News from Berlin and Germany, 3rd May 2023

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



555 criminal charges against “Last Generation” last week

At the end of the “Last Generation” protest week on Friday, the Berlin police presented a preliminary balance of operations. By noon on Friday, 555 criminal charges had been filed and 320 administrative offence procedures initiated. The police also counted a total of 829 participants in the protests at 78 different locations in the capital, 202 of whom, according to the information, had glued themselves to the streets. They said that 21 ambulance operations had been hindered, and 7 emergency personnel had been injured. The climate group is calling for more decisive action against climate change and for the establishment of a social council with members drawn by lot. Source: rbb

Revolutionary May 1st Demo cut short

The new red-black Berlin state government has welcomed reports of a quiet May 1st. The revolutionary demonstration was forced to dissolve early at Kottbusser Tor instead of reaching the planned finish at Oranienplatz. This was due to a massive police presence at the newest Police station at Kotti. The organization ‘Rote Hilfe’ (Red Aid) have said that the police formation made it practically impossible for the demonstrators to leave. The police then began to storm into the crowd and arrest individuals. “Several people had panic attacks, it is only thanks to the level-headed reaction of the demonstration participants that there were no mass panics,” explains the Rote Hilfe. The organisers made the decision at this point to dissolve the demonstration. Source: nd-aktuell

Did the new CDU Mayor need the AfDs help?

Kai Wegner (CDU) was only elected governing mayor in the third round of voting. And now the AfD has claimed only thanks to their support. Can this be true? He needed an overall majority of 80 votes, which with the entire support of the 86 CDU and SPD members, he would have had. However, in the first two rounds, Wegner did not make it. In the third round, he got his absolute majority (even though, by this time only needing a relative majority) with 86 votes for, 70 against and 3 abstentions. There was a full turn out. As it is a secret ballet, we can not know who the 86 were. Although it is possible that it was exclusively CDU and SPD, given the results of the rounds before and the fact the AfD claims it told its members to vote for Wegner, it certainly plausible that Wegner only won with the help of the AfD. In any case, the AfD made a direct effort to spread its own spin. Source: taz



Apology from Döpfner demanded

The Alliance against Islamophobia and Muslimophobia (CLAIM) has called on the CEO of the Axel Springer media company, Mathias Döpfner, to apologise for his racist statement concerning Muslim people. The weekly newspaper “Die Zeit” had reported on messages allegedly sent within the Springer group. The quotes listed also included derogatory comments about East Germans and criticism of former German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). “Free west, fuck the intolerant Muslims and all the other Gesochs” reads one of Döpfner’s private messages. Döpfner has publicly apologised for controversial statements made in internal company news, but an apology to the equally defamed group of Muslims has so far not been forthcoming. Source: islamiq

Covid: vaccinate with and without recommendation

The Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) published this week a recommendation, where the urgency of a vaccination has been reduced. According to the report, children and adolescents without previous or underlying medical conditions no longer are receommended to get a vaccination. Such withdrawal of the vaccination recommendation has triggered fierce indignation. The immunologist Carsten Watzl said at the presentation of the report however that this did not mean a ban on vaccinating children and adolescents. The Stiko currently recommends an annual vaccination booster for people over 60 years of age, people with “relevant underlying diseases”, nursing home residents and medical and nursing staff. Source: nd-aktuell

Self-determination law: emancipation comes slowly

The regulation for a simplified change of gender registration is taking shape: people who do not identify with the sex assigned to them at birth are to be able to change their registered gender and first name more easily in future under the Self-Determination Act. Instead of having to submit lengthy and expensive psychological reports in court proceedings, as was previously the case under the Transsexuals Act, it will, in the future, be possible to change one’s civil status by going to the registry office. As before, it is possible to choose between the entries male, female, diverse and no entry. Source: nd-aktuell

Tübingen’s Mayor resigns from the Greens after racist comments

Tübingen’s Mayor Boris Palmer has announced he will be taking “time-off” and has resigned from the Green party. This comes after he publicly used and endorsed the use of racist language, such as the N-word, in a conference in Frankfurt am Main. In a statement, Palmer said he would be taking time off from Mayoral office, however made no mention of resigning from his party. Later that same day, the Green party made an announcement that he will be resigning from the Party, effective immediately. Source: swr

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