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#Berlin: The senate, the media and #Rigaer

Berlin. The court hearing on the eviction action of Liebig34 is imminent (15.11.2019) (9), the situation of Rigaer94 is still uncertain and the Interior Senate expresses the wish to buy the house (2) in order to “enforce law and order” (6). The pacification of the neighbourhood has long been the goal of the Berlin Senate. Currently, the Senate’s Interior Committee seems to see a chance to solve this more elegantly than former Senator Henkel (10).

Originally published by Liebig 34. Translated by Enough 14.

What is the best way to pave the way for socially supported or even advocated evictions? Of course, by stirring up fears. To this end, there is already an undifferentiated picture of a “danger for all that comes from us”, which is regularly – and currently again – fed by politicians, the press, cops and other agitators. They try to defame our collectives and depoliticize our struggles. The fact that images of war are generated during raids of the Rigaer94, for example, is a well-known trick. We are also already familiar with the use of special investigation teams (EC). Now this concept is being used again with the EG Nordkiez, justified by stones and paint bags thrown at cops. The fact that it is the cops who harass us almost daily, beating up people at the Küfa’s (people’s kitchens, Enough 14), take us to the police station for ID treatment and provoke by their mere presence and demonstration of power and act in a sexist way against activists*in the neighbourhood is hardly mentioned. At the same time, emotionalized interviews of cops (7) who try to hash for empathy are printed. We perceive this as a blatant shift in focus. Because the attempt to understand our emotions, which are confronted daily with monopolies of violence and various -isms, whose existence is to be taken away, is not undertaken. Through dehumanization, criminalization and opinion making against us, a situation is created in which people feel threatened by us who have not yet dealt with us and do not know what we stand for politically. On the other hand, they see the redemption from the threat of the strong hand of the rule of law as possible.

We hear and read daily about “terrorism” (1), about “no-go-areas” (2), in which “citizens and journalists cannot move freely” (2), about “violent slobs” who “do not tolerate the rule of law” and “are hostile to the “basic democratic order” and “are opposed to other people”. Yes, we are prepared to use violence to defend ourselves against the violence the system inflicts on us and others. And yes, in some places we are more chaotic than we want to be. Yes, we resist Nazis (3), politicians (0) and right-wing journalists (4, 5) who come to the neighborhood to further agitate about a context they neither understand nor try to really understand. Yes, we are questioning the “rule of law”, because it exercises power and is currently, for example, enforcing property interests against social interests using our house as an example. It does not enable us to have any real democracy – and certainly not justice. No, we are not against people. We want a radical change in society and this is only possible with people. Nevertheless, it is indispensable to question people’s attitudes, behaviour and positions using a variety of methods and to denounce the supposed consensus of power. To this end, we consider confrontational methods to be useful, which specifically target state institutions, right-wing structures and those responsible for societal racism and sexism, while attempting to prevent uninvolved persons from being affected. No, unfortunately we have not yet managed to create no-go areas for cops, Nazis and Mackers. But we will continue to work to create a space and a neighborhood that is on the one hand a saf(er) space for oppressed people and on the other hand confrontational and rebellious attacks on the power structures.

Also within some “left” media it is being discussed that we apparently thought it was a clever idea to throw colour bombs out of the house to keep the house (8). Of course not all actions are free of contradictions and strategies can be argued about. But the urge to act in itself is a logical consequence for people who are still able and willing to defend themselves. We don’t think that we should chum up, keep our feet quiet and tolerate the presence of cops and their harassment because we are threatened with eviction. But instead of seeing what we risk and solidarize with us, we are repeatedly accused of being to blame when we experience harassment and repression and when we should be evicted anyway. These are points at which a critical left should ask itself how the belief in the state is internalized and how profound the acceptance of the monopoly of violence is. The question of guilt (“What came first: the attack of the cops or the attack on the cops?”) we would answer in this way: If cops weren’t there, no paint bombs or oranges would fly at them.

The problems in our neighbourhood can for the main part be solved by local people themselves, even if this is not always easy in Dorfplatz, which attracts many different people. Police presence here clearly shows that problems are not solved, but people with few privileges or people who do not want to submit and adapt are harassed and criminalized. Real dangers do not emanate from house projects, but from, among other things, police arbitrariness and repression. It is important for us to correct this at this point.

(0) https://twitter.com/kaiwegner/status/1162367608093626368
(1) https://www.bz-berlin.de/liveticker/gdp-zur-rigaer-strasse-erwarten-dass-dieser-terrorismus-bekaempft-wird
(2) https://www.rbb-online.de/abendschau/videos/20190826_1930/rigaer-strasse.html
(3) https://www.bz-berlin.de/berlin/friedrichshain-kreuzberg/mit-stoecken-und-knueppeln-rechtspopulist-in-rigaer-strasse-verpruegelt
(4) https://www.morgenpost.de/berlin/article226875947/Rigaer-Strasse-in-Friedrichshain-Gewalt-erreicht-neuen-Hoehepunkt.html
(5) https://www.rbb24.de/politik/beitrag/2019/07/kamerateam-rbb-abendschau-angegriffen-rigaer-strasse.html
(6) https://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/polizei-justiz/um-recht-und-ordnung-durchzusetzen-berlin-will-haus-in-der-rigaer-strasse-kaufen/24903308.html
(7) https://www.morgenpost.de/berlin/article226880665/Rigaer-Strasse-Am-Ende-geht-es-hier-um-Leib-und-Leben.html
(8) https://blogs.taz.de/lokalrunde/2018/06/10/rigaer-strasse-statt-anis-amri/
(9) http://liebig34.blogsport.de/2019/08/22/dont-mess-with-liebig34-prozess-und-demo-verschoben/
(10) https://www.rbb-online.de/abendschau/videos/20191028_1930.html


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