[gG:] [B] Join the United we Fight Demo & Discussion and Action Days 30.10.–1.11

United We Fight- Con­nect Urban Strug­gles, Defend Auto­no­mous Spaces

Inter­sec­tio­n­al call for the Demo on 31.10 and the Dis­cus­sion and Action Days 30.10. – 1.11.

In the last few years we have seen how Ber­lin is chan­ging through the pro­cess of gen­tri­fi­ca­ti­on that expels us from our neigh­bor­hoods, through evic­tions (5.000 per year), rent incre­a­ses, making life unbe­ara­ble and incre­a­sing poli­cing of public spaces. In the end, gen­tri­fi­ca­ti­on chan­ges the social geo­gra­phy of the city. Fur­ther­mo­re, the Ber­lin Government sells the city as „alter­na­ti­ve“, while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly evic­ting us from our poli­ti­ci­zed spaces of inter­ac­tion, coor­di­na­ti­on, crea­ti­on and sub­ver­si­ve life­style. The city is being sold to capi­tal; used as a tou­ris­tic attrac­tion avail­ab­le only to tho­se pri­vi­le­ged enough to pay very high pri­ces for chic new­ly built or reno­va­ted spaces, with con­struc­tion com­pa­nies and spe­cu­la­tors pro­fi­t­ing, the prac­ti­ce repeated by real esta­te agen­ci­es and endor­sed by the insti­tu­ti­ons of sta­te and gover­nan­ce. In order to achie­ve this the cops do not hesi­ta­te to use vio­lence for the bene­fit of lar­ge inves­tors, such as Vono­via SE, ADO Pro­per­ties SA, Deut­sche Woh­nen, Pears Glo­bal etc. The estab­lish­ment of red zones, mili­ta­ri­zed secu­ri­ty tac­tics and sur­veil­lan­ce are the means used to pre­vent us from moving free­ly in our neigh­bor­hoods. Approa­ching this in an inter­sec­tio­n­al man­ner, the rela­ti­ons­hip bet­ween dif­fe­rent forms of domi­na­ti­on, such as racism, hete­ro­se­xism and capi­ta­lism, affects us in a dis­tinct way.

This mani­fests its­elf in a con­ti­nuous incre­a­se of „alter­na­ti­ve“ white peop­le belon­ging to a par­ti­cu­lar social class in the demo­gra­phics of cer­tain neigh­bour­hoods. This pro­cess has been seen in the past in some parts of Kreuz­berg and Neu­kölln. The­se trans­for­ma­ti­ons are legi­ti­mi­zed by a dis­cour­se that por­trays Arab, Tur­kish and Kur­dish working class com­mu­nities as a „social pro­blem“ for the city, poin­ting to them as „the Others“ and making up excu­ses to dis­place them, while at the same time fai­ling to ques­ti­on the poor living con­di­ti­ons they have to suf­fer in con­se­quence of the gen­tri­fi­ca­ti­on pro­cess. This shows the rela­ti­onhip bet­ween racism and gen­tri­fi­ca­ti­on. The con­nec­tion with patri­ar­chy is also reve­a­led when gen­tri­fi­ca­ti­on nega­tively impacts women and LGBTQI+ peop­le. An examp­le of this can be found in Liebig34, an anar­cha-queer-femi­nist house­pro­ject that was exis­ted for 30 years, and whe­re 40 peop­le were living. While the city government pres­ents its­elf as wel­co­m­ing to the LGBTQI+ move­ment, with annu­al cele­bra­ti­ons for Chris­to­pher Street Day, Liebig34 was evic­ted on Octo­ber 9th. This stra­te­gy is cal­led pink­wa­shing; while attemp­t­ing to impo­se an image of LGBTQI+ posi­ti­vi­ty for their own bene­fit, the government at the same time des­troys one of the city’s most important anar­cha-queer spaces. This is one of the most power­ful tools of capi­ta­lism; anti-aut­ho­ri­ta­ri­an and anti-capi­ta­list social strug­gles are digested and inte­gra­ted by the very mecha­nisms they set out to fight, lea­ding to mea­ningless reforms while defan­ging any thre­at to government and pre­sen­ting a libe­ral, omni­ben­evo­lent pic­tu­re of capitalism.This mar­gi­na­li­zes us, depri­ving us of the social aspect of our neigh­bor­hoods, and for this rea­son we are fil­led with rage.

Becau­se yes, gen­tri­fi­ca­ti­on is strip­ping bare our neigh­bor­hoods of their pre­vious social cha­rac­ter: pla­ces whe­re capi­ta­lism, racism and patri­ar­chy are ques­tio­ned and whe­re we, who share com­mon social and poli­ti­cal ground rela­te and con­nect net­works for self-orga­niz­a­ti­on and soli­da­ri­ty are dis­s­apearing. Ins­tead, new forms of space are crea­ted, with con­su­me­rism as their cen­tral pur­po­se. This is what hap­pen­ed with the evic­tion of Ohlau­er Schu­le in 2018, a vacant school that was first occu­p­ied in Decem­ber 2012 in order to house homeless refu­gees cam­ping on Berlin’s streets. Or even with the evic­tion of Syn­di­kat, a collec­ti­ve bar that was evic­ted in August 2020. This is what they tried to achie­ve in July when the house­pro­ject Rigaer94 was rai­ded again, and vain attempts to evict squat­ted flats were made without any suc­cess, sin­ce all flats were pro­tec­ted by the peop­le insi­de or short­ly rec­lai­med. This is also the rea­son why the auto­no­mous youth cen­ter Pot­se, the collec­ti­ve bar Meu­te­rei, and the Wagen­platz of Køpi are cur­r­ent­ly threa­tened by immi­nent evic­tions. This pha­se of expul­si­ons could well beco­me the big­gest attack on the auto­no­mous infra­st­ruc­tu­re in Ber­lin sin­ce the 1990s. Against the odds, collec­ti­ve spaces have cho­sen to stay and fight back in dif­fe­rent ways.

The sta­te mea­su­res adop­ted to deal with the Covid-19 pan­de­mic have seen an exten­si­on of repres­si­on, poli­cing and sur­veil­lan­ce. This rein­for­ce­ment of sta­tist coer­ci­ve mecha­nisms incre­a­ses natio­na­lism, and has streng­t­he­ned far-right and neo-nazi move­ments. They now use the COVID-19 situa­ti­on in ser­vice of their natio­na­list and popu­list dis­cour­se to win more and more sup­port from peop­le of a diver­se social and poli­ti­cal spec­trum. They are being sup­por­ted by media and insti­tu­ti­ons who give them the space to do it, some­thing we see as dan­ge­rous becau­se of the way it for­ti­fies the racist and anti­zi­ga­nist speech used by neo-nazis and the far-right that pro­mo­tes the total exclu­si­on and mar­gi­na­liz­a­ti­on of some com­mu­nities. At the same time, the auto­no­mous move­ment has come under con­stant attack through the evic­tion of its infra­st­ruc­tu­re, with gen­tri­fi­ca­ti­on mani­fes­ting its­elf in an attack on mar­gi­na­li­zed and struggling parts of socie­ty. Capi­ta­lism, through the sta­te, is inten­si­fy­ing its attack on peop­le ‑through laws such as 129 for cri­mi­nal orga­niz­a­ti­on- tar­ge­ting tho­se who are orga­ni­zed against the sys­tem as well as far-right and neo-nazi dis­cour­ses.

Moreo­ver, we see how during the cur­rent pan­de­mic, evic­tions do not stop. This, in many cases, depri­ves peop­le of the only spaces whe­re they could feel safe, let alo­ne give eacho­ther the strength to be dan­ge­rous tog­e­ther in the face of their opres­si­on. Once again, BPoCs, women and LGBTQI+ peop­le, the homeless, the unem­ploy­ed, peop­le with pre­ca­rious employ­ment or peop­le with func­tio­n­al diver­si­ty are being affec­ted the har­dest by the­se capi­ta­list prac­ti­ces. This doesn’t mean we stay iso­la­ted. We have our self-orga­ni­zed sup­port net­works and we fight to des­troy this sys­tem of power, opp­res­si­on and dis­pos­ses­si­on. We are pre­pa­red to show our teeth and claws to tho­se who want to dri­ve us out of our spaces and homes. For all the­se rea­sons we call, on Octo­ber 31st, to fill the streets of Ber­lin with an empowe­ring demons­tra­ti­on. Let’s all take over the streets. All forms of expres­si­on of anger are wel­co­me, except tho­se that inclu­de any kind of discri­mi­na­ti­on.

Who sows mise­ry, reaps rage !


(clo­se to S‑Bahn War­schau­er)

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