Berlin: Rigaer94 – A thunderstorm is coming

As already explained in our last text from Friday (1), we expect from now on a bigger operation against our house. The initially ridiculous fire safety issue has led to developments that put the continued existence of Rigaer94 as a (partially) occupied space in the highest danger. We would like to explain what happened legally, what we expect concretely and what we can do now to defend this place and the idea behind it.

New judgment regarding the legal representation and the house management

During the last attack on our house in the summer of 2020, the duo of Luschnat and Bernau gathered extensive information about the house. Despite court orders in force at the time, which had unanimously declared their powers of representation for Lafone Ltd. invalid, the police task force had given the two access to large parts of the house. Pretext of the whole action were search warrants for two dwellings because of alleged social fraud and the search for a laser pointer. Luschnat and Bernau, who were involved in the operation, used the information they had obtained to compile a list of alleged fire safety deficiencies. Police also documented the house with this in mind.

When the successful installation of a new door by Rigaer94 and the resulting possible exclusion of Bernau and Luschnat, the entire operation collapsed, the duo attempted to sue 28 people registered here for having to grant them access again. This failed again due to a lack of authorization to sue.

In the following months, police documents were first cited to publicly address alleged fire safety deficiencies. In November, we received a report from a fire safety expert who had been commissioned by us and who had been through the building. It was a matter of things that were easy to fix, but whose usefulness in terms of safety for the users of the building was undisputed. With the elimination of the deficiencies, the propaganda that the house was a death trap was only supposedly diminished. The well-known actors from the press and politics continued their hypocritical campaign unperturbed, with the clear goal of destroying the house as a place of rebellious structures. With our publication in the context of the intervention with Florian Schmidt, we made it clear once again that a (district) fire expert could have inspected the house. This had never been a problem – we had also acted in this way in 2016, when a fire expert certified that the house had good fire safety. It would have been possible to end the issue at any time, but it did not come to that. Florian Schmidt, who was given the list by Bernau-Luschnat, instead contacted the British shell company Lafone Limited, which is set in the land registry as the owner of Rigaer94, via the aforementioned duo in December. Within a given period of time, he committed the company to have the list of “defects” they had drawn up themselves checked by a state-certified fire safety expert chosen and paid for by them – and, if the expert deemed it necessary, to repair these defects immediately. Thus, Florian Schmidt, as the only actor with decision-making authority in this case, acknowledged Bernau and Luschnat’s representation of Lafone Ltd. contrary to applicable case law.

The list of alleged deficiencies is huge. Absurd – but not new (2) for us – is that the deficiencies result, among other things, from the destructive operations against our house. The highlight here is the complaint about a hole in the ceiling in an apartment. This hole was made by the Luschnat gang, who in the summer, under the eyes of the cops, tried with brute force to get through the attic into a rented apartment in the front building. When they were through the ceiling, they threw glass bottles from above in the direction of the tenant (photos below the text). Kurt Wansner of the CDU repeatedly referred to this ceiling hole in the Interior Committee to make up a chimney effect in the event of a fire. At the time of his incendiary speeches, the hole had long since been repaired.

Apparently following the policy of legal security again, the police command under Interior Senator Geisel rejected the request for administrative assistance from Luschnat and Bernau, who had of course artfully announced their intention to storm Rigaer94 again. At this point, the power of money came into play. The duo and possible backers invested in the prominent lawyer V. Aretin and an expert on the real estate mafia from Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Prof. Dr. Alexander Schall, an Oxford graduate. The latter prepared an expert opinion with the aim of legitimizing Luschnat’s and Bernau’s power of representation in court. At the core of this is the question of how a letterbox company in a tax haven with a bought director coming out of nowhere can have sovereignty over a house in Berlin as the only real person. The lawyer V. Aretin thus went to court to give a legal basis to the much anticipated renewed police action as a cover for a fire inspector commissioned by Luschnat. We were not involved in these proceedings, as they were exclusively between Lafone Ltd. and Berlin Police. As a result, an administrative court suddenly decided quite differently in summary proceedings than all the courts had done before. At the same time, the Kammergericht (Superior Court of Justice) held summary proceedings against probably 28 people, which practically simultaneously sentenced them to allow a fire expert access to the house. In these proceedings, too, we were completely left out – so far, no one has been contacted as a defendant or informed of a conviction. We can only assume that these are the same 28 people reported here who were also to be sued in the summer.

What specifically can be expected?

The earlier court decisions in the eviction proceedings against the Kadterschmiede, which Bernau and Luschnat believe were not representative, are not invalid. However, the recent court decisions will – we have no doubt – be used for a commando of the duo, their paid fire inspector, the cops, and all their chosen support to storm Rigaer94. All those who want to suppress anarchist ideas and see the destruction of Rigaer94 as an important step in this direction can refer to the decision of the two courts at the moment. Thus, the case that has been expected since 2016 has occurred: after what felt like a hundred unsuccessful attempts, a legal attempt has now succeeded, against which an appeal can be filed again – but without suspensive effect.

Likewise, another eviction action against the Kadterschmiede and the premises of the youth club Keimzelle is currently pending before the Regional Court of Berlin, whose decision is due in the next few months and may change the legal situation again.

Here in the house we have prepared ourselves since Monday that any moment a bailiff at the head of the aforementioned commando will show up in front of our beautiful door (3) and that sooner or later it will have to give way again under the brute force of the Berlin cops. Luschnat’s and Bernau’s own list of deficiencies concerns not only the “common areas” such as the courtyard, stairwells, cellars and attics, but also parts of the house that they never got to see, including private – occupied as well as rented – rooms and apartments. The court decision made even simple facts such as cables coming out of the wall a reason to impose a fire safety inspection on the premises behind them. Defects certified by the expert are also to be eliminated immediately by the property management. This means that the entire gang can enter large parts of the house immediately, according to the court order. How far the competences of Lafone’s fire safety expert go, to be able to declare still further parts of the house spontaneously worthy of examination, stands for us in the stars. Every defect that he would have to remedy immediately would call a construction team to the scene, which could then start work immediately. The duration of this work would be up to the invaders. In addition, it could be expected that the fire safety expert would declare parts of the building uninhabitable – in view of the political objective of the entire action and its participants, we do not consider this to be so unlikely.

Construction work of any length would be tantamount to a siege: private protection troops would have to be protected by state forces in order not to suffer a loss of control – we remember the three weeks in the summer of 2016. A standoff lasting weeks with no easy way out would be pre-programmed, the tipping of public opinion toward an escalation under the pretext of fire safety quite conceivable.

And this is what we have to do

As part of various struggles in this city, all pursuing the goal of a domination-free, self-organized coexistence, we think it is politically significant to defend Rigaer94. The public discourse in the bourgeois media in recent years, whether it is about fire safety or the relationship to the neighborhood, is an attempt to undermine the solidarity that exists in this city. Similar to the tent city in Rummelsburg Bay, those who are building their city of the rich claim either that they are protecting us from ourselves or that the general public must be protected from us. However, the battles we have resolutely fought have always proved that the propaganda has not led to the desired success. The Interkiezionalen has also succeeded in bringing together the many threatened projects in this city and in organizing resistance against a seemingly overpowering enemy and taking it to the streets. We will have to do no more or no less, if today, tomorrow or the next days a big, maybe decisive fight for the house in Rigaer Straße 94 starts. Should our opponents really be so crazy as to start an eviction in different stages, let them, as already said, choke on our debris. Every advance in Rigaer94 has to mean a risk; our announcement that there might not be any winners means nothing else than that we want to throw Berlin into chaos if the aggression is not stopped immediately.

Friends, the situation is serious but not hopeless. Prepare together with us for weeks of siege, collective moments, nightly siren storms, smoke and fire. Moments of defensiveness and despondency soon want to be broken by moments of attack, joy and tears. Let us be tender and attentive among ourselves, but persistent and aggressive against our opponents!

Let investor’s dreams burst!

Defend Rigaer94!

We are preparing for Day X – it can start at any time.

Rigaerstrasse 94, Berlin

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Summer 2020: The hole in the ceiling made by the commando.

Debris from the ceiling in the rented apartment and bottles thrown from above.