(By: Antje Dieterich; special thanks to neukoellnbild, photographer)
Tuesday morning the police moved to evict a former school that is being squatted by refugees. The Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule on Ohlauer Straße, in the neighbourhood of Kreuzberg, Berlin, has been squatted for the last year and a half. It became a central spot for the refugee strike, a movement fighting for equal rights for refugees in Europe during the last two years.
The fact that a squat was evicted is, unfortunately, not surprising. However, in this case there are some additional aspects that are worth mentioning.
First of all, the refugees began the squat with the promise to leave the building as soon as their political demands were met. No one planed on living in the school for longer than necessary. The sanitary conditions were insufficient and the rooms were crowded. It was not the classic “we came to stay” but rather a clear “we came to move on.”
The squatters chose the school because it is in the center of the city, making the immigrant squatters visible to the government and the general public — a confrontation that the German state …read more