Leipzig: Violence is part of the problem – and the problem is the system

Last Thursday there were clashes with the police in Connewitz, initially around Eisenbahnstraße and the following days. Thursday’s events are directly related to the Day X+1 demonstration following the Luwi71 eviction. We also understand the subsequent fighting in Connewitz as a solidarity reaction to this and other occupations. Therefore we would like to contribute a few lines to the debate about so-called politically motivated violence in Leipzig.
As a direct action, we peacefully occupied the house at Ludwigstraße 71 for one and a half weeks. Within a few days, the Luwi71 became a meeting place in the neighborhood. Discussions about housing and self-managed open spaces became a topic of conversation again across different political spectrum.
Right from the start, we showed the city and the owner that we were ready to negotiate, we worked out possible uses and offered talks. We were pleased that representatives of public authorities and political parties were prepared to talk to us, to express solidarity with our concerns or to voice serious criticism.
In the end, however, they did not seem to be able to do very much or were perhaps not quite so serious about supporting us. At the same time, we find it regrettable how quickly some people turn away when others are prepared to continue conflicts instead of hiding from the threat of state violence.
The state and its executive power almost always have the long or short term leverage in the case of squatting. Accordingly, the statement of the owner Udo Heng that he felt blackmailed is quite absurd.² At the latest when we learned that he was no longer willing to talk, we had to be prepared for a timely eviction. We only learned of Heng’s alleged willingness to negotiate through newspaper articles, but never through direct contact. Until the meeting broke up, all conversations were – metaphorically speaking – like being held with a pistol.
The police are never a partner in conversation and negotiation. The police are the constant safeguarding of the state, the city, the offices and the property relations. And they are called upon when we do not observe rules in conflicts.
We have dared to question the inalienable right to private property and its role in relation to housing shortage, rising rents and displacement, not only theoretically but also practically. On the one hand, the willingness of individual urban actors to talk – on the other hand, the constant danger of eviction. The ultimate reaction to this was the assault of 60 fully masked cops with chainsaws and machine guns after the formal owner had withdrawn his goodwill. At the latest when the police are involved, there are no more talks and the complexity of negotiation processes becomes a simple arbitrage. Either we allow ourselves to be intimidated by the baton or we take the houses and streets of our district in defiance of repression and criminalization.
The attack on the Luwi71 on Wednesday morning was an attack on a part of our neighborhood – unlike the daily racial profiling, the forced evictions, deportations, the harassment of young people by cops, the illegalization of wage laborers without employment contracts – but it was also an attack.
So we understand that people in the neighborhood have anger and hatred towards police officers. Police officers are always the executors of the ruling order. Conflicts about social questions and various realities of life they face with violence and punishment.
Under the assumption that violence always leads to counter-violence, one must ask oneself which violence came first. It was not the cobblestone. Those who do not want to talk about all the structural violence mentioned should not be surprised about the anger of self-confident neighborhoods.
Our solidarity goes out to all those who have been arrested in the last few days and who are awaiting criminal proceedings in the coming months. We also call on all those who were serious about supporting the Luwi71. Very few struggles can be fought without contradictions and taking care of each other sometimes means being able to endure such contradictions. We leave no one alone!
For rebellious neighborhoods and a city from below!

Leipzig Besetzen
leipzigbesetzen [at] riseup [dot] net

Luwi71, Ludwigstraße 71, Leipzig

Groups in Leipzig https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/city/leipzig
Events in Leipzig https://radar.squat.net/en/events/city/Leipzig

Groups in Germany https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/DE
Events in Germany https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/DE

Leipzig Besetzen https://leipzigbesetzen.noblogs.org/post/2020/09/09/gewalt-ist-teil-des-problems-und-das-problem-hat-system/