News round-up #1
Intruders daub swastika graffiti inside kebab shop
Fascists broke in to a Friedrichshain döner restaurant and defaced it with a swastika and the word “raus” (“out”). The owner of the restaurant called the police on Wednesday evening after discovering the green graffiti on a wall. The attack happened while the restaurant was closed. Police are investigating.
Call for protests to stop Amazon coming to town
There’s still time to stop Amazon’s new high-rise office in Friedrichshain, activists say. Construction has started on the site by Warschauer Strasse S-Bahn, but the Face2Face group is calling for more protests. They say Amazon will promote gentrification and mass data collection with the 35-storey edifice, which will have space for 3,000 highly-paid staff.
Soaring rents push poor to outskirts of city
New tenants in Mitte and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg pay an average of €450 more per month than old tenants, according to a new report by government statisticians. The difference between old and new tenancies city-wide is €150, while in Marzahn-Hellersdorf new renters pay €325 less. This shows increasing rent is changing the population structure in some areas, authors say.
Senate funding saves Prinzessinnengarten
An ecological gardening and education project at Moritzplatz, Kreuzberg has been saved from closure. The Berlin Senate has approved a €300,000 grant to keep the venue open, along with a second garden. The land had previously been put up for sale in 2012. However, an open letter to the Senate and over 30,000 signatures stopped the planned privatisation.
Germany deports 44 men to Afghanistan
Another deportation flight from Germany has landed in Afghanistan. According to the interior ministry, 44 Afghan men were on board the plane. Pro Asyl, the refugee organisation, says this is the thirtieth mass deportation to Afghanistan in the past three years. The group is demanding a halt to deportations to the country in view of the aggravated security situation.
Mass blockades at mines and power plants
4,000 activists joined blockades at mines and power plants across Germany last weekend. The Ende Gelände (“End of the Land”) protests took place in the Lausitz region on the Brandenburg-Saxony border and at an open-cast mine in the Leipzig area. The group demands Germany’s immediate withdrawal from coal.
New Nazi scandal in German armed forces
An officer in the elite Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK) special forces has been suspended on suspicion of being a right-wing extremist. Media reports say the military’s counter-intelligence service had been monitoring the soldier, who had been deployed in Afghanistan, for several months. Christof Gramm, chief of the counter-intelligence service, had spoken of about 20 suspected extremists in the KSK.
Integration law is ruled unconstitutional
A law in the state of Bavaria that forces migrants to take part in courses on ‘democratic values’ violates the state constitution, a court has ruled. The Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Greens brought the lawsuit against the integration law, saying it was divisive. The court accepted that the requirement to take the courses went against freedom of expression, as did rules requiring broadcasters to “make a contribution to the teaching of the German language and Leitkultur.”
Source: Neues Deutschland