The first of May in Neukölln – no holiday, but day of action!

Neukölln, Hartz IV and problem area?

Exploitation in the job, having a family to feed, rents that are too high, difficulties with the language, schools too difficult – so is the reality of many people in Neukölln. Neukölln is considered to be a problem area in Berlin, it is called dangerous, politicians say “foreigners do not want to integrate there”, the standard of living is low and the local politics fails.

A lot of this is true. Neukölln is one of the poorest districts of Berlin many Neuköllnner have several jobs or work in the low wage sector. The day-care centers are crowded and the money is often not enough to provide the family with proper care. Social and cultural work is constantly being shortened and the young people are hanging out on the street which often ends with a police operation. Many families have been living in Neuköllns neighborhoods for decades but living here is also becoming more and more expensive. The plans for the transformation of Neukölln into a “hip” district with a wealthy residents’ clientele (look at the signs, the rehabilitation of several houses in the otherwise abandoned Ringbahnstraße, and what opens up from the former Videothek opposite the Neukölln Tor? Of course – a biomarket!). This means: rising rents and working class people who have to leave the hood.

We have become accustomed to seeing such things as normal, and when the many overtime, the bad pay, the double burden in the job and in the household and the lack of perspectives make up for us – then it is difficult, but not to change. Or you just have to do a lot of extra effort, work hard, send the children to study, so that “it has still brought something”. What is often overlooked is that it is no coincidence. Most of us work for a large or a small, a private or a government company. And: The first and most important goal of a company is to increase profits. The more an employer saves on the labor force, the higher his profit. And if the labor force just gets so much that it is satisfied enough not to strike or otherwise to rebel against the employer, then everyone is satisfied, the company and society works and the money flows into the pockets of the bosses.

The true face of their democracy…

What we see as normal today and what is sold to us as “achievements of democracy” – for examplesocial insurance, the 8-hour day, disability benefits, etc. – was won by the workers worldwide with great courage and great suffering. But you just don’t learn anything about it in history lessons and you don’t see it in the media. Thus the 1st of May has its history written by our predecessors, the workers at the end of the 19th century, for us. At that time hundreds of thousands of workers in Chicago struggled to reduce the usual 12-hour day to 8 hours a day. The police tried to forcibly dissolve the assemblies of the strikers and began to shoot into the crowd. Many people were shot some were arrested and sentenced to death. The international workers’ movement picked up the date of these events and chose it as the international day of labour the working class.

Because of its multicultural composition its eventful history and its imprint as a “workers’ district” Neukölln has always had this fighting spirit that we want to remember today. In times of Nazi terror many resistance fighters lived in the streets and houses that we inhabit today. Most of them were Communists and were persecuted hardly – very simple workers teachers athletes and students who fought for a better future and often gave their lives for the generations to come. At the Blutmai in 1929 the police shot randomly into the crowd on a May Day demonstration and attacked apartment houses with machine guns. The government called out a state of emergency. But in Neukölln red flags were hung from countless windows – a sign of resistance strength and hope against all oppression!

You can not live like a piece of cattle forever!

Do not believe the lies that are spread by the BILD, the BZ, and other media, that lies that politicians tell you every day. Do not accept the destruction of your neighborhoods, don’t let them draw the money out of your pocket, and enriching themselves with what our hands create. Provide resistance! The 1st of May is more than just a holiday in the week. He is still the day of the demonstration of the strength of all who suffer under capitalism. Here in Germany and all around the world.

Think, study, have the courage to fight and have the courage to win!

Rebellion is justified!

Jugendwiderstand Berlin


C. Kistler

Also editor of Nouvelle Turquie.