Mayday 2017 in Paris

For anyone that has been watching the political situation in France during the last year and especially the last week, as the first round of the presidential elections was held, it was very clear that this May 1st in Paris would be a remarkable day. The big workers unions and antifascists mobilized for a joint demonstration from Place de la Republique over Place de la Bastille to Place de la Nation. Police deployed 2000 officers, expecting up to 40.000 participants at the demonstration. Also the danger of a terror attack was discussed by officials in advance. The maybe historic Mayday demonstration in 2017 quickly turned violent and heavy riots continued during the whole march.

Festivities at Place de la Republique
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Statue on Place de la Republique equipped with a red flag and spray-painted next to it: ‘Nique le FN’ – Fuck the FN

At noon Place de la Republique – a traditional place to gather for protest in a rather touristic area – was already crowded with people. Different music was playing. Kurdisch activists showing support with the workers’ party of Kurdistan, were therefore waving PKK flags and dancing. A variety of grilled food was sold. A banner praising Marxism and Leninism was placed in the middle of the square. Red flags with hammer and sickle were attached to statues overlooking the place. People with flags, signs and banners against LePen – but as well against Macron – were pouring onto the square. Lots of people were getting ready for the rally through the city.

Violent Mayday demonstration
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Police was attacked with Molotov-Cocktails several times.

Workers’ unions like the CGT and other had organized the event. Participating with trucks and balloons they were setting everything in place. Several thousand people got together and formed a black block in the first part of the big demo. Just after a few meter the first escalation started. Riot police was getting close and protestors started throwing stones, bottles and pyrotechnics. This was answered by police very quickly with tear-gas. The situation escalated with police in between antifascist protestors leading to several riots going on at the same time. As there were also Molotov cocktails thrown at police forces on site those answered with rubber bullets. The fighting continued the whole demonstration. Plenty demonstrators were wounded. There are reports on Twitter about broken lenses of colleagues and violence against those. Rubber bullets were also fired at journalists. 

After all the escalation does not come by surprise. Exactly in between the two election rounds with ‚the problem and it’s cause‘ in the second round peoples anger could clearly be felt. This especially displayed when the black block was marching in the beginning, lighting smoke grenades, and – rather old – people standing at the side of the street were shouting: ‚Revolution, revolution, revolution…‘. France, representing Europe, seems to be at a historic turning point or point of no return.

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Violence Erupts at AfD Election Party after Spontanous Antifa Demonstration

Spontaneously antifa activists gathered to demonstrate against an election party of the AfD held due to elections in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. As the demonstration approached the restaurant “Portugal” in the disctrict of “Berg am Laim” in Munich where AfD gathered, known activists such as Chris Ares – a far-right rapper, Lukas Bals – already spotted with the leader of the Bavarian Afd trying to disturb a colleagues talk, Rick W. and other activists tried to stop the rally. Violence erupted as the demonstration approached. Chris Ares called out activists for fighting with him in the middle of the street. Cussing, spitting and hitting the group violently attacked the demonstration. Rick W. hit a journalist’s head as the demonstrators had already left the site. Lukas Bals spit at a journalists leaving as the situation got dangerous. Chris Ares jumped into a journalists head, and tried to kick a photographer of 24mmjournalism. Photojournalist Anne Wild documented the attacks by Chris Ares:

Picture gallery

By now [Tuesday, September 6] several newspapers have reported the incident. Chris Ares has announced to sew 24mmjournalism for publishing this pictures and taken down his Facebook page stating that he is a “Person Of Public Interest”. His private Facebook profile has been taken on- and offline several times. Only minutes after the first publication of this article Ares posted on his profile:

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Screenshot “Chris Ares” private profile – September 6, 8:53 PM

This post has been edited later on more than once. By now it is deleted, as newspapers and -pages have reported about the reaction.

Süddeutsche Zeitunghttp://www.sueddeutsche.de/muenchen/friedenstrasse-bei-afd-wahlparty-rechtsextreme-greifen-fotografen-an-1.3149276
Die Welthttps://beta.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article157962437/Pruegelei-bei-AfD-Wahlparty-in-Muenchen.html?wtrid=crossdevice.welt.desktop.vwo.article-spliturl&betaredirect=true#article-comments
Abenzeitunghttp://www.abendzeitung-muenchen.de/inhalt.gegner-demonstrierten-vor-wahllokal-afd-wahlparty-endet-in-schlaegerei.e6b9a72a-aceb-4aec-b06f-d2764a7e0828.html
TZhttp://www.tz.de/muenchen/stadt/berg-am-laim-ort43346/muenchen-karate-angriff-afd-wahlparty-ich-hatte-wirklich-angst-6721639.html
Münchner Merkurhttp://www.merkur.de/lokales/muenchen/ost/muenchen-karate-angriff-afd-wahlparty-ich-hatte-wirklich-angst-6721639.html
neues deutschlandhttps://www.neues-deutschland.de/artikel/1024425.antifa-demo-von-afd-anhaengern-attackiert.html
Die Zeit Online – Störungsmelderhttp://blog.zeit.de/stoerungsmelder/2016/09/05/gewaltausbruch-bei-afd-wahlparty-in-muenchen_22309
Reflektierter Bengelhttp://reflektierter-bengel.de/tritte-und-schlaege-bei-afd-wahlparty-in-muenchen/
Huffington Posthttp://www.huffingtonpost.de/2016/09/06/afd-wahlparty-muenchen_n_11866782.html?utm_hp_ref=germany

AFD denies connections in Newspaper – Thugs participate in Election Party

By Tuesday September 6, an AfD spokesman has given an interview to local newspaper Abendzeitung about the thugs and the escalation in front of the restaurant. In the statement Wilfried Biedermann denies that the AfD has any connection to the persons that started beating up antifascists in front of the restaurant. Also Biedermann states that every person participating and entering the restaurant ‘Portugal’ was controlled and their ID was checked. The inside of the restaurant can be seen in a video uploaded to the party’s own YouTube-Channel AfD Television. In the video Lukas Bals, Chris Ares and another thug can be spotted:

Videoquotes from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj4fowh2yNMhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Buf22XGGhrU

To prevent further vain attempts of the party to deny a connection and the thugs participation after the beatings in front of the restaurant: The videos where taken as there is already predictions about the quote AfD took in the election polls. As usually in Germany the first predictions where published a 6PM on the evening of the election. This is at least twenty minutes after the beating took place. This once more proves that the thugs participated in the election party.