News from Berlin and Germany, 6th March 2024

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Yuval Abraham receives death threats after Berlinale

The Israeli Yuval Abraham, who was awarded together with the Palestinian Basel Adra the Berlinale’s best documentary award for No Other Land, has received death threats. Abraham also said several individuals turned up at his family members’ home in Israel. Abraham’s acceptance speech, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, was one of several moments during the closing ceremony in which solidarity with Palestine was expressed. It sparked an outcry in German media, with several politicians considering the speeches as “antisemitic”. “If this is Germany’s way of dealing with its guilt over the Holocaust, they are emptying it of all meaning”, he affirmed. Source: guardian

After pro-Palestine demonstration: suspected incitement to hatred

Following a pro-Palestinian demonstration last Saturday with more than 7,000 participants in Berlin, the German Press Agency reported that six investigations into protest attendees were underway. According to the information provided, this was triggered by verbal statements made during the demonstration. An unauthorised drone flight is also being investigated for violating the Aviation Act. According to a police spokesperson, a person injured a police officerduring an identity check. Around 7,300 people took part in the “Global South Resists” demonstration, which started at Alexanderplatz at 2.00 pm and ended at Potsdamer Platz at around 7.00 pm. Source: Zeit

Environmental activists block Elsenbrücke bridge at Treptower Park

Environmental activists and activists from the “Stop Fossil Subsidies” alliance blocked the slip road to the Elsen bridge at Treptower Park on Saturday. Among other things, the action was directed against the expansion of the A100 motorway in Berlin. The Berlin police spoke of 150 participants, the organisers of 500. The blockade was preceded by a bicycle demonstration, and it includes several environmental groups, including the Last Generation and Extinction Rebellion. According to the plans of the Federal Ministry of Transport, the A100 motorway is to be extended from the Treptower Park exit across the Spree and through Friedrichshain towards Lichtenberg in the coming years. Source: berliner-zeitung

Forest peacefully occupied near Tesla plant in Grünheide

The protest action in the wooded area occupied by activists near the Tesla plant in Grünheide continues to be peaceful: the situation remained calm on the second day of the protest. The police present kept a low profile. The activists have built around a dozen tree houses at a height of around eight to ten metres. Many of the visibly young people are keeping their faces covered in order not to be recognised by the police. The protesters say they want to prevent the planned clearing of the pine forest. Tesla’s high water consumption has also come under criticism. The activists say they are preparing for a week-long protest. Source: rbb



Migrant working conditions in Germany

Most migrants in Germany work for too little money and under particularly poor conditions. Just as the “Skilled Labour Immigration Act” came into full force on Friday, the Federal Statistical Office announced this – possibly involuntarily – with reference to figures from the 2022 microcensus. According to these figures, employees with a “history of immigration” are found more frequently than average in cleaning professions (around 60 per cent) or in the catering industry (45.6 per cent). With a share of 25 per cent of all employees, people with a “history of immigration” therefore make up more than half of all those working in “low-skilled occupations”. Source: junge Welt

Back to red

The next round of strikes at Deutsche Bahn AG (DB AG) has been scheduled: for freight transport action begins next Wednesday at 6 pm, and for passenger transport on Thursday at 2 am. Both actions are to last 35 hours each. Claus Weselsky, Chairman of the German Train Drivers’ Union (GDL), announced the upcoming industrial action at a press conference in Berlin. According to Weselsky, the decisive reason for the new round of strikes is the refusal of the railway board to fulfil the union’s demand to reduce working hours for shift workers from 38 to 35 hours without material losses. Source: junge Welt

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