Mayday in Wuppertal, Germany: Autonomous Demo & Schusterplat-Streetparty Kettled After Police Violence

Kettle at Tippen-Tappen-Tönchen (Gertrudenstrasse)

Deutsch – This year the 31th edition of the yearly autonomous May Day demonstration took place in Wuppertal, Germany. At the end of the demonstration the front group of the demo was kettled, a few people were detained and some were subject of police violence. The streetparty at Schusterplatz was also kettled for a while.


About 300 people gathered at the Platz der Republik. There were some speeches, one of them about the European border regime which already took tens of thousands of human lives.


The demo started with half a round around Platz der Republik. A small police chain at Schleswiger street could not stop the demonstration. The demo continued at the Trasse bicycle route where police vans were not able to follow the demonstration. The demo left the Trasse at Mirker Bahnhof. At the AZ (autonomous center) there was a short stop with speeches about the „AZ bleibt an der Gathe“ (autonomous center stays at Gathe) campaign and repression against activists at Hambacher Forst.


After that the demo continued with a zick-zack route through the northern part of the city. At Hoch Street the cops were confused as the demo turned backwards and went into Höchsten Street. It seemed that the cops expected the demo to end at Schusterplatz but the demonstration continued.


At Tippen-Tappen-Tönchen (Gertruden Street) one of the cops pepper-sprayed without reason into the demo. The cops stopped the demo and about 70 people at the front of the demo were kettled. Some people were brutally frisked and checked by cops. As some people wanted to help a few injured protesters, the cops violently came into the kettle. The cops repeated that action several times. Again and again cops threatened onlooker with remarks like: „I kick away your dog when you don't move a few steps backwards.“


At the same time the complete streetparty at Schusterplatz was also kettled. Over several periods of time people were not allowed to leave Schusterplatz. At Schneider Street there was one detention during the Schusterplatz kettle. The Ölberg district was occupied by an army of cops. At Marien Street a small group of youths, which neither took part at the Schusterplatz streetparty, nor marched with the demo, was fixed. Cops also checked their id's. This action by the cops looked like a typical racial profiling operation, youths that looked German were not harassed by the cops in this situation at Marien Street. At Lutherstift cops sended away a woman who lives in this home for the elderly. By sending her away cops denied her right to go home!


Some cops were already highly motivated before the heated argument at Gertruden Street. According to eyewitnesses one of the cops was making chewing moves with his jaw all the time and had big wide-open pupils; a typical sign of cocaine consumption. The eyewitnesses added that this cop said to a colleague: „There is more possible here. I am really up for it.“


During this time the streetparty at Schusterplatz was halted to provide the attendants with information, which was good and important. That the Ölberg district didn't explode on this years May Day equates a miracle. The cops didn't only do everything they could to let things escalate because of the kettle and the unnecessary violence, also against neighbours and people who were just passing by. The whole operation was a provocative demonstration of power. This provocation by cops at the Ölberg district can and may not be left unanswered.


Some autonomous activists


Report (above) in German:


Report by local newspaper Wuppertaler Rundschau (German):