In 1987, during the traditional May Day demonstrations, Autonomists protesting in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin overturned a police car. Following a heavy-handed police response, the situation escalated into riots: shops were looted, barricades burnt, and the police were pushed back, unable to re-enter the neighbourhood for several hours.<sup>1</sup><br><br>Since the 1987 demonstrations, there have been riots and violence of varying degree in Berlin every May Day. In 2003, in an attempt to rebrand the day and decrease violence, an alternative May Day event was introduced.<sup>2</sup> The <em>Myfest</em> street party, which takes place in the Kreuzberg district SO 36 (the site of the original 1987 demonstrations), is a spectacle of live performance, world food and local comedy.<br><br>But the day remains a celebration of the proletariat, anarchy and, in true Berlin fashion, a healthy dose of hedonism: parties take place on every street corner in Kreuzberg; Görlitzer Park teems with young people, the air thick with cannabis smoke; police vans roam the streets amidst cries of “Anti Kapitalismus!” <br><br>May Day keeps the city’s political history alive. It is a reminder of the events of 1987, of a divided Berlin, when areas near the Berlin Wall (such as Kreuzberg) were left unoccupied and open to squatting, counterculture and left-wing movements. The mood echoes the “Refugees Welcome” mural on the banks of the Spree, the ubiquitous “f*ck Nazis” graffiti, and the anarchy symbols sprayed on the sides of buildings. <br><br>The one-day celebration, a heady cocktail of anarchy and decadence, encompasses what is quintessentially Berlin; it is a sensory representation of the city’s unique energy and culture.