Berlin: Signs against the gentrification, the Rigaer street party

Dear groups, individuals and collectives „Es ist besser unsere Jugend besetzt leere Häuser als fremde Länder“ (In our youth it is better to squat empty houses than foreign countries“).
Under this motto some young people started squatting houses in Rigaestrasse and in the rest of Friedrichshain in the early 90’s, creating places where they could collectively live, organize and resist.
Particularly in the following years many of the squatted houses were evicted or pressed to sign contracts as a result of the so called „Berliner Line“ (Berliner Linie) which aimed to push people into a capitalistic (consumptive) lifestyle. Even the contracts didn’t prevent houses getting evicted in many cases. Nevertheless a few of the originally squatted houses persist as active spaces.
Discounting these projects that have remained, with somewhat affordable rent – the rest of our Kiez has undergone drastic changes in rent costs and real estate prices that are obvious to see / hard to ignore, with formidable and unfordable prices for flats.

These changes have squeezed out not only the people living in house projects, but also people whose families have lived here in Friedrichshain for centuries, subsequently forcing them to leave their homes and move to the outskirts of the city. But all of this wont happen without us throwing a spanner in the cogs of the capitalist machine so driven by the logic of exploitation. So we take our resistance to the current situation to the streets.

Resistance to the exclusion of collective living and project spaces has been happening since the first houses were squatted.

For this reason we invite you to join us in celebrating 25 years of resistance and self organisation in and around Rigaerstrasse from the 06.07 to 12.07. During this week workshops, presentations, an alley cat race, concerts, exhibitions, actions, discussions will all take place (as well as anything else you have in mind).

Films will also be screened during the week as part of a Film Festival. On Wednesday 8th of July a free flea market is planned, (an exhibition of money-less exchange).

We want to make this without any interference or input from institutions which would naturally dictate to us the direction and conditions of our event, but of course not without you. If you would like to participate in the free flee market or to have an information stand, to make a presentation, workshop, coffee or cake etc we’d be happy to hear from you. Or if you’d just like to drop by and check it out.

With the street festival we want to make a stand against the politics of gentrification in our neighbourhood (kiez). It is really important for us that the focus is on political content and community – collective exchange between people, we are not interested in making an event just for drinking without any content of substance.

So if you like come join us in celebrating the 25 year anniversary of the projects in and around Rigaerstrasse!

E-mail: 25years [at] riseup [dot] net