Berlin Squats Evicted

On July 29, 1997, three squats in East Berlin were evicted during a massive police operation. The three houses, all of which had been squatted for seven years, were the Rigaerstrasse 80 and the Scharnweberstrasse 28 in Friedrichshain, and the Pfarrstrasse 88 in Lichtenberg. Around 500 riot cops took part in the evictions, which began at 6:30 in the morning when the squatters were all still asleep. Some SEK special police units with machine guns were dropped by helicopter onto the roofs of the houses. You would have thought the squats were home to Red Army Fraction (RAF) or something! Most of the squatters were released from custody after their identities were checked, but 5 people were detained, 3 because they weren't privileged enough to carry German passports. The houses were all sealed up shortly after the evictions to prevent renewed squatting attempts.

The Friedrichshain district was under virtual martial law following the evictions with cops on every corner. A few small road blockades were organized in protest during the afternoon. In the evening, around 300 people marched from Frankfurter Tor to the Pfarrstrasse. There, the cops provoked people and several people were arrested during clashes. During the night, two other empty houses in the city were squatted. One house in the Kreuzigerstrasse was occupied, but immediately evicted by a riot police water cannon. Rocks and mollies were tossed at the cops during this clash. And the Kastanienallee 71 was briefly re-squatted, but this house was also quickly evicted.

The three houses evicted on July 29th were just about the last ones left in Berlin. Those that are left you can count on one hand. It's about time we started to change this, otherwise squats are gonna become part of history. People need to stop hiding in their shadows and complaining about how there are no new perspectives. There won't be any unless we make them ourselves!

Thanx to Arm the Spirit for translating!

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