Dying for Living Room

Hausbesetzung flyer. Neukölln, 2012.

To our neighbors: Squat in the Weise Steet on the 28th of April. How come, anyway?

At the end of April in our Kiez, a squat was begun at a house, 47 Weise Street, that had stood almost completely empty for years. We would like to explain to you why in this short statement.

The people in the house raised the demand that it be made available to recipients of Hartz-IV social welfare benefits and other people with little income, since by now they can barely find a place to live in the Kiez.

This action slots itself into a long struggle against rising rents and the accompanying displacement from the inner city. At the very latest, this plan was on our day planner in Schillerkiez by the time the Tempelhof Airport was shut down.

The squat should, on the one hand, make a scandal of speculative vacancy and, on the other, toss out the question of why finding shelter is organized according to a market system anyway. For those who can’t back up their search for living space with enough money must abandon the inner city or land in the street. Securing a place to live is a right and a basic need; so should be the freedom of choice, to live where one wants and in the manner one wishes. There is no sensible reason that people should make a profit off of living space.

We are struggling against these market mechanisms and their consequences. We don’t hold it possible for this ideal of freedom and justice to be realized within a social system in which everything is structured as a commodity, because, for us, setting aside the “rules of the societal game” is part of the struggle. We have accumulated many experiences and are sure that, first and foremost, we have to rely on ourselves. We have to come together in order to struggle for what is important to us. We long ago lost the belief in “politics” and trust in the so-called “people’s representative” Every day they verify all over again that they stand on the other side of the barricade from us.

That the police decided on their own, without waiting for the owner of the house in Weise Street (Henning Conle) to press charges, to sweep the premises in a very brutal manner we count as a political action that shows, right before our eyes, how the State, Senate and district leadership will answer the question posed by such a squat: with organized violence.

We will not let up in our struggle against the displacement of people from our Kiez just because the State shows us its teeth. On the contrary.

By the supporters of the squat

Let’s fight together. Everybody come!

Translated from the German by Charlie Bertsch. Photographed in Berlin by Joel Schalit.

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