News from Berlin and Germany, 29th October 2021

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany



Berlin Left Youth Association rejects cooperation with Jusos and Green Youth

The youth associations of the SPD, the Greens and the Left Party are in a huff: the Left Youth has ruled out cooperation with the other two for the time being. Lisa Madsack, state director of the Left Youth, confirmed thaz Bengt Rüstemeier was elected to the eight-member new state speaker’s council. The 22-year-old former Jusos functionary hit the headlines in last February for tweets in which he mused about whether it was possible to “shoot landlord pigs” or “shoot young liberals”. Katina Schubert, state chairperson of the Left Party, criticised this “self-isolation from other youth associations.” Source: rbb

Higher Education Act: HU president resigns in protest

As a protest against the new Higher Education Act, the president of Berlin’s Humboldt University, Sabine Kunst, has resigned from her post. In a statement, she called the Senate’s plan “well-intentioned, but badly done”. Among other things, the amendment to the law would lead to a change in the university’s personnel structures. The number of permanent academic staff will increase significantly over the next few years. “However, our current structures are not geared towards this,” said Kunst. The spokesperson for research policy of the Berlin CDU parliamentary group, Adrian Grasse, called Kunst’s resignation a “deep blow for Berlin as a science location”. Source: rbb

Visa deadline for refugees extended

The Berlin Senat is extending the visa deadline for refugees from Syria and Iraq. Those who have relatives here can come until December 2022. With the decision on the extension, Senator Andreas Geisel (SPD) follows the red-red-green coalition agreement from 2016. But, also, in recent weeks, thousands of people have entered Germany without permission via Belarus and Poland. The Federal Police registered 6,162 cases since the beginning of the year until 21 October, most recently about 500 in two days. Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko is suspected of deliberately encouraging illegal migration in response to EU sanctions imposed in the spring. Source: morgenpost

Successful end to health workers’ strike

Striking employees of the Vivantes subsidiaries have won improvements. The strike is over. For six long weeks, up to 2,000 workers of the municipal hospital corporations were on strike. This follows recent victories by striking nursing staff at Charité and Vivantes hospitals. Their gains have now been applied to the employees of the Vivantes subsidiaries since Tuesday. The Verdi negotiators are keeping quiet about what exactly the agreement consists of, and how close they have come to the goal of equal treatment of the employees of the subsidiaries. Source: taz



Neo-Nazis attack refugees in the Polish border

In Brandenburg, several dozen armed neo-Nazis near Guben apparently followed the call of the fascist party, “Der III. Weg”, for so-called border walks. The action was directed against refugees and migrants. According to the police, who are increasingly patrolling the border area to ward off refugees, about 50 neo-Nazis were apprehended on last Sunday night. Pepper spray, a bayonet, a machete and batons were seized. Investigations are also underway for the use of symbols of anti-constitutional organisations. The suspects have all been ordered to leave the border region around Guben. Some of the people apprehended came from the immediate vicinity, but many had also travelled from other federal states. Source: jW

Man must serve several years in prison after racist attack in Erfurt

After a man kicked a Syrian in an Erfurt tram, a video of the attack went viral. Now the attacker has been sentenced to a long prison term. The act of the 41-year-old German could clearly be classified as racist. The verdict is not yet final. The defence announced that it would appeal. The attacker already confessed to the crime at the beginning of the trial and apologised. The judge accepted this, but stated: “We as representatives of the judiciary are not prepared to treat such acts as trifles.” The attack in April is unfortunately by no means an isolated case in the city. Source: Zeit

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