News from Berlin and Germany, 13th October 2022

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Angela Davis pays tribute to women in protest movements

US civil rights activist Angela Davis paid tribute in Berlin to the role of women in protests around the world. “This is certainly cause for hope,” Davis said at a rally at Oranienplatz, also referring to the current demonstrations in Iran. She spoke about protest movements, and the fight for freedom and against racism. She accused Germany of “colonial amnesia” and denounced the fact that black people hear sentences like: “How did you learn German so well?” Davis (78) is considered an icon of the left scene. In 2020, there was an exhibition about her in Dresden. Source: Zeit

Man dies 3 weeks after a police operation in Berlin

A 64-year-old man collapsed during a police operation in Berlin – three weeks later, he died in hospital. In a press release issued on Thursday evening, the Berlin victim counselling centre Reachout accuses the police of using “massive brutal force” during the operation and of being responsible for the death; it also speaks of racism. The police are investigating the officers involved. The man’s body is to be autopsied. The investigation is being conducted by the police department for civil servant offences. The police did not report the incident until about a week after it had happened. The reason given was an “office error”. Source: morgenpost

Traffic blockades by climate protesters largely dispersed

Activists of the environmental group “Last Generation” blocked Berlin’s rush-hour traffic again last Tuesday morning. Further protests are expected in the coming days. The activists had previously obstructed traffic for several hours on several main arteries. Dozens of protesters were involved. The A100 motorway was particularly affected, including the Spandauer Damm and Messedamm junctions as well as the exit to the A115 Avus. As well as a quick return to the nine-euro-ticket, one of the most overdue safety measures in the acute situation of climate emergency is a 100 km/h speed limit on German motorways, said press spokesperson Aimee van Baalen. Source: rbb



Rape culture at Oktoberfest

More than 50 reported sexual offences at the Oktoberfest, including the rape of a woman in a beer tent toilet. This is evidence of a so-called “rape culture”. Rape culture stands for the dull feeling that rape is something like a force of nature. An external catastrophe that can no more be avoided than a hurricane. One can at least prepare oneself a little for hurricanes. At the Oktoberfest, this seems to be more difficult – although there is a prevention project, the “Sichere Wiesn” initiative, which offers victims advice and help. However, the focus here is on potential victims, not with those who perpetrate rape and sexualised violence. Source: deutschlandfunkkultur

Cottbus, we have a problem

Cottbus has just avoided nationwide attention for being Germany’s first major city with an AfD major. So now take a breath, shake off the tension and get back to business as usual? It is better to stay alert. The AfD got about a third of Cottbus residents to vote for their candidate. This is a candidate who wants to solve the housing problem by deporting 400 foreigners, among other issues. The current Germany Monitor points out that only 39 percent of East Germans are satisfied with democracy. Only one in three believes that politicians care about the country’s well-being. Something is breaking away in its municipalities. Source: rbb

Nearly 14 million people in Germany threatened with poverty

Although Germany is one of the richest countries in the world, 13.8 million people are threatened or directly affected by poverty. This is the conclusion of the Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband in its current poverty report. The Federal Government also states in its Poverty and Wealth Report 2022 that there is a growing gap between rich and poor. In the country, considering figures, it is considered poor singles who have less than 1,148 euros per month. For single parents with one small child it is 1,492 euros, and for a couple household with two small children 2,410 euros. Source: dw

“Starting small”: a pastor fights poverty in Cologne

In the basement of his church, Pastor Franz Meurer shows how poverty can be fought in a rich country – without politics, but with the help of donations and volunteers. He has built a kind of factory on the almost 1000 square meters of church basement of St. Theodor in Vingst, a factory to fight poverty. With hundreds of helpers, he collects donations, distributes food and clothes, has tutoring, repairs bicycles, organizes the largest holiday camp in the city. The Pastor also says he is not interested in discussing poverty. He says it is more important to start small, where you can make a difference yourself. Source: dw

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