News from Berlin and Germany, 22nd May 2024

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Neukölln and the Nakba

The CDU wants to have the publication ‘Mythos Israel 1948’ in Berlin schools. Die Linke in Neukölln opposes this. The brochure was published a few weeks before 7 October and has since been the subject of a fierce debate. ‘It is important for us to point out that it [the Nakba] was not a systematic expulsion,’ declared a spokesperson for the Masiyot association, which published the brochure. The authors mention that ‘the brochure was never intended to be distributed to schools,’ but only as background material for informed readers. Source: taz

Tuntenhaus is saved

For three months, the residents of the Tuntenhaus in Prenzlauer Berg had to fear for their home, but since Thursday it has been clear: the district of Pankow has a preemptive right to buy the property and the future of the queer house project is secure. Tuntenhaus has occupied the building in Kastanienallee since 1990. The Bavarian investor who had bought the house had until last Wednesday night to sign a settlement agreement, but failed to do so. The house will be sold to the Edith Maryon Foundation. Source: taz

Musk is allowed to build

The alliance ‘Tesla den Hahn abdrehen’ (Turn off the tap on Tesla) describes the vote in the Grünheide municipal council as a ‘bitter blow for water protection and democracy:’ 11 of the 19 Grünheide representatives voted in favour of a development plan last Thursday. Despite the fact that more than 60% of Grünheide residents had spoken out against it in a public survey in February, the US car manufacturer Tesla was given the green light to expand its plant. After the result of the vote became known, its opponents announced further resistance. Source: jW


Investigations after demonstration to remember Nakba

The Berlin Police are investigating 25 criminal charges following another demonstration involving thousands of people to mark the Palestinian Nakba Memorial Day. The charges include incitement, insults, and attacks on police officers. 25 participants were provisionally arrested during the protest march on Saturday. According to the police, around 6,200 people took part at the peak. Around 2,000 participants had been expected. The protest march was therefore stopped several times, but the demonstration managed to reach its destination in Mitte. Source: zeit

EU elections: German 16-year-olds to cast their first votes

A decrease in Germany’s voting age from 18 to 16 could bring more than a million additional people to the polls for the European elections. There are even posters designed to encourage young people to vote in June’s European elections. One has the slogan “First kiss, first time, first vote” and was created by media design students Maja Steinbach, Maria Viktoria Junker and Fabian Navarro. Within Germany, 16-year-olds are eligible to vote in state elections in six states, but this is the first year that people as young as 16 can vote in the elections for the European Parliament. Source: dw

Bystron’s offices raided over bribery probe

German police have raided the offices of a leading member of the AfD over money-laundering and bribery allegations. MP Petr Bystron is accused of receiving money from Russia in return for influence – something he denies. The raids were carried out in a number of locations, including Munich, Mallorca, and the MP’s parliamentary office in Berlin. The Bundestag has agreed to lift parliamentary immunity and to allow for criminal proceedings against him. Bystron is the party’s number two candidate for next month’s European Parliament elections. Another of the AfD’s lead candidates, Maximilian Krah, is currently being investigated for alleged payments from Russia and China, but denies any wrongdoing. Source: bbc

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