In both cities there had been riots around the "labor day" in the past, but not to the same extent as before.
On the eve of the holiday, a so-called "anti-capitalist walpurgis night" started in the berlin district of wedding with about 2000 participants. The demonstrators opposed social exclusion and rising rents. Around 2400 police officers from several federal states were deployed, and on 1. May itself, the task forces should then be increased to 7000.
Some hooded people set off bengal fireworks, but at first it remained quiet. In the kreuzberg district, banks were barricaded with chipboard, and barriers were in place along the roads. Interior senator frank henkel (CDU) and police president klaus kandt expressed their confidence that the actions will remain largely peaceful. "We are going into the two days with optimism, and also with respect," said henkel. The other demonstrations on thursday are less tense, as the extreme right-wing NPD has canceled a planned march in berlin.
According to police reports, around 1,300 people took part in a demonstration against immigration restrictions in hamburg. During the train ride through the st. Pauli there were minor incidents. Demonstrators threw bollards and fireworks, one policeman used pepper spray. Four demonstrators were treated according to a sanitarian.