News from Berlin and Germany: 26th June 2021

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany


Compiled by Phil Butland


Another occupied house threatened with an eviction notice

The owner of Rigaer Straße 94 wants to issue eviction orders against 3 or 4 tenants. This follows previous evictions from the same building. The house has been occupied since 1990 and is a symbol for the autonomous scene. Last Wednesday, activists erected barricades and police deployed water cannons and armoured recovery vehicles before breaking into the house. Berlin interior senator Andreas Geisel (SPD) expressed his support for the eviction. Source: Zeit

Axel-Springer group tells supporters of Palestine to find new jobs

The CEO of the Axel Springer group, which owns Bild. Die Welt and other newspapers, has said that workers who have problems with the Israel flag should find a job elsewhere. Mathias Döpfner made the statement in an international video conference with his employees. During the bombing of Gaza, the Springer press has flown an Israel flag in front of its headquarters, next to flags of Europe, Germany and Berlin. Döpfner called this “a sign of our solidarity”. Source: tacheles

Court rules that Airbnb must hand over landlord data

Airbnb must hand over data about landlords to the authorities if there is suspicion of a fake registration number. LINKE senator Sebastian Scheel celebrated the ruling, saying that “we can only differentiate between legal and illegal holiday homes if there is transparency and data requests are possible.” The case will probably now go to the higher court, and the Berlin Senate is planning new legislation to contain “touristification” of well-loved districts. Source: rbb

Nearly 350,000 votes for Expropriation

Nearly one tenth of Berliners have signed the petition for the Deutsche Wohnen & Co Enteignen referendum. Nearly 350,000 signatures agree that private housing corporations which own more than 3,000 homes should be socialized. The campaign, which was supported by way over 1,000 active collectors has been collecting signatures for four months. The necessary quorum in Berlin is 7% of people eligible to vote – about 175,000 people. Even accounting for invalid signatures, this target has been reached despite pandemic and lockdown. Source: taz


We are talking about organised Nazis in the police”

The German police contains networks of right wing extremists and racists, including in the heavily armed special command troops. Philosopher Daniel Loick says that this is no surprize. Victims have been reporting such cases for decades. Right wing men are attracted to the claim that the special command troops are last battalion protecting Germany from extreme danger. Despite the attempt to recruit migrants to the Berlin police, the police is still carrying out racial profiling. Source: fr

Hamas flag to be banned in Germany

The CDU-SPD government fractions are united in the desire to ban Hamas flags from Germany. “We don’t want flags from terror organisations to be waved on German soil”, said the deputy CDU leader Thomas Frei. There are problems that Hamas does not have an official flag. Germany-based Israeli journalist Yossi Bartal also notes that even the Israeli politician Mansour Abbas has been photographed in front of the so-called Hamas flag. Abbas is a member of the coalition just elected to rule Israel. Source: taz

Rail union prepares strikes

The train drivers’ union, the GDL, announced that it will be balloting its members for strike action. Results are due on 9 August, and union leader Claus Weselsky is expecting more than 90% voting for strike action. Rail bosses have declared that drivers will receive no pay rise in 2021, and a 1.4% rise starting in October 2022. They also want to increase the number of shift changes made at short notice by up to 40%. Although the union has already lowered its demands, Deutsche Bahn is not budging. Source: nd

Corporations and politicians support LGBTIQ rights – but only when it costs nothing

UEFA banned Munich football stadium’s rainbow protest against homophobic Hungarian president Victor Orban. Rainbow flags were still flown from the town hall and posted in social media by politicians and corporations like BMW, Siemens and Sparkasse. But the CDU-SPD government is still opposing laws which will help LGBT people. Volkswagen is continuing to work with FIFA for next year’s World Cup in Qatar, despite the countries many human rights – including for LGBT people. Source: nd

Tags: ,