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Thu Jan 16, 2014, 01:45 AM

 

Germany tries "stop & frisk"

After more than a week of daily protests and strong criticism against Hamburg police authorities, the police announced that the so-called “danger zones” (which are actually state of emergency zones where police are able to stop, search, ban and detain people as they please) were over on Monday.



Mainstream media criticized the excessive use of force by police, and the police fabrication of an attack on Davidwache police station at Hamburgs famous Reeperbahn. Protesters were reclaiming the streets on a daily basis, and because of the spontaneous nature of the protests – and the massive support of local residents – police forces couldn’t control the protests, and after 9 days of daily protests, authorities finally gave up. During the 9 days that the danger zone existed police had harassed 990 people, banned 195 people from the area, detained 66 people and made only 5 arrests.

For German activists, closure of the danger zone was an important win, as it was the first time police authorities installed a danger zone to suppress political protests. Many activists feared that other German cities might follow the pilot project of police authorities in Hamburg. On Monday afternoon and in the evening hours, there were still protests ongoing in Hamburg because people are mobilizing against the law that makes these danger zones possible, and also to make it clear that they have not forgotten their original demands. People demand the right to stay for the “Lampedusa in Hamburg” refugees, make clear that they are against the demolition of the Esso houses, and that they will defend the autonomous cultural center Rote Flora (which is still under threat of eviction).

Police authorities claim that activists started the clashes, but their lobby groups demanded rubber bullets and tasers for the police. Hysterical media supported the police so much that authorities decided to install the danger zones. But after the strong protests and the elimination of the danger zones, Hamburg’s ruling social-democratic SPD party made a U-turn on Tuesday, and are now blaming the owner Klaus-Martin Kretschmer of the Rote Flora building for the clashes. The SPD announced that the city of Hamburg wants to buy the building back for 1.1 million Euro. Kretschmer bought the from city authorities in 2001 for 190.000 Euro in order to make a huge profit. But on the same day, Kretschmer reacted and he said he would not sell the building back to the city, and that he will continue with his plans to evict the Rote Flora and to build a theater with a car park inside the building. In a leaked letter from the city of Hamburg to Kretschmer, the city is even threatening to force Kretschmer to sell the building. The SPD wants to buy the building to maintain its occupied status.

http://revolution-news.com/hamburg-danger-zones-lifted-city-may-buy-rote-flora/


"Red Flora"

The Rote Flora is a former theater in the neighbourhood Schanzenviertel in Hamburg. It has been squatted in November 1989 in response to the decision to turn it into a musical theatre.

However, residents, shopkeepers and autonomous groups responded negatively and, within months, the protest grew. Nevertheless, the historical building was partly torn down in April 1988. Still, the protests went on and soon culminated in several violent assaults by militant groups. The need of police protection and the negative response in media eventually urged the investors to forfeit the plan.

Until following summer, the ruins and remaining parts were vacant, although several groups, involved in the prior protests, had ambitions of renovating and reusing the house again. In August 1989, the city unexpectedly offered a six-months lease to these groups. After the lease was official, the Rote Flora opened on September 23, 1989. However, the lease was soon declared obsolete and the Rote Flora was declared as squatted on November 1, 1989. Since then, the Rote Flora offers space for cultural and political events...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rote_Flora

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