In Berlin there has been an occupation of an old empty police station in the district of Lichtenberg. Being owned by the city’s so called ‘Liegenschaftsfonds’ it has been empty for several years.
In the meanwhile, homelessness is a growing problem in the city. Therefore it was planned and announced to occupy a house together with homeless families to convert it into a living space.
About 150-200 people met in a park nearby, following a silent mobilization, and started to stream through a hole in the fence to enter the building from behind.
The Berlin police was attentive in the whole city where the occupation action would happen. Several weeks before a flyer with unknown authorship had been circulating through the city with the slogan ‘Tenants of all countries – Call to occupy’.
In the moment the people started their march to the entrance of the building the police had discovered their activities and several police vans drove rapidly to the main entrance of the target.
Therefore 19 people got to enter into the building while the others were prevented with force to enter it. Those inside got to hang a banner outside until the state power detained them.
Outside a crowd chanted in solidarity while, how it was said, the people inside had interesting discussions with the police officers about the right to housing and both side’s rent problems. Nevertheless the police executed their order, searched the people, confiscated things that were signs of the people wanting to stay for longer and collected the personal data.
In the meanwhile there were negotiations happening on the outside to stop the people from being evicted again. Several high rank politicians from the currently oppositional left party joined the solidarity gathering and tried to intervene.
Finally the people were evicted even before the city’s responsibles had ordered to do so which is legally questionable.
People were escorted to the outside where they were welcomed loudly by the crowd.
Several of the planned inhabitants gave interviews to the press and the movement’s own media collectives about their awful situation, living in parks with their children, in the cold, without possibilities to shower etc.
So, the former empty house was emptied again and the homeless people had to face the situation that the local government doesn’t care about their urgent needs and that they had to spend the night outside again.
As a reaction a spontaneous demonstration formed itself in the evening with the goal to reach the Liegenschaftsfonds’ office. With loud choruses people walked through the neighbor-district Friedrichshain to Warschauer Straße at the border between Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. Having reached their goal they made speeches scandalizing the city’s attitude towards the homeless occupyers.
People had different oppinions about the day. Even though the overall goal was not reached, many people felt a strong empowerment through the process of dense and determined self-organization.
And that this has just been the beginning…
More: Wir bleiben alle
- Telepolis, 20.10.2013, Mieter: Geteilte Probleme in gemeinsame Kämpfe übersetzen
- TAZ, 20.10.2013, Leerstand in Lichtenberg
- Berliner Zeitung, 20.10.2013, Polizei räumt besetztes Haus
- KultWache RathausStern, 20.10.2013, Zur Besetzung der Polizeiwache am 19.10.2013
- rbb Abendschau, 19.10.2013, Europaweter Aktionstag für das Recht auf Wohnen
- rbb-online.de, 19.10.2013, Alte Polizeiwache spontan besetzt – und von Polizei geräumt
- Neues Deutschland, 19.10.2013, Berlin: Polizei räumt von Familien besetztes Haus
- flickr, 19.10.2013, Hausbesetzung in Lichtenberg
- flickr, 19.10.2013, Besetzung alte Polizeiwache
- de.indymedia.org, 19.10.2013, Transpiaktion zum int. Tag für ein Recht auf Wohnen
- Berliner Zeitung, 19.10.2013, Polizei räumt kurzzeitig besetztes Haus in Berlin-Lichtenberg
- Berliner Morgenpost, 19.10.2013, Polizei räumt besetztes Haus in Lichtenberg
- Tagesspiegel, 19.10.2013, Linke besetzen Polizeigebäude
- Tagesspiegel, 19.10.2013, Wochenende: Polizei im Dauerstress Brandstiftungen, Graffiti und eine Hausbesetzung
- B.Z., 19.10.2013, Alte Polizeiwache nicht mehr besetzt
- linksunten.indymedia.org, 17.10.2013, Ferienwohnungen markiert