18 Jan Rigaur94 Community in Berlin. Holding The Line.
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN ORIGINAL
Despite the seemingly tumultuous events of the past two weeks, we have not heard much from us. But we were by no means inactive. In the last few days we have been laying new power lines with many skilled friends, exchanging old doors for fireproof ones, repairing, plastering, exchanging structural knowledge, eating and working together. Kiezradio is also currently taking place every Friday evening, which will continue to be organized by the Keimzelle youth club in the future and where neighbors and friends from other parts of the city gather on Rigaer Straße. Numerous nocturnal attacks testify to the diversity of the means that our common struggle against the city of the rich is consistently waged in many places and warms our hearts. Near to the village square took place on 10. March a concert with 500 people took place. In some skirmishes with the cops, several people were arrested with our solidarity. Neighbors held a press conference in front of our house, and initiatives by the Berlin tenants’ movement expressed their solidarity in an open letter against the use of our house for election campaign purposes.
It becomes clear once again that the access of the state and capital to our living space, our lives and dreams must always reckon with resistance on the part of the oppressed, the outcast, the youth and the unadjusted. But while the frontal attack by the politically responsible and real estate speculators stumbles on some of the last remaining places of self-organization and autonomy in this city and the capital’s press is delighted at this spectacle, the cleansing actions of the Berlin Senate are secretly continuing elsewhere. After the clearing of the Rummelsburger Bucht, which was perceptible throughout the city, homeless people are still being cleared of their self-determined sleeping places and all their belongings are being taken away and destroyed. Human dignity is simply not worth anything to those in power. The hypocritical argument of fire protection was also used by the city of Duisburg when clearing three inhabited houses in order to hide the racist motivation behind the displacement of migrant residents, Sinti and Roma in favor of luxury residential areas.
After an expert from the district examined our entire house for fire protection on March 9th and created a list of defects, red-red-green is even more divided. The report issued confirming our previous observations that the Rigaer94 is not part of a fire safety condition that would make a so-called emergency evacuation is necessary. The deficiencies found could already be remedied by ourselves and managed by us, so nobody else has to worry about it. If 1,800 cops destroy these doors and devastate this place, it is only to want to evacuate us – whether fooled by a raid, a protracted siege or suddenly massive.
All courts are going these days – we would have expected nothing else – with the political pressure. On February 11, the Court of Appeal decided to legitimize a British letterbox company on the basis of a dearly purchased legal opinion, but this judgment was upheld by the District Court on March 9 after the objection by one of the allegedly 28 people who were sued. After countless miserably failed attempts by Bernau, his first legal victory since 2016. At the same time, an administrative court dealt with an urgent application by lawyer v. Aretin against the district not to be allowed to enter the Rigaer94. The result was the decision that the district must send us a tolerance order to let the representatives of a mailbox company into our house. This procedure also resulted in a court order to the political level that the originally scheduled date of March 11th and 12th was not to be adhered to.
Shortly thereafter, the district tried to evade responsibility by filing an application before the administrative court. The fact that this was thrown out by the administrative court was greeted with such scorn on the part of the Senate that you could finally smell the sweat of excitement of those responsible penetrating our house and into our garden. It follows from this: A large-scale operation is not averted, but still possible – with a notice period of several days. Shortly thereafter, the district tried to evade responsibility by filing an application before the administrative court.
The fact that this was thrown out by the administrative court was greeted with such scorn on the part of the Senate that you could finally smell the sweat of excitement of those responsible penetrating our house and into our garden. It follows from this: A large-scale operation is not averted, but still possible – with a notice period of several days. Shortly thereafter, the district tried to evade responsibility by filing an application before the administrative court. The fact that this was thrown out by the administrative court was greeted with such scorn on the part of the Senate that you could finally smell the sweat of excitement of those responsible penetrating our house and into our garden. It follows from this: A large-scale operation is not averted, but still possible – with a notice period of several days.
Political Twists and Turns
Self-organized spaces like the Rigaer94 continue to function as a projection surface for the internal political conflicts in this city. That the conflicts that have been simmering for years between the Senate (including Andreas Geisel), the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district (including Florian Schmidt, Monika Hermann) and the “real estate industry” ( Nudelmann & Friends, Dirk Frömter, Gijora Padovicz and his son Jerry, Markus Bernau, Thorsten Luschnat, v. Aretin) are currently being carried out openly, not least as part of the struggle for votes in the upcoming election campaign. If Schmidt is now suing the Senate or a mailbox company in order not to have to be dictated to who, when and into which house, then he does so for himself and his political position. This is endangered, not least since his negligent behavior in relation to our house. We made it clear to him that under no circumstances will he enter our house to make political capital out of it.
Interior Minister Geisel was convicted of the lie that it was only about fire protection and not about an eviction attempt, and the unprincipled and undemanding Berlin gossip press continues to ridicule itself with its “research” without any substantive value. Geisel, on the other hand, shows that he is no quieter and more prudent than his predecessor Henkel and is working meticulously to get himself into the same situation. Not least because he and other arsonists discredit their own government agencies (district office, building inspectorate, etc) and claim that their reports are worthless. We agree to that for the time being. But how Luschnat, the traffic attorney Bernau, v. Aretin or the cops would be more able to determine the condition of our house is a mystery to us. After review by an independent expert in November 2020, whose work was dismissed as a “courtesy judgment”.
After the inspection of an expert from the building supervision at the beginning of March, whose work was considered incomplete and their return on Monday, March 22nd, to examine our remedial action, the last person should also be aware that there is no reason to ask to ensure our fire protection. Geisel himself will not give in to anything despite his penchant for Law & Order politics and will continue to insist on letting the named henchmen into our four walls in order to get him and the SPD additional votes in the upcoming election – a really cheap and worn-out trick. A strategy that he has already implemented in Wrangelkiez and also in Görlitzer Park. The government is certainly also aware that it is opening the doors of our house with its 1,800 cops requested by fascist structures. The annoying district run by the Greens and above all Florian Schmidt should be the hammer who smashes our door and breaks it himself. That our house was sold for 1.2 million euros in 2015 and for more than 3 million euros todaytrading is just a side note that shows that political “urgency” is not linked to social necessities, but to profits.
The step to comply with our fire protection does not come without contradictions. It is in our own interest not to endanger ourselves and our neighbors in the event of a fire. We also have to be careful because our ideas are in the crosshairs of various smaller and larger arsonists from Kurt Wansner to organized Nazis and even deep structures in the cop apparatus.
The split between Geisel and Schmidt has to have the fire protection checked by the district before the planned police operation personally as well as within the Senate. In addition, it deprives the CDU-driven intervention in our house of the supposed justification. After this topic was exposed as a ruse, the would-be strategists of the bourgeois parties now have to come up with something new. However, it would be a lie if we said that these were the only reasons to comply with fire safety. Our discussions also show the contradictions that go along with it. For weeks now, many people in this House have been doing a great job working through a list of shortcomings that we did not draw up ourselves.
We see this not just as pure support for a single house, but as political work to maintain our common autonomous structures. After we were forced to react over a longer period of time, the initiative is now back with us after this work. It is clear that “fire protection” is by no means an issue over which a political struggle can be waged. Nobody wants to burn in their own four walls – that is clear. That a state certificate should have more informative value than the residents of these walls is simply nonsense. This is one of the reasons why we ask ourselves whether all the time that had to flow into building now would have been better saved elsewhere. A mission has not been averted by our work either, and we continue to prepare for an attack of whatever kind. Collectively, we keep asking ourselves the much bigger question about our priorities,
A Changed Scenario
The last few weeks have been exhausting for all of us, in and out of the house. We were confronted with a situation that changed daily, but sometimes even hourly. In addition to the practical tasks described, we spent dozens of hours in discussions in order to make our ideas clear in our actions. Even in exchange with other people, it became clear that we didn’t always make it. The complexity of the situation is certainly one reason, the absurdity of the attack described is another. The acute threat posed by siege and evacuation operations has turned into a game of patience in which we have to show once again that we have the longer stamina.
But patience in this case by no means wanting. Rather, it must be about to intensify the pressure built up on the street. The last few weeks have shown that wecollectively are able to do so . In addition, the date for the eviction of the mutiny, which is to take place on March 25th, and of course also requires us to look beyond our four walls. Even if the Red-Green Senate is pressing ahead with its evacuation agenda, the last word in the battle for the city is still far from being said. Like so many others, we will be on the street again at any time of the day or night when it comes to defending places of self-organization and autonomy.
That the loudspeakers in the Senate, building inspectorate or district don’t just shut up humbly after their obviously failed games says more about them than the actual situation in our house. It is about a fight against the self-governing structures of the city of Berlin in 2021, intensified by the CDU Interior Senate (until 2016) and continued by the Red-Green Senate (since 2016). to stifle any resistance to the project of the City of the Rich. We are in open conflict with all those who have committed to the destruction of emancipatory struggles. Should there actually be a police operation with slaughter, as announced by the Left Senator Breitenbach,
Come to the demo on March 23rd at 6 p.m. from the mutiny in the Rigaer! Onto decentralized actions and we announce the TagX demo of the Interkiezionale at 7:00 p.m March 25th, on the day of the evacuation of the mutiny.
If they try to break us, we will break them!