Wuppertal Oberbarmen 2004

Oberbarmed 2004

Antifacist March for Die Linke


One day, flatmate David from Gesellenstraße, Wuppertal

told me of an antifascist demonstration

in the Oberbarmen Bahnhof and asked me if I wanted to

go with them to help. David being the biggest hippie of

the group I really felt I couldn’t let him down and

decided to go. He was a member of the then PDS Partei

Demokratische Sozialismus the daughter party of the

Sozialistische Einheitspartei SED that once ruled the

DDR and was thus a member of the antifascist league.


The Aim (Protest Mission)


The aim was to stop the Nazi’s assembling in and

marching out of Oberbarmen station. We met a couple

of the local lefty punks with the mohicans and DDR

tattooed into their right arm. They went onto the

platform where the Nazis were going to arrive to

directly oppose them. David wanted to go onto the

platform with them and risk possible arrest but we

decided to take notice of the police and go onto the

square outside where our registered anti-protest

was officially taking place.


Pushing the Police Cordon


The police were obliged to protect the Nazi’s right to

protest and march through the town because it was a

registered protest and we were only a registered counter

demonstration. Eventually, things got a little violent we

decided to put pressure on the police cordon, pushing

against them with progressively more force and then

they stood in line in their riot gear out drew their batons

showing them off like wolverine and belted our

front line across the knees. Some of them were

older protester and got trampled underneath us. I sudden

found a granny pop up from somewhere underneath my

arm shouting “Nazi Schwein!” at the police and

clutching her leg above the knee. I don’t know why they

used batons. There were only about one hundred and

fifty of us and we weren’t in any serious danger of

breaking through, but they did baton us. Luckily for me

we were at the back.

Inside Oberbarmen Station


We as the Antifa did actually win that event it was

before the town really started to go progressively more right

wing and we were in the majority. The police said

they weren’t allowed to assemble and march though

the city at first. We claimed victory and then they secretly allowed

the Nazis to march a little way in either direction.


The March to the Synagogue


This took place when the Antifa we were with

marched away together in victory.

David was a Jew and the they’d just built a new

Synagogue in the centre of Barmen in Wuppertal so we

decided to march there and pay our respects to the


The 5 Jewish Guys with the Israeli Flag


Some unwelcome guests in my opinion marching with

us were five Israelis dressed in fine Jewish man’s attire

and carrying a huge Israeli flag to the synagogue. They

hijacked the prostest shouting through the streets

“Gegen die Faschismus und Antisemitismus, Solidarität

mit Israel” (“Against fascism and antisemitism solidarity

with Israel”) which wasn’t necessarily everyone’s view

who were against the Nazis. To this aim they were confronted by an angry Turkish heckler shouting “Was sagen Sie? Israel ist ein Mörderstadt!”(“What are you saying Israel is a murderous state”) in the other direction to which they took no notice. Even David looked apprehensive and he

was Jewish. He was a leftie and didn’t really like them. All

the same the Nazis should leave the Jewish people in peace in Germany.

Lighting Candles and Saying Prayers


David and I did light a candle on the steps of the

synagogue for the victims of the holocaust and we said a

few prayers and had a moment’s silence for the Jews of

the second world war and then disbanded. Since then however, the situation with Nazi protest in Wuppertal has got severe. There are no go areas. The tolerant multi-kulti

atmostphere of the noughties as expressed by the

rapper Meelman in his song Lebenslang Schwebebahn

(lifelong rider of the suspension railway) has now gone.

I have met Meelman personally and used to

teach one of his mates Pana English at Hauptschule, Barmen

Indeed, he said it himself in his other song Wuppertal Stirbt Aus (Wuppertal is dying). I have a lot of fear for the future

of my beloved Wuppertal especially after Brexit.