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Berlin: Fight for left-wing extremist scene of Rigaer 94 goes into the next round

BERLIN. The left-wing extremist squatters at Rigaer Straße 94 in Berlin-Friedrichshain have called for "persistent and aggressive" resistance against the owner of the house and the police. The reason for this is a court order from last week that obliges the Berlin police to protect a fire protection expert when entering the partially occupied building by left-wing extremists. Berlin's police chief Barbara Slowik and Interior Senator Andreas Geisel (SPD) had previously refused.

"The fire protection issue, which was ridiculous at first, has led to developments that put the continued existence of the Rigaer 94 as a (partially) occupied space in extreme danger," the squatters wrote on their campaign page on Wednesday. “Friends, the situation is serious but not hopeless. Prepare together with us for weeks of sieges, collective moments, nocturnal siren thunderstorms, smoke and fire. "

Discouraged moments would "soon be broken by moments of attack, joy and tears". The anonymously written text ends with the slogans: "Let investor dreams burst!", "Defend Rigaer 94!" And the appeal " We are preparing for day X - it can start at any time."

Expert should enter the house by mid-March
Meanwhile, the house owner's lawyer told the German Press Agency that the fire protection expert and a representative of the owner should enter the house by mid-March at the latest. The expert must examine the entire building for possible fire hazard. “Among other things, it is about the detection of possible illegal wall openings, trap doors, security gates, fire accelerators, incorrectly laid electrical cables. That could be more complex and take some time."

During the inspection, there is a high probability that the police will be deployed on a large scale. When the lawyer and the administrator wanted to enter the house in mid-July 2020, they were attacked by the occupiers. When the police arrived, the left-wing extremists attacked them too. The administrator and lawyer then filed charges against Geisel and Slowik for obstruction of punishment of the law.

The background to this is an internal police order, according to which there is a “reservation to make a decision on violent entry into left scene targets”. According to this, police officers must always obtain the telephone permission of a superior of the higher service for operations in connection with left-wing extremist meeting points. This also applies to prosecuting offenders in the act. In the event of planned raids, the police chief must also give their consent.

Crime-laden place protected by politics
Parts of the areas around the Rigaer 94 are so-called crime-prone locations, hindering human resources of the security authorities and tax money. As a request from Junge Freiheit 2020 had shown, the police moved more than 250 times from January 1 to July 21 . The officers were requested 50 times via the emergency number or by colleagues. According to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the building is a haven for left-wing extremist offenders.

The Rigaer 94 is partially occupied. Some residents have regular tenancies. The owner is not officially known. According to Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg, the letterbox company Lafone Investments Limited, based in northeast England, is in the land register. According to the lawyer, the owner wants to protect himself from radical left-wing attacks through anonymity.

After the evacuation of the neighboring and formerly occupied house Liebig 34 last year, Rigaer 94 is one of the last houses in Berlin occupied by left-wing extremists for decades. This situation was also possible because local politics protected the occupiers. For example, the building councilor of the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district, Florian Schmidt (Greens), is suspected of having instructed his officials not to do anything against the installation of heavy metal doors, although his authority had demanded that a “fire protection procedure” be initiated because “ body and life ”of residents of the house are in danger.

Currently, an eviction suit is pending against the radical left-wing bar “Kadterschmiede” operated in the building. A court decision is expected in the coming months.

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