News from Berlin and Germany, 28 April 2022

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany



“I don’t want to sexualise my breasts”

Gabrielle Lebreton is one of the first people to file a lawsuit in the sense of the Berlin State Anti-Discrimination Act (LADG). As an activist, she is now campaigning to show her breast in public without being sexualized. Last summer together with her six-year-old son, she lied topless on the lawn of the Plansche, in Treptow-Köpenick. The security staff of the district expelled her from the place. Therefore, Lebreton felt discriminated once men were allowed to be there topless, but she was not. The Berlin State Anti-Discrimination Act, from June 2020, aims to provide no one will be discriminated based on gender, ideology, disability, among other aspects. Source: rbb.

Voting rights in Berlin

In addition to electoral law reform on the federal level, organizations are primarily calling on the Senate to change the electoral law. This could mean for instance people without German citizenship would have the right to vote as long as they live permanently in Berlin. Also, Raed Saleh (SPD) and Sebastian Czaja (FDP) announced that the lowering of the voting age for the House of Representatives to 16, as agreed in the Red-Green-Red coalition agreement, might be enshrined in law this year. For this to happen, the constitution must be amended with a two-thirds majority. Source: nd.

House for the homeless to be demolished

After years of litigation, the Mitte district authority in Berlin wants to approve the demolition of the apartment buildings at Habersaatstraße 46 and 48. This is the result of a letter to the tenants signed by district mayor Stephan von Dassel (“die Grünen”). The initiative “Leerstand hab ich Saath” criticized the agreement of the district with the owner Arcadia Estate GmbH on Monday as “scandalous”. The district seems to approve the demolition under the following conditions: The remaining old tenants are to be given relocation flats and can live at their old rent for ten years or receiving 1,000 euros in compensation per square metre. Source: taz.



“Die Linke” and patriarchy

The executive committee of the Left Party (“die Linke”) has published a resolution on how to deal with sexualized assaults in the party. The previous co-chair Susanne Hennig-Wellsow has already not participated in that meeting – because she resigned a few hours earlier. In her statement, she mentioned the “blatant deficits” in “dealing with sexism in our own ranks”. The remaining chairperson, Janine Wissler, should lead the party alone until a new election. However, Wissler may be involved in the LeftMeToo scandal, which became public at the end of last week through a “Spiegel” investigation. Source: nd.

Baerbock and her visit to the Baltic states

Before Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (“die Grünen”) took her flight home to Germany after three days of talks in the three Baltic states, she stopped by in Rukla. For five years now, the German Armed Forces have been leading one of the four NATO battlegroups in this Lithuanian town; for the first time since the Second World War, German soldiers are stationed there on former Soviet territory. The battlegroup is in a state of upheaval: after the Russian attack on Ukraine, it has already been increased to a good 1,500 soldiers, two-thirds of them German. Source: jW.

Freedom of expression for Israel boycott

The Stuttgart Palestine Committee is allowed again to announce events on the capital of Baden-Württenberg website. The committee is a civil society group, which campaigns for Palestinian rights and criticizes Israel as an “apartheid state”. For many years, the Committee was listed as a local initiative on the city website, therefore allowed to announce its events there. However, in 2018 a journalist from the Jerusalem Post criticized that, and the Committee’s access was impeded. When the Committee threatened a lawsuit in 2021, Stuttgart invoked its 2019 anti-discrimination declaration. Its Administrative Court (VG), though, understood the city’s website is a “public institution”, with access as other local organisations. Source: taz.




Tags: ,