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#Leipzig: #Connewitz, the state and a construction site of internal security

Leipzig. Germany. For weeks, Connewitz has been simmering, especially around the construction site between Wiedebach square and Eckstein street. The construction site is preventing the cops from patrolling and controlling a large part of Bornai street. This gives many people the opportunity to go out in the evening without being subjected to arbitrary police checks. Again and again there are fires at the construction site, which is part of a large-scale upgrading process of the neighbourhood. This induces state forces to constantly storm the construction site in large numbers and arbitrarily control and harass people. The anger at the previous harassment by the cops finally exploded spontaneously on May 9, 2020. Here is a small overview of the events in the last weeks.

Originally published by Indymedia DE. Translated by Enough 14.

Like every beautiful spring evening, many people gathered on the street to spend time together. On this evening, there were perhaps 150-200 people on Bornai Street in smaller groups, according to Corona custom. The cops showed their nervousness from the beginning by intensive patrols in the surrounding streets. They do not seem to be happy that due to the construction site they can only enter a large part of Connewitz with a large number of helmeted cops and thus not expose themselves to much danger.

After a large fire was lit at the construction site, the first cops arrived and got ready to enter the site. By a stout-hearted effort of masked people with stones and pyrotechnics some police vans fled from the Netto parking lot. Only after they had reinforced with a huge police force they stormed Bornai street, accompanied by a helicopter. The local residents present in the district were expelled by force. However, fortunately this also resulted in resistance. The cops were attacked with bottles, stones and pyrotechnics. Three people were arbitrarily arrested in the course of the incident, one of whom, according to the press, has been in custody ever since. In Biedermann streete away from the construction site, approaching police vehicles were received with stones. The cops secured the fire and the construction site and stayed in the neighbourhood until 4 am.

The evening before, an almost identical situation had already occurred. The cops thought they had to inspect the construction site because of a fire and were greeted with pyrotechnics. As a result they had to retreat and after a short time they came back with a big police force to storm the construction site to look for “suspects”. They also randomly controlled all people who could not or were not willing to leave in time.

On the evening of May 1, the cops invaded the neighborhood with a riot police squad, in order to kettle, harass and arbitrarily control people en masse. They pushed people to bay in order to identify them. Paradoxically, they claimed that they were suspected of violating the new infection control measures. Even though the cops were the ones who trapped people in a small space and disregarded all regulations regarding distance.

Since the construction site on Bornai street exists, the siege of the cops in Connewitz has significantly increased. Every weekend the construction site is stormed, people are beaten, threatened and harassed by the cops. The construction site is a scourge on the side of state power because it creates a space that is difficult to control, free from its everyday presence. At the same time, the construction site is another deliberate step to raise rents in Connewitz. Of course we are not against a well-functioning tram and a road free of pot holes, with enough space for a bicycle lane. But we have enough reason to worry that these measures are part of a wider plan to deepen the displacement process that is taking place. In contrast, the promised milieu protection will help only marginally, as existing houses can still be rented out and modernised.

Of course the cops don’t want to and cannot accept any space that is not under their control. They cannot accept that they are unwanted by many people in Connewitz. Since New Year’s Eve at the latest, it has become clear that they are nothing but a repressive occupying force. Their presence mainly serves the rich and profiteers of the luxury buildings, whose construction projects and investments are protected by them. Fortunately, however, they were unable to prevent an excavator, a security car and a car of AFD members from bursting into flames in recent weeks.

If they really wanted evenings like the one of May 9 to be peaceful, they would not storm the neighborhood for every small campfire and have a helicopter circling over the streets for hours, keeping everyone from sleeping. Contrary to the ridiculous assertions of the cops, the Bild tabloid and LVZ, there have never been any attacks on the fire brigade. Nobody in Connewitz has a problem with the fire department. They could do their job unhindered because we appreciate their work. However, the cops use every opportunity to take repressive action against the residents of the neighbourhood.

In order to avoid further confrontations, we call on the cops not to enter the construction site or the neighbourhood. Should they do so, they should not be surprised if there are further attacks. At this point we want to remind again of the obligation to wear a helmet for cops in the neighbourhood, whose disregard can have serious consequences.

Cops out of the neighborhood!

For a resistant and solidary neighbourhood!

In memory of Ulrike Meinhof, revolutionary and anti-fascist, murdered by the German state on 09.05.1976 in Stuttgart-Stammheim.

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