(eng) Berlin Squats Evicted

Arm The Spirit (ats@etext.org)
Thu, 18 Apr 1996 22:20:03 +0200

Two Berlin Squats Evicted

On Tuesday, March 26, a squatted house in the East Berlin
neighborhood of Friedrichshein was evicted by riot police. The
house, known as the "Pali", had been squatted for over five
years. The following morning, another house in East Berlin, the
"Kleine Hamburger", was also evicted by massive numbers of riot
police and two other houses around the corner were searched and
damaged. About a dozen people were arrested.
These two evictions seem to have been ordered by Berlin's
new interior minister Jorg Schonbohm, a former general who has
confidently stated that "there will be no more squats in Berlin
when I leave office" and that his ministry will under no
circumstances tolerate "law-free zones to exist in this city".
Berlin's squatter community was almost completely surprised
by the recent evictions, the first since the Mainzerstrasse riots
of 1990. After the social democrat/green coalition city
government collapsed in the wake of the Mainzer riots, a
so-called "Berlin Line" was put into effect regarding squats.
Most existing squats were given legal contracts, but no new
squats would be allowed. Over the years since 1990, new squats
have all been evicted within 48-hours of being squatted, but
those houses that had been squatted before 1990 were not touched.
Until now, that is. It looks like interior minister
Schonbohm intends to make good on his word. Resistance to the
evictions in Berlin was light at first. Two demonstrations
attracted less than 300 people, but a series of small street
blockades and attacks on shops in various Berlin neighborhoods
has kept the issue in the local media. Back in 1990, when the
Mainzerstrasse was evicted, there were 120 squatted buildings in
Berlin with another 10,000 people living rent-free in apartments.
Today, there are only about 12 squats left.
Berlin squatters have a week of events and actions planned
starting April 5th. The week will end with a big demonstration
through East Berlin on Saturday, April 13th. This demo had
already been planned before the recent evictions, but now the
issue is more pressing than ever.

No More Evictions!
Come To The Berlin Squatters' Demo On April 13th!!!

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