News from Berlin and Germany, 7th June 2023

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany



No artwashing for repressors

In the run-up to the 24th Long Book Night in Oranienstraße, Berlin, the art association Neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK) is cancelling its participation. The reason: this year, the Cologne real estate investor Pandion is also at the literature festival. Pandion has been operating a cultural venue in a former car dealership on Prinzessinnenstraße for several years as part of an interim use. During the book night, Pandion will present a programme with international authors. While the organisers of the book night did not comment on the decision, some rent activists from Friedrichshain expressed their agreement. Source: taz

Around 50,000 cyclists demonstrate at rally for better protection on the road

By midday on Sunday, around 50,000 cyclists had already taken part in a rally in Berlin to demonstrate for protected cycle paths and safe school roads. During the traditional bicycle star ride in the Großer Stern, participants demanded a more decisive approach by politicians to the traffic transition, a more modern road traffic law, the quicker expansion of cycling lanes, traffic-calmed areas, and 30 km/h speed zones for cars. At the rally, the bicycle club ADFC had demanded the federal government to revise the Road Traffic Act. “We will make Germany a cycling country,” says the appeal. Source: rbb24

Police investigate officer for incitement against refugees

Berlin police are investigating an employee who allegedly incited against climate activists and refugees. According to “Tagesspiegel”, the man is not a classical policeman, but a security guard in the so-called object protection of the police, where employees work guarding government buildings, embassies and synagogues. His posts on Facebook were found to be racist and sexist, he showed enthusiasm for the Wehrmacht and the AfD, agitated against refugees and climate activists and spread conspiracy theories about Ukraine. The investigation is being conducted by the so-called Central Investigation Group (EG). This group is responsible for investigating politically motivated criminality within its own apparatus. Source: Migazin

Republica: focus this year revolves around money

“What kind of digital world do we want to live in in the future and how do we achieve this goal?” This question from Markus Beckedahl, a co-founder of Republica (proper spelling: re:publica), is just one of many that will be answered at this year’s “Conference for Net Politics and Digital Culture,” which started in Berlin on Monday and is, by its own admission, the largest festival for the digital society in Europe. But the common thread of this year’s festival will be the flow of money, hence the clear motto: “Cash.” Minister Christian Lindner (FDP), one of the lecturers of this year, might talk among other topics about the so-called digital euro. Source: nd-aktuell


AfD as strong as SPD

If there had been a federal election last weekend, the right-wing AfD would have got 18 percent of the votes. Among the possible explanations for that is the dissatisfaction of the German citizens with the federal government: two-thirds doubt the efficacy of the “Ampel” coalition. Moreover, eight out of ten respondents think the “traffic light” parties are taking too long to solve the problems at hand. This is the result of a representative survey conducted by the opinion research institute infratest-dimap. Around 1,300 Germans eligible to vote were surveyed on 30 and 31 May 2023. Source: dw

New accusations against Till Lindemann

Several women are making new accusations against Rammstein frontman Lindemann. They describe how young women are apparently recruited specifically to have sex with him. Two women also report alleged sexual acts to which they had not consented. The two women spoke anonymously to NDR and SZ and gave their statements under oath. The reporters also have further statements from witnesses as well as numerous chat transcripts which support parts of the accusations. Both Lindemann and the band left questions from NDR and SZ about concrete accusations unanswered. Source: tagesschau

Police detain Left Party MP at demo in Leipzig

During a demonstration in Leipzig last Thursday, the police temporarily detained Juliane Nagel, a member of the Saxon parliament (Left Party). The police then said it was not an arrest: Nagel had “become part of a police operation.” The MP, who is also a city councilor in Leipzig and had registered the demonstration to mark Children’s Day, said later she was watching an action in which the police established the identities of two people. “I was standing there, a police officer first insulted or called me names. Then he pushed me out of the way. Then it occurred to him that I had allegedly assaulted him.” Source: Spiegel

Antifa because of state failure

With the sentences in the Antifa East trial against Lina E. and three other anti-fascists, the state has made an example. The defendants were not only sentenced for six bodily injuries. The verdict also applies to the anti-fascist self-image of militantly limiting the scope of action of Nazis if necessary, for example, if the state fails. Possible imitators are to be deterred. But the security authorities, from the Saxon Soko Linx to the Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD), are subject to a crucial error: the state itself has long been endangered, especially in the East. But from the right. Source: taz

Celebrities against the asylum course of the Federal Government

The list ranges from Herbert Grönemeyer to Nina Hoss: more than 50 celebrities from the arts and culture in Germany have signed an open letter against the asylum policy of the Federal Government. The non-governmental organisation #LeaveNoOneBehind started the initiative. The background to the criticism: next Thursday, the EU interior ministers want to discuss the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). In essence, the main issue is that at least part of the asylum procedures should be shifted to Europe’s external borders in future. In the case of rejection, applicants should be deported directly to their home countries. Source: Spiegel

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