News from Berlin and Germany, 19th April 2023

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Administrative Court confirms ban on pro-Palestinian demo in Berlin

The planned pro-Palestinian demonstration at Hermannplatz in Neukölln last Saturday was banned. This was the decision of the Higher Administrative Court (OVG). The judges cited similar dangers as the police and the previous administrative court, where the case had first been considered. According to their own statements, the police were nevertheless on duty: Berlin police tweeted officers remained on the ground around Hermannplatz in Neukölln. There were squad cars around the registered assembly point at Hermannplatz, and according to a spokesperson, 360 officers were on duty. However, at the originally scheduled time of the rally at 5.30 p.m., everything was calm, there was no crowd. Source: rbb

FU Berlin student representatives´ criticize MPs

Last February, Asta, the student representative´s organisation of Freie Universität (FU) Berlin, sent out warnings about a man on campus committing acts of sexual violence. Asta also recommended those affected to call in the social psychiatric service. People who belong to a marginalised group were advised not to contact the police in view of practices such as racial profiling. The Berlin police, on their turn, accused Asta of protecting perpetrators instead of victims. And, since then, Asta had to answer many parliamentary questions– the organisation can currently hardly do justice to its actual task of representing student interests. Source: tagesspiel


Germany says goodbye to nuclear power

There has been an ongoing dispute over Germany’s nuclear power plants.  The governing coalition of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP agreed to stick to Germany’s nuclear planned phase-out, decided in 2011 by previous governments. The last nuclear power plants were previously set to close by the end of 2022. But Russia’s war against Ukraine changed everything once Russian gas supplies to Germany stopped and an energy emergency was feared. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) then pushed the phase-out date back until April 15 2023. The power plants ran for a total of 22,596 days. Source: dw

Last Generation: Imprisonment for another road blockade

Because they had blocked streets again directly after a conviction, three activists of the Last Generation now must spend several months in prison. After a nine-hour trial, the Heilbronn district court sentenced two men and one woman to prison terms of five, four and three months without the possibility of probation. According to the public prosecutor’s office and activists, the sentence is the harshest ever imposed on members of the Last Generation in Germany. Another defendant was sentenced to three months’ probation. The sentence is not yet final. One of the sentenced justified his actions: “Peaceful, civil protest is part of the history of democracy”. Source: taz

NRW Greens: Almost no word on Lützerath

Party conventions are not necessarily the events where parties review decisions from the past: looking forward is usually the order of the day. Certainly no one can blame the Greens for celebrating their success on Sunday morning when the last three German nuclear power plants went off the grid. However, another topic one might have expected to be discussed, was not to be heard. That is; the evacuation of Lützerath in January and the associated lignite mining until 2030. This was despite a long list of signatures from Green Party members before the place´s evacuation. Source: nd-aktuell

Legalisation of cannabis in Germany: some key points

The federal government has initiated the partial legalisation of cannabis. Potentially, in the near future, the purchase and possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis from the age of 18 will be exempt from punishment. The cultivation of few cannabis plants is also to be permitted at home. In addition, the federal government wants to allow the cultivation and distribution of the drug in special associations. In principle, cannabis should no longer be legally classified as a narcotic. The consumption near schools or day-care centres will not be allowed. Source: mdr

Tags: ,