Berlin: The Senate speaks of housing policy – we make it

Last whit Sunday, ten empty houses were squatted in Berlin and Potsdam. From a villa over a former kindergarten to a whole house. What was dead speculative mass for years was filled with life. Even though some of the occupations were abandoned very quickly, #besetzen (occupying) was not just a symbolic action. Each empty building was placed in its context and for almost all objects there were concepts that showed a possible use in the sense of a solidary urban policy. It has always been emphasized that not the vacancy is the problem, but the principle of (private) ownership of useable and living space, which makes speculation possible. But speculation is not only about vacancy, but also about inhabited and used areas. This means that it can displace anyone and anything. Whether they are youth centers, day-care centers, a late night kiosk or entire blocks of flats. Therefore, on May 20, it was clear: Spaces must be occupied and defended. On this day, especially the Bornsdorferstraße 37b (Borni) in North Neukölln and the Reichenbergerstraße 114 (Friedel54 in exile) in Kreuzberg were to be defended as self-managed places for the moment and on the long-term to become places to organize the struggle for a city policy from below.

They do not want negotiations, they just want violence.

In Berlin we feel the violence of a city policy from above day by day. Danger areas, forced evictions, camp accommodation, racism and homelessness are just a few of the keywords. At the “Carnival of Occupations” it became clear again that the Berlin Senate is also the cause of this violence. It also became clear that there are hardly any differences between private homeowners such as Akelius and urban companies such as “city and country”.

At the time of the occupation of Reiche114, a house owned by Akelius GmbH, they did not even try to communicate, so some henchmen signed the criminal complaint and eviction request at around 8.30 pm. With enormous police violence, only 2 minutes later, the rally in front of the new social center was attacked, and the house evicted. The loudspeaker car was also stormed. There were many injured. The resolute action in solidarity by all local people prevented worse and made it possible for the squatters to escape.

At the same time the Borni was stormed, although the negotiations on the future use of the building were still underway. In view of the fact that the Berlin Senate, as well as City & Country boss Ingo Malter delivered the squatters brutal state power, without allowing even one person to leave the building beforehand, this approach can not only be seen as a farce, but as a tragedy by a city government that claims that they have “social” city policies. In addition to the bullying cops inside the house and during the identity checks, Malter wants to file criminal charges against the 56 squatters. Apparently, property obliges … to be an asshole.

We demand on May 25th and beyond:

Impunity for all squatters!
Away with the criminal charges by city & country!
Away with the “Berlin Line”!

Despite the Senate’s insistence and insistence on the Berlin line, last weekend and the ensuing debate made it clear that squatting is one of many legitimate and necessary instruments. A rebellious urban political movement will continue to practice civil disobedience, as was shown on May 22 with the successful blockade to prevent a forced eviction in Berlin-Lichtenberg. Whether she will continue to occupy # # is up to us all. Therefore the invitation to all:

Keep going:

Squat, expropriate and fight for a city from below!

Originally published by Besetzen. Edited machine translation by Enough is Enough.