News from Berlin and Germany, 8th December 2022

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany



“I’m starting over in Berlin”: Ukrainian queer refugees meet in Hellersdorf.

There is a new centre for queer refugees from Ukraine in Marzahn-Hellersdorf. The “Green House” wants to be a place for everyone—and it lives up to this motto. A children’s club, a neighbourhood meeting place for senior citizens, a dance school, and now also a queer centre for Ukrainian refugees. In Kherson, Maryna Usmanova was head of the influential NGO “The Other,” which campaigns for LGBTI rights. In Berlin, she has to start from scratch. The centre is supported by Quarteera, an association of Russian-speaking queer people. Quarteera supports queer refugees from both Russia and Ukraine, but there have been no conflicts between them. Source: tagesspiegel

Last Generation wants to block streets in Berlin again soon

Motorists will soon have to expect road blockades again in Berlin and it is likely that there will be noticeably more disruptions to road traffic. After a break of several days, Last Generation has announced it will continue its actions early next week. “We are going to the veins of society where it needs to flow,” said Henning Jeschke, one of the activists. “There will be interruptions at all corners and ends,” affirmed the 22-year-old. This includes not only roads and motorways, but also airports. “We will not let prison sentences stop us from fighting for a good future,” stressed Joel Schmitt, another activist. Source: bz

Full speed to the perfect election

Rolfdieter Bohm, who has been a public prosecutor and a judge, is responsible now for six constituencies: Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg 1 to 6. Bohm’s responsibility is all the greater. He is one of twelve so-called “district electoral officers.” This means he must ensure a flawless repeat election on 12 February and make sure that his district office does not collapse under the pressure. The 2,000 employees in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg must achieve in just three months what they would otherwise have a whole year to do. Several challenges come up such as changes in the candidates list: in the district, some have moved away, and two have died. Source: rbb24

Homophobic and transphobic offences reach record high

The number of crimes against LGBTI+ and other queer people registered by the police in Berlin has continued to rise. This is according to the figures of the new “Monitoring Report on Transphobic and Homophobic Violence,” which the Senate Department for Justice, Diversity and Anti-Discrimination presented last Monday. 456 cases were recorded last year; in 2020 there were 377. According to the report, insults are by far the most common offence, accounting for almost half of all cases (48.5 per cent). Almost a third (28.7 per cent) involved bodily harm, and one tenth (9.6 per cent) involved grievous bodily harm. Source: rbb24


Is the Bundeswehr operational?

Only for two days of intense fighting—that’s all the ammunition the Bundeswehr is supposed to have. Alarming headlines appeared in German media over the past few days about the state of the local military. The figure apparently leaked out from anonymous sources. If true (which cannot be confirmed as it is a state secret), German ammunition stocks are far below the standards expected by NATO, requiring each member country to have a 30-day supply of ammunition. According to defence experts, Germany would have to invest 20 to 30 billion euros just to make up this deficit. Source: dw

Not everyone is welcome

The war in Ukraine has united European countries in recent months. According to a recent study by the Technical University Dresden and the Mercator Foundation, however, support for Ukraine is declining in the public opinion of the EU population. The study also shows the desire to control and limit immigration is strong across Europe, at 55 percent. Countries like Sweden, which have long been the poster child for European openness, are among the frontrunners. Reservations are particularly strong about migrants from predominantly Muslim countries. The conclusion of the study is therefore not very flattering for the EU, despite its solidarity with Ukraine. Source: taz

Raid against planned coup d’état

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office accuses about 50 men and women of having formed a terrorist organisation in order to eliminate the constitutional order of the Federal Republic of Germany and to establish a state modelled on the German Reich of 1871. However, the group did not get very far. Special police forces stormed the homes of the accused, executed 25 arrest warrants and began extensive searches. The security authorities consider the group to be extremely dangerous, especially because active and former Bundeswehr soldiers with special training are among the accused. Leading investigators describe today’s operation against the group as unprecedented: “This is beyond all dimensions in terms of scope.” Source: tagesschau