The expansion continues. The apparent success of neighborhood resistance is now not long lasting. Because if there is no Google Campus in the Umspannwerk in Kreuzberg for the time being, the company is busy buying real estate in Mitte. After the almost shy inauguration of its offices in Tucholskystr. at the beginning of 2019, another building was simply bought. In the Johannishof, more offices are to be added in the near future. No “bad” start-ups or incubators. Only their staff. Harmless in itself, isn’t it?
So it is not surprising that so far there has hardly been any public talk about it. For the activists from Kreuzberg, Mitte is already burnt earth anyway. The local residents will hardly feel threatened in any way, because the new neighborhood is too thoroughly gentrified for that.
Google simply tried to gain a foothold in Kreuzberg, failed, but did not retreat. In a metropolis like Berlin there will always be suitable places to settle.
But to chase Google and its machinations should not become a life task for no one. Rather, it should make clear how so often a protest can be limited to one’s own neighbourhood and how there is a lack of flexibility and foresight – we must think beyond our neighbourhoods. The so far small interest to bring the protest to Mitte causes also the present silence of the leading political sheep who support the policy of wanting Google in Berlin. The politicians that once even flirted with some statements and demands of the activists, now seems to agree with the Google’s plans for Mitte. Probably they don’t feel sufficiently affected by the lack of pressure from the neighborhood or they don’t care what Google does. But most likely they don’t find the investments and the hoped for economic boost of a tech giant so bad after all. Truly, this should not be a call to once again give a glimmer of hope in politics, on the contrary!
Exactly this silence concerning capitalistic expansion plans, shows very much these projects are desired by politics and economy. For according to the media and politics, Berlin is actually supposed to be the capital city for: Smarter City, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, Start-Ups, etc.. Some also call it the “City of Opportunities”.
It would therefore be idiotic to do without one of the big players in the technology business.
So politics cannot and will not do much to fundamentally change the way we live together. Everything will continue on a regulated course. What politics has is the political power to make decisions, what companies like Google have is the capital that politics longs for. Because capital is power. It is clear that the whole structure that holds our reality together is much more complex. But basically, that’s how it works. The question is how to break out of it. How to arrange living together differently. How to box capitalism out of our heads and how to disempower any form of power and state like Google & Co. How to shape a society without hierarchies. That’s what the fight against Google is all about.
Fuck Off Google! Fuck Off Capitalism, Politics, and every State!