Foodfight: Berlin – Unterfriedrichshein vs. Ostkreuzberg

link to larger image After two years of a break the annual water / food fight between the two (former) Berlin districts of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain was taken out again this weekend.

Almost a thousand combatants gathered around the “Oberbaumbruecke” that connects the two neighborhoods. The “battle” goes back to the 1990s when the Senate of Berlin in an administrative reform combined the two neighborhoods into one township/voting district most likely to block the left wing PDS party from getting a broader representation in government.

Within this battle only “weapons” like water, flour and everything that is wet, soft, splashy or slippery are allowed. According to that motto popular weapons included addle eggs, rotten vegetables or fruits, rancid butter, but (used) diapers and bags filled with (strong smelling) human substances have also been sighted.

Officially a political demonstration (and as the cleaning afterward is guaranteed by a sponsor) since a few years police limits themselves to block the site off from normal passers-by. The two neighborhoods – Kreuzberg and Friedrichsrain – (together with Prenzlauer Berg) had traditionally a strong base of diverse (sub)cultures, freethinking and alternative left-wing scene and some say the roots of these battles go back to the militant street fights and riots in the 1990s that took place not far away from the bridge.

The winner of the fight is the group that re-unites the two neighborhoods by taking the bridge. Like in years before Friedrichshain (was officially declared the winner by police) but Kreuzberg claims that this declaration was partial for Friedrichshain. (click image above for a larger version).

Some videos:

There is a 10min video (in German) providing impressions and information on the history of the Berlin “water battle”. The videos below are from this year’s “fights”. We have selected those providing the best “touch and feel” for the action:

Click on the images below for the links (multimedia)

link to YouTube video link to YouTube video

link to Flickr video link to YouTube video

Some image collections from the 2008 event:

More information:
WAF web site
Friedrichshain web site on the battle (in German)

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