News from Berlin and Germany, 13th March 2024

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Demonstrations for and against Tesla in Grünheide

Environmental activists demonstrated against the expansion of the Tesla factory in Grünheide on Sunday. The alliance “Tesla den Hahn abdrehen” (“Turning off the tap on Tesla”) spoke of 1,000 participants and called on politicians to accept and implement the citizens’ vote against the expansion of the plant. The police recorded five criminal charges during the demonstration. One person allegedly performed a Hitler salute to a group of protesters. The police are also conducting investigations on suspicion of dangerous bodily harm. A counter-demonstration by local residents who wanted to show their solidarity with the US e-car manufacturer took place at the same time. Source: rbb24

Delivered on a bike

The investment hype of delivery services such as Getir, Wolt, and Lieferando may be over in Berlin, but working conditions in the industry are still poor. “I’ve seen a lot of riders who simply continued biking after an injury,” reports Wolt employee Muhammad Bhatti. Many are afraid of losing their job, which they depend on, during the probationary period. Bhatti discussed the question of how working conditions in the industry can be improved with other participants on the panel “Delivery first, health second?” during the “Poverty and Health” congress at the Freie Universität Berlin. Source: taz

Berlin presents plan for former Tegel Airport

Berlin’s State Secretary for Climate Protection and Environment Britta Behrendt (CDU) has revealed plans to transform the former airfield of Berlin’s Tegel Airport into a park and nature conservation area. Like the Tempelhofer Feld, the 190-hectare airfield will become a spot for locals to jog, cycle, or skate on the airport’s former runway. Tegel’s Stadtheide, as it will be called, is planned to be inaugurated in 2029. After 72 years in operation, the last flight out of Tegel Airport took off in November 2020. Since then, it has been used for housing development, offices, a refugee centre, and a nightclub. Source: iamexpat


“We no longer need the stickers”

Instead of stickers, the climate activists “Letzte Generation” will resort in the future to demonstrations, meetings, and other forms of protest, although the group has not yet revealed their exact plans. “This spring should really be a spring of resistance,” announced spokeswoman Carla Hinrichs, adding: “We simply won’t need the stickers anymore because there are so many of us.” The climate activists’ website has announced “disobedient assemblies” throughout Germany on March 16 at noon. Actions will take place in Berlin, Bremen, Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Cologne, Leipzig, Munich, Regensburg, Stuttgart, and on the island of Rügen. Source: tagesspiegel

BSW goes to the small towns

The Sahra Wagenknecht Alliance (BSW) intends to run in the Saxony local elections, in addition to the state parliamentary elections. These will take place on June 9, at the same time as the European Parliament elections. The BSW founded its first state association in Saxony at the end of February, when a founding meeting took place behind closed doors in Chemnitz. Sabine Zimmermann, a former Bundestag representative, and entrepreneur Jörg Scheibe were elected state chairpersons. The BSW also wants to take part in the local and state elections in Thuringia. The regional association there is planned to be founded on March 15. Source: taz

GDL calls for new strike

In the wage dispute with the Deutsche Bahn (DB), the train drivers’ union GDL has called for a new strike. As the union explained in a press release, the strike in passenger transport began at 2 a.m. on Tuesday and ended at 2 a.m. on Wednesday. In freight transport, the work stoppages began on Monday at 6 p.m., also for 24 hours. There was only one day between the announcement of the industrial action and its start. GDL boss Claus Weselsky had already announced before that the railway and passengers would be given significantly less time to prepare themselves. Source: tagesschau

Feldman accuses German government of betraying Jews

Writer Deborah Feldman accused the German government of betraying Jews with its unconditional support for the right-wing nationalist Israeli government. “As a Jew, as a descendant of Holocaust survivors (…), I live in a country where on the one hand I am surrounded by people who have learned all the right lessons from the culture of remembrance, and yet a government can stand there and align itself mainly with the right-wing nationalist Israeli government and all its lobbyists.” This is no longer acceptable, said the author of the global bestseller Unorthodox at the Lit.Cologne literature festival on Sunday. Source: zeit

Tags: ,