Without its alternative housing and cultural projects, Berlin would only be the city where the Wall stood once. Socially, politically and culturally it would be much poorer.
Thousands of people find affordable housing in projects — without the fear of repression; People who are discriminated against elsewhere will find a safe home here. The houses and other alternative projects also provide a vital infrastructure for their neighborhoods. They offer space for tenant consultation services, political networking, cultural events and places to stay without the pressure to consume.
The history of occupations in Berlin is a success story. From the end of the 1970s, numerous „maintenance occupations“ prevented the so-called „clear-cut restoration“, in other words the complete demolition of Kreuzberg’s neighborhood „SO36“. In 1981, 168 houses were occupied in Berlin, 86 of them in Kreuzberg. Thanks to the ensuing wave of occupations and the enormous mobilizations the existing basic structure of the buildings and the small sectioned neighborhood culture of Kreuzberg were preserved. Together, up to 100 of the occupied houses in Berlin were „legalized“, many of them received funds for their refurbishment from the Senate program „Building Self-Help“. Even today, cooperatives and self-administration, such as those promoted by the Mietshäusersyndikat, are the safest protection against rent increases and displacement.
A new wave of occupations revived innumerable vacant and dilapidated houses in East Berlin from 1990 onwards. After a negotiation offensive, contracts stood for about 100 houses in Prenzlauer Berg, Mitte and Friedrichshain. The alternative projects have shaped and continue to shape the character of the surrounding districts to this day.
City marketing, holiday apartment platforms and real estate companies make use of the Berlin subculture of resistive and alternative living to sell a rebellious image. But we strongly disagree: we are not the facade of your exploitation market. We are the living proof that self-determined life and social spaces can not be enforced with, but only against interests in profit. We are the harbingers of a better future as a solidary city. We will not accept that more and more projects are to be put on the streets.
We say: It’s over now! No project, no house less!
While Berlin stages itself as a queer capital, a queer-feminist housing project is about to be kicked out. Enough!
While Berlin has an urgent need for youth and social services, the city watches how the two oldest self-governing youth and social centers are being displaced. Enough!
Potse stays! Give Drugstore back their rooms!
While affordable residential and commercial space is becoming increasingly scarce, important alternative residential and project locations such as Lause and Køpi are on the verge of being resold and thus facing an uncertain future.
Køpi stays! Lause stays!
Many of our own stories show that projects of solidary cohabitation, networks for social engagement in the neighborhoods and non-commercial spaces for initiatives and associations emerge from occupations. Nevertheless, the appropriation and utilization of vacancy is compulsively evicted within 24 hours with police violence. In cities such as Zurich, owners of vacancies must prove that they are currently implementing concrete projects with their buildings, otherwise they have got to accept possible occupations.
Give the G17a their apartment back! All house communities threatened by expulsion remain!
The offer of new opening gastronomic facilities is usually designed for tourists and simply no longer affordable for many Berliners. Long-standing Pubs though, which are often run collectively and in many cases provide space for neighborly networking, social counseling and political events, are getting thrown out. Enough!
Syndikat and Meuterei remain! Give Friedel54 back their shop! Safety for K-Fetish!
While alternative ways of living find self-determined places to live and work in trailer parks, they are increasingly threatened by repression. Enough!
SabotGarden and all trailer parks remain! An area for the DieselA!
Alternative projects are central to a diverse and vibrant city. We were already here when the neighborhoods and districts were not pimped up and marketed. We were there in many places where the disadvantaged and underprivileged were left to their fate. And we will not give way now that the profit interests of corporations are trying to oust us.
Those who remain idle in times of rampant rents and low wages, or who believe that they can now sit back in the face of a temporary rental cover („Mietendeckel“) while social institutions or individuals lose their homes, are complicit!
- Protection of all social and cultural projects as well as effective protection against expulsion for small businesses
- Immediate suspension of all evictions
- End the „Berlin Linie“
- Impunity for all occupants
We fight together! We are all staying!