May Day global anticapitalism (review)

Johannes Schneider Johannes.Schneider at
Wed May 2 07:16:59 MDT 2001

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky asked:

> Are we facing a hard time in Germany, Johannes?

I would say the balance sheet is mixed.

On the negative side there is certainly the increased strength of the
fascist NPD. A decade ago or so they were only able to hold one central
demonstration. This year they had several demonstrations with several
hundred participants each. I am sure the planned ban helps them to mobilize
their periphery.

But still there is massive resistance against the NPD, at least in the West.
In Frankfurt several thousand anti-fascists stopped the few hundred Nazis,
the same in Mannheim. In Augsburg the ratio was not so favourable: almost
evenly several hundred persons on both sides. Catastrophal was the ratio in
Dresden (which is in the East) seventy anti-fascists confronting ten times
that much Nazis.

Clashes in Berlin on May Day are a usual thing since 1987. As long as the
federal government was in Bonn it was more or less tolerated, but now the
move of the government has almost finished and police is looking for a way
to smash the radical (mostly anarchist) Berlin milieu. The ban of the
left-wing demonstration and the acceptance of the Nazi demonstration was a
clear an intended provocation, but I think it backfired: the Left stood up
more or less unified (up into the ranks of Greens and PDS) against the ban
and the 9000 police were not able to smash the (illegal) demonstration.
Today a heated discussion has started in bourgeois circles whether the ban
was opportune.

The ban was initiated by the Christian Democrat Senator of the Interior
Werthebach. Since it is pre-election time in Berlin he tried to win support
among the right fringe with his no-tolerance posture against 'the Left'.

A more general observation: May Day is traditionally an opportunity to meet
comrades you did not see for a longer time and discuss in a relaxed
atmosphere. What I found especially encouraging there is an influx of a lot
of young people into all kind of anti-globalisation activities. Mobilisation
for the big demonstration in Genova in July seems to be quite good. Before
political campaigns were reduced to the narrow issues of the several
nation-states, now it is a wider campaign with mobilisation from the UK to

To sum it up the temperature is heating up slowly and their is up for a new
generation of militants.


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