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News from Germany and Berlin: 17 October, 2020


Antisemitism, a quite common attitude

At a Magdeburg police department, since the 1990s the carrier of its canteen was dubbed as "Jew". An anonymous e-mail received by the Burgenlandkreis police department on last Friday brought this into light. The accusation was immediately investigated and confirmed. Holger Stahlknecht (CDU), who has been under criticism after claiming that the police forces that guarded Jewish institutions in Saxony-Anhalt were missing elsewhere, said he was “misunderstood” and considers the current situation as “high priority.” Meanwhile, Christiane Bergmann, head of the department for Public Security (Saxony-Anhalt), emphasized that the case in Magdeburg cannot be considered isolated, but as part of a disseminated attitude. Source: taz

Strike at prime time

The trade union Verdi called on Amazon employees at seven distribution centers in six cities to strike, beginning last Tuesday with the early shift and ending with the late shift on Wednesday. Amazon declared on the same day most of its employees were working "as on any other day." The tension has been actually raging for years: Verdi demands a collective agreement for Amazon employees similar to that in the retail and mail order business. The company rejects this, claiming the activities at the various locations are not to be attributed to retail but to logistics. Source: jW

The 1.5 degree target is still possible

The Paris Climate Agreement aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius if possible. Germany has committed itself on reducing CO2 emissions by 80 to 95 percent until 2050 compared to 1990 levels. Fridays for Future has commissioned a study from the Wuppertal Institute, and it concludes that such goal for Germany would mean achieving climate neutrality as early as 2035. In order to achieve this, measures such as a thorough supply of renewable energy, abolition of domestic flights and strong reduction of inner-city car traffic should be adopted as soon as possible. Source: nd


Official beats man in Friedrichshain

A video is currently circulating in social media that may show a case of police violence in Friedrichshain. The approximately one-minute clip shows two young men discussing with two uniformed police officers. Aggressive behavior of the men towards the officers is not visible in the video. However, it is unclear in which context the recordings were made. One of the police officers approaches and pushes one of the men, hitting him. The second policeman approaches the man who is filming the video, who states he is filming the action. The Berlin police mentioned the video is now "part of an ongoing investigation." Source: tagesspiegel

Fewer new apartments and buildings in areas run by the CDU

Gaby Gottwald (die Linke) points out that districts run by the CDU, such as Steglitz-Zehlendorf and Reinickendorf, seem not be concerned with the construction of new buildings. She backs up this assertion with a yet unpublished response from the Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing. According to this, in Reinickendorf just under 3,300 apartments were approved there from 2017 on. In Steglitz-Zehlendorf, there were almost 2,000 apartments built in the same period, and none of them was considered for public ownership. She believes that new construction in Berlin is often left to the poorer districts of the city. Source: nd

Powerless rage for “Liebig 34”

After the evacuation of the "Liebig 34" queer-feminist centre, the rage of its supporters was released in the evening. Around Hackescher Markt, shop windows were broken, and cars were set on fire. The President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, declared the violence to be "left-wing extremism" which was becoming “increasingly brutal and personal.” Die Linke remained meek: on Wednesday afternoon it pleaded for the eviction to be postponed because of the pandemic and made no further statements. Feminists such as Sawsan Chebli (SPD) or Anne Helm (die Linke) - were silent about the eviction. Source: jW

Speculator sends in a squad of thugs

Four people, who apparently belong to a private "security service," threatened passers-by on Monday evening in front of the house at Liebigstraße 34. They were armed with crowbars, metal rods and shovels and reacted extremely aggressively to a woman who had lit a candle around 22:00. Officials were not present at that time. The "security company" was apparently hired by the owner of the property, Gijora Padovicz. Inquiries to the Padovicz Group were not possible once it does not have a website with contact details, nor is the telephone working at the number given. Source: jW

Out of invisibility

An estimated 60,000 to 100,000 undocumented migrants live in Berlin. The undocumented status means no complaints about their wages, no charges against harassment, no demonstrations, no campaigns, and no political demands against their undignified situation. This must change. Several migrant self-organizations have founded the network "Legalization Now!" with the goal of making no distinction between qualified and unqualified, legal and illegal migrants. One of the its demands is that migrants play a central role as subjects with rights and that access to these rights is guaranteed. Although the network meets in Berlin, it is already internationally networked. Source: nd

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