We are writing to you from the threatened houseproject Rigaer 94
in one of Berlins once notorious squatting neighbourhoods.
Our contexts might be worlds apart or really close but the reality we lived last year
bears the prints of the same systematically oppressive system.
In solidarity with all threatened projects, individuals and emancipatory struggles, we would like to better connect our structures and work on a closer link based on support, in our struggles.
Let’s keep walking this path together, but first a short summary of the recent past and our situation.
Last year saw us, the neighbourhood and people around, on the receiving end of much police repression, starting with the declaration by the state that our street and neighbourhood was a danger zone (Gefahrengebiet), giving the police extra search and detain powers and a green light for constant street harassment of anyone fitting their vision of a ‘leftist’, not white or somehow not normative person (this evolved into almost anyone being controlled, no matter how they presented).
This saw a massive rise in police riot vans cruising the streets, meaning constant conflicts for the neighbourhood, and in our efforts to fight for a autonomous and cop free area.
Rigaer 94 was at the centre of these conflicts, as the state and its cops declared it the crux of militant struggle.
This tactic can be seen in the wider context of reactionary imposed controls and intimidation, such as states of emergency and curfews, employed as constant stress factors (and datamining) to those against the aggressive progression of gentrification and public control.
In the beginning of the year, a traffic cop was confronted on the street while trying to give out parking tickets, seven hours later, 500 or more cops were used to raid our house.
Some days later we were raided again, this time after a bag of rubbish was thrown from a window, as cops were going through the nearby house dumpsters (this was a ‘life threatening attack’).
In response to these attacks, we made a call for 1 million euros of damage to the state and its structures to meet any attack on left radical spaces. This was consistently met.
The state was set on trying to destroy our structures and continued to put on pressure, but we never let them get on top of us.
The last attempt by them to crush our spirit was in the summer. A massive police operation was organised to evict the bottom story („Kadterschmiede“ bar and Workshop) of our project. This plan was concocted by the police chief and the interior minister, who then approached the owner for the final ok.
The house was surrounded 24/7 by cops, who fenced off the front entrance and occupied the attic, stairways and yards. They protected private contractors who started a process of clearing and gutting the bottom story and attic. They were then helped by private security to control the coming and going of people from our house. The narrative given to the media was that the bottom story was going to be renovated and rented as housing for refugees. This was of course proven to be a lie and a divisive tactic by the state, who was trying to manipulate the public opinion and crush left struggle with some of its own pitfalls.
This occupation lasted three weeks.
In the summer we saw the occupation of our home and project come to an end from the combination of inspirational street actions and a court process.
The court hearing concluded that the police action was ‘illegal’ and we had some sort of squatters rights to the contested areas of the house. Whether or not this action was ‘legal’ or ‘illegal’ in the eyes of the courts was and is of no concern to us, but in that moment it meant the state had to eat its own laws and go home.
Of course it would not let go so easily, and there has now been an appeal by the house owner to obtain an eviction order. In their legal way.
This court process will happens today,Thursday Febuary 2nd, and we do not expect to ‘win’.
Once the owner has this eviction paper, the earliest they could evict with due notice is two weeks after the court decision.If their first attempt fails they can theoretically try again at anytime in the future with no prior warning.
The solidarity in response to the past attacks on Rigaer 94 was incredibly powerful.
To read everyday of the actions that had happened in the night before, filled us with the strength and fire that we needed to continue this fight. The forms of resistance within the „Day X“concept were as diverse as the people showing it. The streets were full of action, but not only for us, as the struggle against gentrification is international and these and other actions have inspired and been inspired by movements from all over.
This is our strength against the repressive state and its structures – decentralized actions and autonomous organising that the state cannot even come close to keeping watered down and sated.
This is the pressure we can excert on the apparatus of capital and state.
Selforganized spaces such as Kadterschmiede in Rigaer 94 have to be defended!
We want to keep fighting not just for our housing project but for all those threatened by state violence and oppression- all those fighting for living spaces, all those sitting in prisons, all those fighting for their own autonomous futures, all those who are fighting just to live.
All evictions are Day X.
Day X will only bring us together again and strengthen and extend our networks of rebellion.
Day X means Chaos
Teilt unsere Wut!
Every heart is a revolutionary cell.
See you on the streets.