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A call from #Berlin: Attack the city of the rich – defend the projects

The gentrification in Berlin continues incessantly, and with it displacement. Not only people but also spaces are affected: Spaces of the radical movement, open spaces, safer spaces for people affected by discrimination, non-commercial spaces, spaces of subculture, of political networking and spaces where people try to live concrete utopias.

Originally published by Indymedia DE.

One struggle – one fight
In recent years, spaces such as the Liebig14 house project, the youth centre Drugstore , the community space Friedel54, the wagon places DieselA & Sabot Garden, the O-Platz occupation and the occupied school in Ohlauer Straße have already disappeared.
But it does not stop there. Many other spaces are currently under threat. The youth centre Potse, the house project Liebig34 and the bar collective Syndikat & Meuterei expect an eviction before the end of the year. Other spaces such as the house project Rigaer94, the house project Köpi137, the community house Lause10/11 or the community garden Prachttomate face a similar threat in the near future.

No spaces – no movement
All of these are spaces that live and fight for a different Berlin: a Berlin in which we know our neighbours, in which we create our houses and our neighbourhood together and jointly determine how public space is used. A Berlin where there is room for self-chosen living concepts. A Berlin in which we can try out alternatives to the exploitative and oppressive relations of wage labour, care work, educational system and on the basis of rent and ownership.

How do we want to fight for such a city when these spaces are evicted? Where do we meet for assemblies? Where do we paint banners? Where can we make events to educate ourselves? Where can we hold non-commercial and sub-cultural events, concerts, reading groups, workshops, trainings or have people’s kitchen?  Where do feel safer from patriarchal and racist violence? Where can we meet away from authoritarian control – for example by parents, teachers, professors, the police, superiors or security personnel – or without consuming anything?

In our struggle for a liveable city, the struggle for these projects is an essential part. We fight for:

Liebig34: The Liebig34 is a self-organised anarcha-queer-feminist house project, directly located at the “Dorfplatz” in Berlin-Friedrichshain. The house is used by different collectives; the info shop “Daneben”, the L34-bar and the living collective which is organised without cis-men. People from around the world, with different backgrounds and (a-) gender identities.
Spaces where we can try out collective living, alter gender and identity, where we can develop, extend and exert anti-patriarchal structures, spaces where we reflect power structures and privileges and where we can empower each other are urgently needed.
Our contract ran out in 12/2018 and the landlord G. Padovicz refused to extend it. On 3rd June 2020 the court decided in favour of our landlord and we are now preparing for the announcement of our eviction day.

Meuterei: Is a collectively organized neighbourhood pub in Berlin-Kreuzberg for almost 11 years. It serves as a meeting place, plenary room or location for information and music events for people from the scene and the neighborhood. For one year now, it has existed even without a rental contract and has therefore had to be evicted, as Goran Nenadic of Zelos Properties does not want to extend the rental contract and arrived with absurd purchase offers between 650.000 – 750.000€.

Syndikat: Syndikat is a bar collective existing since 1985 in the Schillerkiez neighbourhood of Berlin-Neukölln. From the beginning on it was more than the usual bar place, but more like an extended living room and organizing space for the residents and beyond. 2018 its contract was quit without reason and negotiations. Research by the collective and friends uncovered a network of letterbox companys belonging to the British billionaire family Pears. Up until then completely unknown in Berlin, they are now amongst the 10 largest real-estate owners in Berlin. The eviction case in court was lost in November 2019 and the eviction is dated for the 7th August.

Potse: Potse and Drugstore are Berlins oldest self-organized youth centers. For almost 50 years they organized antifascist , non-commercial and self-organized youth work in the Berlin neighbourhood Schöneberg. But in 2015 their rooms were quit by the neighbourhood council. Its not possible to pay the rising rents anymore as the neighbouhood gets gentrified agressively. The autonomous centers are being replaced by the co-living and co-working agency Rent24 and the business school BSBI. At the end of 2018 Drugstore had to handover its keys but Potse is still keeping their place occupied to fight for an alternative space and keep the pressure up. The next court date for eviction is scheduled for the 8th of July 2020.

Before Day X
For us, day X (day of eviction) is too late. We want to prevent an eviction and we will defend our spaces no matter what happens. This is why we are already fighting against those who want to evict us: among others the landlords, the courts, the police and the Berlin Senate. Berlin will have elections next year and the ones who are selling the city are looking for votes. The last thing the government parties want is rioting and direct actions overshadowing their election campaign.

Fight with us
On the day of each eviction (Day X), we call for a powerful ‚sponti‘(spontaneous demo, Enough 14) at 9 p.m. The location will be announced shortly under: It is possible, that the police will only announce the date of eviction shortly beforehand or not at all. Therefore we also call for decentralized actions in Berlin and everywhere on the day of the eviction.
But we don’t want to wait for day X. Invite us for info events, come by or do actions in your own city. Let us be creative, solidary, resistant and militant, against the city of the rich – defend the projects!


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