October 3rd: Fire And Flames In Berlin

October 3, 1997, the seventh anniversary of the annexation of East Germany by the West, the reunification of "Great" Germany. A day of "celebration" for the political and social elite, October 3rd has become an annual day of protest for Germany's radical-left. Although there were no major demonstrations or clashes this year as there have been in years past, there were outbursts of militancy in Berlin. The night before the October 3rd celebrations in Germany's former and soon-to-be-again capital city, small riots broke out in the neighborhoods of Kreuzberg and Mitte. And on October 3rd itself, a group of militants carried out a well-planned action against the German capitalist establishment and in solidarity with refugees and immigrants living in Germany.

According to press reports, the events went as follows. The scene was the Teutoburger Square in the Prenzlauer Berg district of East Berlin, near where the Green Party had organized a peaceful festival on the day of German Unity. Small groups of masked youths were soon seen on several corners. Then a flare went off, the signal to start. Within moments, around 20 cars had been pushed together in front of a Kaiser's supermarket. The store's windows were smashed, and Molotov cocktails were tossed inside, and the cars were set alight as well. Before riot police arrived on the scene, the group had fled. No one was arrested or injured, and the supermarket burned nearly to the ground. It took firefighters almost an hour to extinguish the flames. The Greens canceled their party. The supermarket was completely destroyed, and its employees have since been transferred to different branches. Damage was estimated at several million German marks.

Why was the Kaiser's supermarket targeted? Because Kaiser's, and other capitalist establishments, are seeking to make profits off the misery of refugees. A statement released by the group who carried out the action said: "We see this action as a warning to the Tengelmann corporation, which is planning to participate in the food coupon program for the 32,000 refugees living in Berlin." Previously, refugees and asylum seekers living in city were given monthly cash payments to help them meet their daily needs. Now, in an effort to exert greater control over refugees, and to make their lives more difficult and thereby urge them to leave the country, cash payments are to be halted and instead the refugees will be given special coupons which can be redeemed, at certain stores, for food. Kaiser's has said that, despite the attack, the store still plans to participate in the refugee coupon program.

Berlin's right-wing Interior Minister Jörg Schoenbohm has set up a special police commission to investigate the attack.

Open Borders For All!

Written by Arm The Spirit from press reports

back to mainpage