2019 A decisive year ?
Within the next days the contracts of Liebig34, Potse, Drugstore, Großbeerenstraße 17a and Syndikat are ending. The future of many other projects like Meuterei, Rigaer94, Brauni is not much clearer. Whether they just have more time or the so called owners are playing with concealed cards, we have to develop and adopt a defense for these projects.
A good moment to go into a counteroffensive
The restructuring of the city is thundering on and even a burgeois middle class can not ignore the consequences anymore. The City is becoming more and more dense and those that still fit in it richer with every wave of gentrification. Houses are getting forcefully vacated, renovated and turned into condos. Renters get forcefully evicted when the so called owners are coming up with more modern schemes of maximizing their profit, renters cannot keep pace with rent raises or are just plain “too annoying”. The last vacant lots are getting covered with new luxury lofts even when they very well were used since their beginning by the people around. Commercial premises are being rented out at such a steep price that businesses inevitably have to become more high priced and exclusive even when the operators might not want that.
And those falling by the wayside – just have to work even harder or they should leave?
In the world of these so called owners and politicians 13€/sqm are socially compatible and HartzIV is more than sufficient if you just live the right way. At the same time they are astonished and indignated at the rage and hate thrown at them by those that have fallen by the wayside.
Getting out of individualization and the isolation of the projects and finding strength together
For the majority of the affected, the mentioned (house-) projects are neither the peak nor the root of the iceberg that is breaking apart. It does mean the decay of structures and possibilities of organization for a leftist scene though. Each of these projects plays an important role in local structures in their neighbourhood.
Where will FLTI* people looking for contacts and context to organize themselves go without 34 around?
What will become of Dorfplatz if Liebig34 is not around anymore?
How can the square still serve in the fight for Rigaer94 and against the city of the rich?
What is Schillerkiez without Syndikat?
A completely renovated and clean gentrified area with Lunte as the only eyesore?
Where to go after a demonstration in Kreuzberg when Meuterei is gone?
Where can the youth meet when they don’t want commercial stereotypes, be pressured to consume, have some “adults” patronizing and dictating their behavior?
Where when potse and Drugstore are gone?
These projects are all part of a fabric trying to break out of capitalist exploitation logic. Whether they provide space for people to get together and meet, organize uncommercial events where people can educate and inform themselves, or recreational and cultural activities, does not matter. These are all spaces that first and foremost don’t want to partake in a capitalist grid of exploitation, competition, domination and hegemony. With gentrification coming down on these projects we are running into the physical problem of loosing the spaces in which we live, we get together, socialize and organize ourselves. Structures grown in the past decades which have become something many of their users got used to taking for granted. “Where to go now?” , is a sobering question probably running through quite some minds now. The number of targets that will be threatened within the next year is even more appalling and an occurrence we haven’t seen in the last couple of years.
Making the question of Where-to even more unanswerable at first glance.
Nevertheless it’s much more than our spaces that is getting attacked , it’s our political convictions. Certainly subcultures places are equally being exploited for profit in the restructuring of the city, they are however places where people can find support and solidarity. Spaces in which people are coming together and getting active to question and attack prevailing social norms. Places connected not just through their threatened existence but through their open enmity of a system built on capitalism, racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination and thus dependent on states and their apparatus. Thus there seems to only be one valid direction as an answer to the where-to..
As the Interkiezionale¹ we see it as an utter necessity to join forces to fight for the preservation of these spaces- so the year 2019 wont be eviction-fated. All actors shall get to fear our rage and realize they cannot do any step unseen and unresisted. Our means can be as manifold and varied as the actors. (This comment is a neat little collecting of some targets and measures.) None of the evictions should happen and if they do only at a steep price. Whether it is a court order for an eviction, a raid or another attack, any attack is an attack on all of us, and can not go unanswered. In this process we think it is important not to just wait for a DayX but take a step forward and make use of the time in which we can choose freely when, how and where we get active. Let’s get creative decentraly
We call to raise the pressure.
May the year 2019 be a decisive year for us winning this fight!
The die has not been cast yet
We will all stay irreconcilable
¹The Interkiezionale understands itself as a group, independent of the threatened projects, seeking to organize a conjoint defense and work towards a reality in which we can put our forces together to get closer to our ultimate goals of liberation