News from Berlin and Germany: 10th July 2021

News from Berlin compiled by Ana Ferreira


Berlin Interior Senator sued for assault

The eviction of the squatters from Habersaathstraße 46 in last October is taking an unusual legal aftermath. Two of the squatters announced they would file charges against Interior Senator Geisel for assault and coercion in office. The accusation is that Geisel, by evicting the squatters shortly before the second lockdown, deliberately risked a Corona infection of the formerly homeless squatters. Other squatters who lived in camps in Rummelsburg or Frankfurter Allee have also been evicted and now face nothing again with the end of the cold aid programmes. “A society cannot treat people like this,” said Valentina Hauser from “Leerstand Hab-ich-Saath.” Source: taz

Neukölln United against displacement

It is Tuesday afternoon, they are about to start the demonstration against the sell-out of their district in front of the apartment building Hermannstraße 48. “Neukölln against displacement” is the motto of several housing projects. Tenants, activists and politicians make it clear in their speeches: they will not give up the fight against luxury renovations, rent increases and the sale to unknown parties. They demand socialisation, expropriation of profit-oriented landlords, protection against dismissal and “affordable and liveable housing” for all. Many housing communities want the district to exercise its right of first refusal. For this, they need partners oriented towards cooperatives, for instance. Source: nd

Turkish journalist attacked in Berlin

Erk Acarer, a Turkish journalist accused of publishing secret information on state security and intelligence activities from Turkey, was injured by several attackers in the Rudow district of Neukölln in Berlin on Wednesday evening. He suffered a wound to the head and received medical treatment. Acarer tweeted a photo of himself as late as Wednesday evening. He said he was not in danger of dying, had some swelling on his head and was in hospital. “I know the perpetrators. I will never surrender to fascism.” He said he and his family were under police protection. Source: DW


Deportations to Afghanistan continue

The German government is planning further deportations to Afghanistan, even though the worst fighting in a long time is raging between the Taliban and government troops. All official NATO contingents are to withdraw on 11 September. This must be read as an admission of the failure of 20 years of failed NATO policy in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, a deportation from Hanover to Kabul is planned for Monday. In a press release, the domestic policy spokesperson of the Left Party in the Bundestag, Ulla Jelpke, strongly condemns the continued deportations “to the most dangerous country in the world”: “Deportation to Afghanistan means deportation to war, terror and misery.” Source: jW

EU refugee policy: activists occupy Euro sign

Activists symbolically occupied the Euro sign in Frankfurt’s banking district on Saturday afternoon to protest against the EU’s refugee policy. Climbers abseiled down and attached a banner with the inscription “EU kills” and a symbolic barbed wire installation. The action was intended to challenge the symbolism of “the EU as a place of free movement and a guardian of humanitarian values”. For refugees, the EU is far too often not a place of openness, freedom of movement and liberty. The demonstrators demanded an end to legal proceedings against sea rescue workers who save migrants from the Mediterranean. Source: süddeutsche

German company sued for illegal arms exports to Colombia

The arms company SIG Sauer must pay around eleven million euros for illegal exports to Colombia. This was the decision of the Federal Supreme Court in Karlsruhe. The court considered it proven the former managing directors of the Eckernförde site delivered more than 47,000 SP 2022 pistols to a sister company in the USA, of which more than 38,000 were resold to Colombia. In a press release, the advertisers “Aktion Aufschrei – Stoppt den Waffenhandel!” state the “conviction for this historic sum is a huge success”. “This is the highest sum ever recovered from a small arms manufacturer,” comments Holger Rothbauer, the campaign’s lawyer. Source: amerika21

East Germany remains left behind

On Wednesday, the “Federal Government Commissioner for the New Länder”, Marco Wanderwitz (CDU), who is housed in the Federal Ministry of Economics, presented his annual report for 2021. The conclusion: despite the economic crisis and pandemic, things are always looking up between the Elbe and Oder rivers, but the population is ungrateful. Before his appearance at the Federal Press Conference, the parliamentary state secretary revealed many East Germans harbour a “deepened fundamental scepticism” towards politics and democracy. This is “admittedly a minority, but the minority is larger than in the old federal states”, said Wanderwitz. His verdict: “This is dangerous for democracy.” Source: jW

Tags: ,