Police internals for May 1: The authorities expect violence in Berlin

Police internals for May 1st
:Here, the authorities expect violence in Berlin


Left-wing extremists on the roof of an occupied house.



Berlin –

5500 police officers from all over Germany are supposed to protect Berlin from rioting and violence on Wednesday. Officially, nobody knows for sure which of the 15 announced events will actually take place and how many people actually appear in the rallies and demos.

And although the May riots in Berlin stayed out and civil war-like conditions are almost excluded from the authorities as in the G20 summit in Hamburg, the operational management still expects violence. This is clear from police internal application documents that are available to the Berliner Zeitung.

When protest turns into violence

It says that, in principle, all task forces should be “open-minded, friendly and communication-oriented”. This applies “especially for conflicting situations”. In addition, in “all non-violent forms of protest,” which include sitting blocks, “the police action to be marked by marked restraint” to be. However, as soon as protest turns into violence, according to the guideline, the task forces are instructed to “act in a targeted, offensive, consistent and verifiable manner under the best possible protection of bystanders”.

At the following rallies, according to the internal mission documents, the police assume that they will not be completely peaceful.

May 1st in Grunewald

May Day demonstration Berlin

In Berlin-Grunewald, as last year (photo), a demonstration for 1 May is registered.


imago / Olaf Selchow

Here is the police from 12 to 19 clock in use. Last year, during the protest march through the residential area in Grunwald, numerous property damage to houses and vehicles occurred. This year, the police will accompany the demo “personell stronger”, said a police spokesman. “Should criminal offenses be committed under the guise of the demonstration”, they said, one intervened, it was said that in 2018, around 3000 people came instead of 200. For this year, the police are internally from “ca. 500 “participants.

AfD citizen party in Pankow


Around 500 people demonstrated in 2018 in Pankow against the citizens’ party of the Berlin AfD.



Here the police will be on duty all day from 8 to 22 o’clock, since two counter-rallies are registered. In the previous year, around 260 protesters protested against the Brgerfest with about 120 participants. According to the police, some “disturbing people” had tried to get to the festival, others wanted to prevent an AFD member from leaving. “Similar scenarios are to be expected this year,” according to the agency’s own assessment. In fact, leftist groups have already announced that they will “not accept that rights have a place for their positions in public space.” For this it is “necessary to put the right ones in their place and to give them an unpleasant party”.

Revolutionary May 1st demonstration in Friedrichshain

Policemen and demonstrators at a demonstration on May 1, 2015.

Policemen and protesters face each other on May 1, 2015.


imago / Christian Mang

For the first time, the traditional protest procession of left-wing extremist and autonomous groups is taking place through Friedrichshain, as in the past decades by Kreuzberg. In the eyes of the left-wing scene, “a rebirth (May 1) is a rebellious date.” One would “not be intimidated by the police presence”. The squatters of the Liebigstrae 34, which are said to be evicted, also threatened: “This day can be a test what the Senate and Cops (…) expect, if they dare to clean us, we are not only the Liebig34, we are many and damn angry. “

In fact, the police are internally expecting a “take action against assembly participants with reactions such as bottle throws, insults, assault, resistance and release prisoners”. In addition, “with high probability” with “bottle and stone throwing on police forces and emergency vehicles” can be counted. The “use of laser pointers and LED headlamps against police forces is in the range of the probable,” it continues.

Nevertheless, a “completely violent course or an escalation of violence with sufficient police presence and the retention of proven police strategies are unlikely”.

Prepared for all scenarios

Regardless of the individual conflict hotspots, the police also assume that there will be “decentralized and direct actions” by individual small groups on the night of Thursday – such as paint and stone attacks on job centers and banks and the lighting of vehicles.

Overall, however, hope for a “peaceful, but also political May 1,” Interior Senator Andreas Geisel (SPD) had said in advance. Although one is prepared for “all possible scenarios, the basic strategy of the police is as in previous years: communication with all who are willing to communicate.” And consistent and rapid action against all violent offenders. (Tc)