is no way to celebrate May Day and has nothing to do with furthering the interests of working people in Germany.
In Berlin -which is traditonally known as ‘Red Berlin’ because of its long Communist and Socialist past history - there are marches to and wreath laying ceremonies at the memorials for the leaders of the German Anti-Fascists and specifically for Ernst Thaelmann, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg.
Happy May Day 2012 !
May Day was celebrated all over the world – here are some pictures from many International Capitals including Berlin
For a report on this years preparations in Berlin Kreuzberg – http://www.spiegel.de/video/video-1193436.html and http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erster_Mai_in_Kreuzberg
For reports on other May Day rallies in Germany – http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15042748,00.html
Read about the moving of the above statue in Berlin Mitte – http://wpml.ota-berlin.de/blog/09/07/berlin-marx-and-engels-for-a-short-period-of-time-move-ever-so-slightly-to-the-right-one-step-back-two-steps-forward/
The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of OTA-Berlin but of the contributor – in this case Mr Emil Hoogensteyn. Blog articles and subsequent comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of OTA-Berlin but only of the comment writer. We repeat last years blog article celebrating May Day which gave a historical look at the holiday and its significance for all progressive peoples of the world. We also include below that some links to both ‘Spiegel’ for events specifically in Germany and the ‘International Business Times ’ for reports and photo’s from around the globe.
We wish all workers of the world a happy 2012 May Day!
From ‘Red’ Berlin – Happy May Day – 2012 ! by OTA-Berlin Constituency Blog Contributor Mr Emil Hoogensteyn from OTA Berlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany License. If you use this article or parts of it, please refer to http://www.ota-berlin.de.