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New Year’s Eve – On the loss of control by the cops in the Neukoelln district of Berlin

Berlin. January 2. 2021. On New Years Eve riot cops lost control in Sanderstrasse. There were also attacks against cops in other districts in Berlin.

Originally published by Sunzi Bingfa (German). Translated by Enough 14.

While the media speak of a successful operation by the cops in Berlin, the hermetic sealing off of the anti-police new development area in Schöneberg around Potsdamer/Pallasstrasse under R2G [1] seems to no longer meet with any political criticism, there were also other events that needed to be reported. On sometimes almost deserted streets, cops were hunting down all young people in various proletarian neighborhoods who dared to go out on the streets despite the state of emergency, attacks on cop cars, including a convoy unit of Federal Police, in Wedding and Neukoelln, Lichterfelde… – skirmishes with the cops in Victoriapark, where people were celebrating together, in the Urbanstrasse Molotovs flew at a cop car… – and on the confrontations in Sanderstrasse, where the cops lost control for an hour. We received this report from a comrade from Berlin. Sunzi Bingfa

Actually, I went out on New Year’s Eve in order not to have to spend this FCK 2020 of evictions, non-reflective restrictive measures, repression and coined by the unsolidary “stayathome” slogan, in residential custody ordered by the state and cops.

It has been announced that 2,900 cops will flood the neighborhoods to enforce the measures that are being imposed as a result of the pandemic with full force. Those who do not remain obedient in the state of shock from March are to be subdued by state force.

So well on time to Kotti, the Kottbusser Strasse, Kottbusser Damm to the next “firecracker prohibition zone” Hermannplatz. I didn’t expect anything big.

There is less going on than on other New Year’s Eve nights, yet the neighborhood is not as frighteningly dead as it was during the first lockdown. People are outside, firecrackers are going off, rockets are flying, there is an expectant cheerfulness, even though there is always a clear, watchful eye on state power which is present everywhere.

Shortly before midnight, there is a real row on Kottbusser Damm at the level of Sanderstrasse. Vans from Hermannplatz and Kotti rush frantically towards the scene, suddenly there is a lot of movement in the neighborhood, the showdown begins.

Helmeted cops try to invade Sanderstrasse and meet massive resistance: firecrackers, rockets, bottles, and stones fly. They retreat and do not take further action against the people in the street. A camera car of the cops positions itself directly in front of Sanderstrasse and films the scene, while the cops try to advance through side streets, which are now also populated by residents and people from the neighborhood.

The loss of control of the state power becomes obvious, almost one hour a mighty loud fireworks bursts, attempts to grab the disobedient are successfully repelled. Here and there you could see a molotov flying in the darkness.

More and more residents come out of their houses, applaud, enjoying the fireworks, enjoying this moment.

Gradually, the cops managed to draw more forces together in the neighborhood, rushing haphazardly through the dark streets. It has been a long time ago that I saw police squads with shields, they seem unoriented, and in some cases they give up the chase. As suddenly as it started, it was also abruptly over again. There was one arrest in Friedelstrasse in front of the Hobrecht Bridge.

In the meantime, the area around Sanderstrasse and Kottbusser Damm has been cordoned off, cops are collecting Molotovs and other evidence, and passers-by in dark clothing are being stopped, controlled, and having their personal details checked.

“Corona will drive us all crazy” – a phrase as we passed by that has remained in my memory this night. At that moment, so much exhaustion but also relief resonated from these words, something like liberation, to be spontaneously immersed in a moment that briefly makes one forget powerlessness, despair, fear, worries and hardships, that simply gives some joy and hope.


[1] Red-red-green, (R2G) is the name given to a government coalition consisting of two parties with a social-democratic, and democratic-socialist orientation and the green party. R2G is governing in the German state of Berlin.

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1 thought on “New Year’s Eve – On the loss of control by the cops in the Neukoelln district of Berlin

  1. […] New Year’s Eve – On the loss of control by the cops in the Neukoelln district of Berlin […]

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