• theleftberlin

News from Germany and Berlin: 14 November, 2020


NEWS FROM GERMANY

Escalation with announcement

Thousands of opponents of the measures to protect against the corona pandemic took part in a demonstration in Leipzig on Saturday, demagogically announced as an "Assembly for Freedom". This was organised by the initiatives "Querdenken 341" and "Querdenken 711". The vast majority of the demonstrators did not adhere to the infection control measures, which meant that the rally was not allowed to go on. This has led to a series of attacks on the emergency forces, journalists and anti-fascists present. The fascists could march without being stopped. Federal Minister of Justice Christine Lambrecht (SPD) demanded a thorough explanation of the events. Source: jW

"You will like Germany"

As a child, Rafael Seligmann moved with his parents from Israel to West Germany and experienced antisemitism. During schooltime already he had to experience prejudice, understanding that antisemitism was fed into pupils by teachers, clergymen, antisemitic politicians - by people in authority. He believed the hostility towards Jews would disappear, as long as the decades would pass on. But he realised later that antisemitism resembles a retrovirus, changing from religious to "racial" to ideological hostility. He believes one must not resign oneself. It is important to discuss and enlighten undaunted. Source: taz

As if struck by lightning

Since Monday, the Federal Police in Berlin, Frankfurt am Main and Kaiserslautern have been allowed to use tasers as weapons on a trial basis. After this period, the tasers might even be used nationwide, according to the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Human rights organisations like Amnesty International (AI) point out that tasers can also be life-threatening - the risk is particularly high for people with heart defects or pacemakers. According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, officers are to "avoid" shots at heart patients and pregnant women, and aiming at the head, neck, nape of the neck and genitals. Source: nd

Put in place

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution may no longer call the Hans Litten Archive "extremist". The Archive, founded in 2005, conducts research on the history of the solidarity organisations of the labour movement and social movements, including the various Rote-Hilfe associations over the last 100 years. The decision to include the archive in the secret service report was made in 2018. As the mention in the report on the protection of the constitution endangers for instance the cooperation with other scientific institutions, the association went to court. In the second instance, it has now been partially upheld. Source: jW

Police officer sentenced for xenophobic mail

On Tuesday, the Cologne district court punished a police officer to three months' suspended prison. He admitted to having written a hate mail on Facebook. The man used the derogatory term "Nafris" in his post. In addition to his suspended sentence, he has to pay 3,000 euros for ”Brot für die Welt.” He is also facing disciplinary proceedings within the Cologne police authority: an indictment is being prepared and it will be dealt with by the Administrative Court in Düsseldorf. Source: wdr

Skin colour is decisive

This week, the Ruhr University of Bochum presented the latest results of a study about bodily injury caused by police officers. The survey found that 62% of the People of Color (PoC) stated they experienced discrimination during checks and other contacts with police officers. The criminologist Tobias Singelnstein said that although the survey is not representative, it does provide important clues. For the study, 3,373 persons were interviewed who had experienced physical violence by police officers and classified it as unlawful. In contrast, there was little awareness of the problem among the police. For instance, officials cited so-called empirical knowledge as a reason for the behaviour. Source: nd


NEWS FROM BERLIN

Despite rent cap and pandemic, new construction rents rise

Rents in Berlin have risen, from 12.25 to 14 euros per square metre. The estate agents' association says that the increase in newly built flats is unchecked despite the rent cap. There is either nothing to be reported on the remaining stock for the same reason. In terms of purchase prices, sellers achieved the highest prices in the Mitte district (5,100 euros per square metre) and in the Charlottenburg district (4,700 euros per square metre). The limits of growth have been reached for residential and commercial buildings, though. One explanation for this could be the pandemic with confinement and a trend towards the home office. Source: tagesspiegel

Multimillionaires own half of Berlin

Around 800,000 of the approximately 1.75 million rented flats in the capital belong to large owners. This is the conclusion reached by financial expert Christoph Trautvetter in his study "Who owns the city?” On behalf of the left-wing Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, he analysed the groups of owners and their business practices on the Berlin property market. Trautvetter, who once learned the tricks of the trade at management consultants KPMG to avoid tax payments and regulations, has identified other owners of portfolios of between 3,000 and 10,000 flats in Berlin. Source: nd

The NPD is back in parliament

The neo-Nazi party has a seat in parliament again with former AfD member of parliament Kay Nerstheime. In 2016, he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies with 26 percent of the vote via the AfD. It is unclear what Nerstheimer has to gain from joining NPD, but, in an interview with Udo Voigt, he described the AfD there as a "system party" that had "left its patriotic path." The Mobile Beratung gegen Rechtsextremismus Berlin (MBR) fears that the NPD could get sensitive information through Nerstheimer, after all, he is a member of the committee for interior affairs. Source: nd