Liebig34 is one of the threatened projects in the city of Berlin. After the expiring of the rental contract in 2018 and the refusal of Gijora Padovicz (1) – one of the largest individual landlords in the city- to renew it, the people of Liebig34 decided to stay in the house without a contract. Since then a multifaceted struggle has developed, aiming to postpone and prevent the eviction of the house, and has become symbolic in the radical movement’s struggle against gentrification, an issue rapidly increasing in the city in the past decades.
The trial procedure was due to come to an end with a scheduled court case on the 30th of April, which has been postponed until the 3rd of June because of the current corona virus restrictions. Incidentally the police were also concerned with the original date as the 30th of April and the 1st of May form days of intense political activity and such a politicized trial at that time would have likely resulted in even greater resistance from the radical left movement, making policing more difficult.
While retaining the space and refusing to pay the rent, the people of Liebig34 also demand security for other threatened projects and the abolishment of the so called Berliner Linie, continuing to fight and in the process further radicalizing the house and its supporters. The project itself has taken part in the planning of many demonstrations and has also organized some themselves (such as the 8th of March), published various calls and texts and carried out numerous radical actions such as throwing colour bombs from their house at the police and the boycotting of their court appearances, including demonstrating naked outside the courtroom. The support for the project was also radicalized with huge support in demonstrations, many colour bomb attacks, the burning of the car of the landlord’s lawyer and much more. These responses to the coming eviction are an empowering example of how spaces can fight, and even if the physical space is lost, the ideas will remain for future struggle, gaining solidarity with the international movement and inspiring similar forms of resistance.
Liebig34, along with a few other projects, consists one of the few open spaces of the radical movement in Berlin. It is a place where parts of the wider movement can meet each other and create political and social bonds, collectively shaping the struggle and fighting together. Liebig34 consists of an anarcha-queer-feminist self-organized house-project (including an infoshop and an open space for concerts, events, meetings and peoples’s kitchens) without cis-men, a fact which makes it a space without sexism and patriarchal structures. Besides the political substance of the project Liebig34 is an important space for the neighborhood of Friedrichshain. In an area where extreme gentrification has corrupted its character, Liebig34 is a thorn in the side of the plans of capital. In a district where the rents have rocketed, affecting big parts of society, the facades of the luxury buildings reveal the social and financial status of the residents, which is also reflected in the prices of products in neighborhood shops. Structures such as Liebig34 counter this, limiting the gentrification of the area, reclaiming public space for use outside the confines and restrictions of capital and demonstrating that exploited and their exploiters cannot and will not co-exist. This conflict has culminated in a district where state repression, continuous police controls and police violence form the makeup of everyday life.
For years the streets surrounding Rigaer Strasse, an area long associated with the radical movement, have been deemed by police to be a Gefahrengebiet- a danger zone which allows the police to implement special tactics specific to certain areas of the city seen as hubs of criminality, such as random stop and search measures. This has culminated in recent months in the presence of the BPE (Brennpunkt- und Präsenzeinheit – the ‘Burning Point’- and Presence Unit ), an extremely aggressive police unit which aims to intimidate the neighborhood, the movement and its struggles. The presence of active house projects and the networking among them make clear that solidarity, political collaboration and resistance are capable of creating cracks in the mechanism of state repression, which has as its aim the political isolation and the societal exile of politicized and radicalized groups.
For these reasons, we believe that solidarity with, and the support of Liebig34 is more necessary than ever. Understanding the importance of this political circumstance, the legacy that will be left behind by our answer and the responsibility we have as a part of the radical movement of Berlin, we stand in solidarity with Liebig34 creating relationships and political bonds, and participating in their calls (2). Through unmediated, anti–hierarchical struggles we resist the future they try to impose on us. On the 30th of April we support the events that will take place at Liebig34, declaring the need for a continuity of resistance against state and capital that cannot be postponed.
SOLIDARITY IS OUR WEAPON!
TOGETHER AGAINST THE STATE!