Statement of XB collective concerning the eviction on Oct 15th 2017 (english version)
Disclaimer: This text employs "they" also as a gender neutral singular pronoun.
Berlin, Oct 18th 2017
So far, there was a house project on Liebigstraße 34, consisting of the collective of inhabitants, called L34 collective below, the collective of the venue XB-Liebig, called XB-collective below, and the collectives of the info shop as well as the rehearsal space.
On Sunday afternoon a group of people intruded into the rooms of XB-Liebig and grabbed the only present member of XB collective by their hands, feet and their neck using physical violence to carry them out onto the street.
Other members of the collective received the information about the incident and gathered in front of the house. Executors as well as supporters of the eviction, among them some inhabitants of the house project R94, had taken position in front of the house wearing masks and were also present inside L34.
The members of L34 collective were then asked to return private and personal items from inside XB. This demand was only met in individual cases; they let us know that there would be no discussion with us. The sound system which was an item on loan was held up till Tuesday. At least 25 persons are concerned by the eviction of the collective.
In the statement that was published 40 minutes later on Indymedia, very harsh, not proofed and indefensible reproaches were produced against the entire collective.
We are shocked by these diffuse reproaches and would like to make a statement about them. Of course, our collective defines itself as anti-fascist, anti-racist, anti-homophobic and anti-sexist*. It is rather the case that individuals from L34 collective escalated an ongoing conflict.
A conflict, which contrarily to the statement from the inhabitants of L34, indeed resulted mainly from personal conflicts.
Not for the first time, inter-personal trouble was utilized to demand unmistrusted solidarity instrumentalizing allegedly political reasons to create front-lines.
Caused by a house internal conflict, individual inhabitants of the house withdrew from XB. Therefore, new members joined the collective to be able to handle the work load.
We wanted existing conflicts between the house and the XB collective to get resolved and wanted to avoid the creation of new ones. That is why we invited the individuals from L34, to do a plenum with us to find a consent on a permanent cooperation to respect their safer space. We put the demands L34 collective expressed there into practice and received the feedback from a representative of the house that there were no further complaints about the security for L34.
XB collective constantly put a lot of effort into taking care of the guests and artists responsibly, we had an open ear and kicked out people who acted in a discriminatory way. Providing a safer space in public will always be a constant process, we fight for this kind of free space. XB is a separate room in Liebigstraße 34 from which the living space cannot be reached without a key. During the events XB collective members were always present in the hallway and by the main gate to also provide the safer space in the commonly used hallway.
Unfortunately there was no direct communication happening since the common plenum about problems between the L34 collective and XB. Ever since, complaints and information for us got lost in the information hierarchy of the house. Nobody from the house came to our plenum, instead we heard about isolated rumors. There were none or only sparse replies to inquiries.
During the past months, we were confronted with increasing attacks from L34. A calendar used for communication with the house was removed over night; the lock of the main door of XB was destroyed by super glue; the dog of an inhabitant active in XB was found with spray paint in it's face; collective members found their bike tires punctured after making statements on various plenums; on a festival which was originally conceptualized together with the inhabitant collective items were thrown onto the guests in the yard we used based on mutual agreement.
More about this in our call for help, dating back to November 2016: https://de.indymedia.org/node/11007
There was an WLTI* night which the inhabitants of today were not participating in. When the person running this night for over 10 years tried to do her shift in the info shop on Tuesday, she was not admitted.
Just like another former and at present pregnant house inhabitant, who was kicked out last Saturday within one week’s notice without sustainable reasons, another member of L34 who participates in XB collective has to dread collective punishment inside her own home.
This means that all the collective members independently from their individual backgrounds are being incriminated with a collective guilt. In the afore mentioned case, there was no official communication and the sacking happened within a time frame when all the flatmates who could have supported their fellow inhabitant were foreseeably out of town.
This kind of approach we know from evictions organized by the state!
The eviction of XB-Liebig was carried out and supported by a huge amount of external people. Some of them were masked, pretty macho and consciously angst-inducing and martial – for all members of XB collective, independently from gender and whereabouts. There was no physical resistance from us. In the evening, the protagonists positioned themselves outside the house with base ball bats which maintained the intimidating character of the action.
We perceive this behavior as boundary crossing since this intrudes the safer space of our collective and of individual inhabitants of the house and withdraws it from them violently.
Therefore, we can no longer understand how L34 collective wants to maintain or create a safer space.
We have to admit that it is very difficult to differentiate this conflict. We repeatedly put a lot of effort into changing the situation.
The members of L34 collective generally refused to communicate with us. Important information reached us only via rumours. Official, written replies such as emails or SMS did not exist.
A member of our collective, who has been living in the house for over ten years was responsible for trying to renew the rental agreement until it turned out that the house collective (without having an internal consent about it) contrarily to XB was not ready to participate in negotiations. Even worse, all those who were in favor of renewing the contract were removed from the house, in some cases even using force.
The main difference between the concept of L34 and of XB is that L34 practices separatist exclusive feminism (which was only established after a subtle change of structure) whereas XB stands for feminism with an inclusive character which wants to let everybody participate regardless of their gender identity.
In the name of this exclusive feminism, violence was used, the private space of individuals was intruded, people's homes were withdrawn from them because of their subjective opinions, three pregnant persons were kicked out and a wonderful project was destroyed.
In L34, hierarchies were created, not all of the present day inhabitants are being included when it comes to discussions and decision making. We as anarchists* disagree on that.
This action has been planned for a long time, independently from how much effort we put into meeting the group consent.
We got to know a long time ago that a group of people had conspiratively discussed an eviction of XB on a secret meeting on June 15th at 2pm.
Ever since, we could have prepared against an eviction by the inhabitants. However, we wanted to act free of violence and de-escalating at any moment, and were hoping because of the positive feedback that the L34 collective would continue the communication so things could develop in a way that L34 inhabitants could restart to participate in XB collective and organize their own feminist events, so we could have a better relationship again.
We are sad that the communication we would have needed before now has to take place on Indymedia.
The L34 collective has acted against the sanctity of the home in such a strong way that our trust is ruined completely and a cooperation with the present day house collective is impossible.
We wish that the members of L34 collective reflect about their destructive behavior.
The L34 collective and individuals from R94 collective verifiably used physical and psychological violence and obviously expected the same kind of behavior from us as they wrote: "We do not know what will happen and how XB will react, so we do not know what kind of support we need. We demand solidarity!!!"
We know what kind of support we need – we invite you all to come to our next Soliparty.
Visit our blog: http://xb.blogsport.de
If you have questions about the conflict or about the collective, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Private feuds are crappy, support each other, there are enough problems on this planet!