On New Year's Eve in North Rhine-Westphalia, the Ministry of the Interior and its head Herbert Reul are sending a total of 6600 police officers onto the streets of the federal state to "keep the peace". This deployment of forces is due to concerns in the Ministry of the Interior that, like last year on New Year's Eve, there could again come to major riots and attacks on police and other forces of the bourgeois state. Reul is also concerned that an "additional trigger" for possible clashes with the police could be the war of national resistance in Palestine against the Israeli state or the genocide committed by Israel against the Palestinian people in response to the resistance.

According to Reul, one part of the New Year's Eve tactic will be so-called "mobile video observation devices", and the police officers deployed will also switch on their bodycams at an early stage to better document possible attacks. Parallel to this concept, various cities and municipalities are introducing all kinds of banned zones for firecrackers and fireworks. According to a municipal order in Cologne, for example, fireworks may not be set off on Silvester and New Year's Eve on the left bank of the Rhine in the city center, including the Ring, where particularly large numbers of people gather for major events such as Carnival or New Year's Eve. It is even forbidden to carry any kind of pyrotechnics around the Cologne Cathedral between 6 pm and 5 am. In Bochum, there is also a firecracker ban zone on the local party mile, the Bermuda Triangle. Last year, there were attacks on cops there with firecrackers. Similar bans can also be found in Münster and Düsseldorf. In Düsseldorf, the ban covers the entire Rhine embankment promenade and old town.

In Duisburg, the city and the police do not see themselves in a position to set up no-go zones because this would tie up too much manpower. According to the Duisburg city spokesperson, there have been attacks on police officers and firefighters throughout the city in the past year. For this reason, flexible tactics will be used and action will be taken where such incidents occur. That police and other authorities of German imperialism will indeed have to be prepared for strong confrontations can be foreseen early on.  For the past year has once again been a year of intensifying contradictions, both at world level and in the FRG itself. This can be seen not only in Reul's statements on "additional triggers" with regard to the national resistance in Palestine, which is ultimately an expression of the intensification of the principal contradiction at world level between imperialism and oppressed nations, which is also reflected in imperialist countries such as the FRG. It was also a year in which the working class and the people in the FRG were confronted with many economic defensive struggles like strikes against their impoverishment and struggles for their democratic rights, especially in the field of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. German imperialism has again this year committed numerous crimes against the deepest and broadest masses in the working class neighbourhoods and is constantly pushing forward its militarization and reactionarization. This will have led to some anger among the people of the working class districts and the proletarian youth in particular have shown on various occasions nationwide and more recently on Halloween that they are not afraid to fight against the bourgeois state. How heated the situation can possibly become can be seen from the fact that in Solingen, during a police and fire department operation, firecrackers were thrown by young people and children.

To what extent a larger contingent of cops can prevent attacks on the police and fire department is questionable. First of all, these authorities already have enough to do controlling and enforcing the aforementioned firecracker ban zones. And then, above all, they are exposed to attacks in working-class neighbourhoods, which increasingly have the character of organized ambushes. So when the cops and fire departments are once again lured into all kinds of ambushes and attacked and the attackers then retreat again, as the various spontaneous riots this year have shown. Then even 6600 police officers won't be of much help in stopping such attacks. If instead there are occupations of working class neighborhoods by hundreds and thousands of cops, this will only provoke more anger and class hatred among the masses.

The tense situation and increased threat of terrorism described by the Ministry of the Interior should also bind some forces. In summary, it can be said that the authorities are becoming increasingly nervous and afraid of the power and anger of the masses, especially after their experiences at the last New Year and the struggles throughout the year.

Cover picture: https://www.n-tv.de/mediathek/videos/panorama/Silvester-Krawall-Strassenschlachten-und-brennende-Barrikaden-in-Berlin-Neukoelln-article23815517.html