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(en) Czech, AFED: Kopi wagenplatz under threat of eviction -- Commentary on the tense situation from Berlin squatters and squatters [machine translation]

Date Fri, 9 Apr 2021 16:50:24 +0300

On February 4, 2021, we received from the landowner Startezia GmbH an official court order to clear the "parking lot" next to the Kopi squat, known as Kopiplatz. The eviction was to take place by 28 February. After almost twenty years, Startezia thinks he will force us to leave the place. Of course, we did not do so and we do not want to give up our home. The date of the first trial has not yet been set, but it will certainly come sooner rather than later. We have been under the threat of eviction and auctioning in the past, but this time, as new construction and gentrification continue to approach us, we believe the risk is higher than ever before.
Facts about the owner Kopi
Startezia GmbH acquired Kopi in an insolvency auction in 2013 from Novum Koepenicker Strasse 133-138 under the leadership of Besnik Fichtner.[1]Besnik Fichtner and Siegfried Nehls formerly owned a company called Plutonium 114 GmbH , the same company was formerly called Vitales Altbauten and Nehls was also the owner. Plutonium 114 was subsequently renamed Novum Koepenicker Strasse 133-138 .

In 2013, Novum Grundbesitz und Beteiligung AG was founded and Yervand Chuckhajyan was appointed to lead it. The same person is managed as the owner of Stratezia GmbH . Startezia therefore appears to have "auctioned" Kopi and Kopiplatz from its own company, Novum Grundbesitz und Beteiligung AG , formerly known as Novum Koepenicker Strasse 133-138 . All these "companies" are always associated with the same people, who in most cases are registered as owners. The non-HL "flag company" is Sanus AGand all of the companies mentioned above are likely to be subsidiaries. Nehls and its ten companies currently owe 3.2 million euros in taxes in the town of Zossen, which is known to have the lowest corporate tax in Germany.

As Startezia GmbH appears only as a box company based in Cologne, we believe that it has no plans to build in the near future, only Kopiplatz wants to vacate it in the interest of further speculation. In fact, the owner has had a building permit since 2015, and things have started to move because this permit expires in November 2021.

Why is this important?

In the last few years, we have witnessed dramatic changes in Berlin. Self-governing spaces are cleared one by one. The Drugstore youth home in Schöneberg, which has been in operation since the 1970s, was forced to hand over the keys in January 2019. The icon of the left-wing scene The Syndikat bar in Neukölln was cleared in August 2020 after 35 years of existence. Another victim of brutal gentrification was the queer-feminist house project Liebig 34. In October 2020, 2,680 children were called in to forcibly evict this autonomist icon, and the operation cost the city an estimated 1 million euros. Does the municipality really want to spend so much money on evacuation, instead of looking for ways to get used to the alternative and self-governing spaces that give the city unprecedented cultural diversity?

The list of recently vacated spaces includes Sabot Garden, Diesel A, G17A, Friedel 54 and Rummelsbucht, Berlin's largest homeless tent city. Its evacuation was publicized as "humanitarian", but in fact paved the way for the construction of a gigantic aquarium.

There are other places at risk of eviction: the Rigaer 94 house project, the Meuterei autonomous left-wing bar and the Potse youth home. It may just be a coincidence that these places are to be vacated so soon in a row, but similar "carpet" tactics have been used in other world capitals. Similar strategies aim to exhaust and overwhelm people and make mutual support more difficult. An attack on one of us is an attack on everyone, we are in solidarity with each other and with every project at risk.

Our way of life

We firmly believe that non-hierarchical self-governing spaces have a huge influence on how people think, provide an irreplaceable alternative to lifestyle, cultural activities and do not look at the world through the lens of money, but solidarity. We have created a community that not only offers a living space, but where people can test their ideals, express themselves artistically, share skills, learn and grow. We do not want everyone to adapt to the way we live, but to respect our choice to live like this. We believe that we have something valuable that contributes to the cultural structure of the city, and without us and other diverse places, the city becomes a homogeneous wall of anonymous glass facades.

However, we are not the only ones suffering through gentrification. Similarly, there are small business owners, low-income people, as well as seniors who are being pushed to the outskirts of the city. Out of sight, out of mind. This must end. We fight not only for our homes, but for an inclusive society in which we firmly believe.

Kopi & Kopiplatz - autonomous living space and cultural center

Kopi has been working for 31 years. At first, the place was uninhabitable, but a small group of enthusiastic squatters built something that eventually became the home of activists, artists, musicians and enthusiasts living in a barracks or outside on Kopiplatz. We also provide autonomous space for many groups. There are concerts, solidarity events, a theater, a cinema, info shop, food not bombs kitchen, rehearsal room, recording studio, gym, bicycle repair shop, screen printing workshop and other practical uses. We have spent years building our home in Kopi and Kopiplatz. We have decided to live in a way that defies common standards of life in the city, but we believe that this way of life is justified. We kept all this on our own without asking for a single cent from the government or institutions. It took some time and effort and we continue and devote all our efforts to maintenance and daily operation. We simply will not give up our way of life, built over the years, because of the interests of speculators. We have occupied an uninhabitable space and made it a bustling place, and we refuse to watch them liquidate it and leave it empty for years.

Kopi and Kopiplatz will remain united and the fight for our home continues!

How you can support us:

Watch how the situation develops. Don't plan anything for May 15th and 16th.

Our website: https://koepi137.net/welcome.html
Blog: https://kopibleibt.noblogs.org
Twitter: @Kbleibt
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeQgYFEokS9ddbM9TnQ1ksw
Email: presse @ koepi137.net



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