News from Berlin and Germany, 27th January 2022

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany



Left: suspend compulsory attendance for schools

Berlin’s Left Party (“die Linke”) has again called for following Brandenburg’s example and suspending compulsory attendance because of the current Omicron wave. This should allow pupils who themselves or their family members have pre-existing conditions to study from home, as parliamentary group leader Carsten Schatz announced on Saturday. “Maintaining full attendance teaching in schools should not be a dogma, just as correcting a position in this difficult situation does not mean a political defeat.” Schatz explained that the schools themselves, together with pupils and parents, should decide in an uncomplicated way on the application of flexible teaching models. Source: Süddeutsche

“Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen & Co.” demands majority in Berlin expert commission

The initiative won over 59 per cent of the votes in the referendum on 26 September. The initiators of the successful Berlin referendum “Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen & Co.” have made it clear they will not be taken to the cleaners without a fight when it comes to appointing the “expert commission” that is to examine its implementation. The majority of seats are allocated to supporters of the socialisation of real estate companies with more than 3,000 flats. Transparency is also necessary. The meetings of the committee would have to be public. Source: heise



No room ban for Israel boycott

Cities are not allowed to prohibit the discussion of the boycott of Israel in municipal rooms. This was decided by the Federal Administrative Court with reference to the fundamental right of freedom of opinion. The ruling of the Federal Administrative Court is effective nationwide. It puts a temporary end to the dispute over the BDS movement, which calls, among other things, for a boycott of goods from Israel. BDS stands for “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions”. In future, cities will only be allowed to refuse municipal premises for BDS events if there is a serious risk of criminal offences, such as incitement of the people and insults. Source: taz

Mass coming-out in the Catholic Church

In an unprecedented action, 122 employees of the Catholic Church in German-speaking countries have come out as queer and demanded an end to their discrimination. Among them are priests, parish and pastoral ministers, religion teachers, but also employees from the church administration. The new network aims to mobilize the public against such pressures from the Church and is calling on all LGBTI people working full-time or in a voluntary capacity for the Catholic Church to join it. Bishops and all those with responsibility in the Church, parishes, associations and religious congregations have been asked to publicly declare their support for the manifesto. Source:

Experts from Cameroon denied visas victims of “institutional racism”

Yrine Matchinda and her colleague Lucie Mbogni Nankeng of the University of Dschang have been touring Cameroon’s francophone areas in the last two years. This collaborative project was initiated by the German Lost Art Foundation and the ethnological Museum Fünf Kontinente in Munich. Among the more than 200 objects from its collection there are the so-called and famous “Blaue-Reiter-Pfosten” (Blue Rider Post). However, the researchers, who wanted to present a workshop in Munich, about their findings, will have to attend that online once they have not got visas for entry in the country. Considered that Matchinda for instance was already in Germany, the researchers mention “institutional racism.” Source: dw

Shooting at Heidelberg University

Police said that a man entered at the Heidelberg University Lecture Hall with a double-barrelled shotgun and another firearm as a class was running and opened fire. Four people were wounded. A 23-year-old woman died several hours later in the hospital. The suspect was identified an 18-year-old biology student, who turned the weapon on himself after the shooting. Police also mentioned they found a backpack belonging to the shooter containing a large amount of ammunition. At first, police stayed clear of the stricken suspect and his bag, suspecting it might contain explosives. No motive was released by police. Source: dw

Demonstrator dies at Corona protest

A demonstrator died during a Corona protest in Wandlitz in Brandenburg on Monday evening. A police spokeswoman mentioned “The 53-year-old Barnimer wanted to break through this police chain. He was stopped and gave his personal details to the officers without resistance. He was then able to continue on his way.” According to the police, there was no fisticuffs or shoving. However, when going back to his car, he collapsed. Police officers are said to have administered first aid immediately. Meanwhile, a video of the far-right splinter party Free Saxons showed a man being pushed by a policeman on the fringes of a Corona protest. Source: Berliner Zeitung

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