Social housing and the refugees affair in Berlin.

Rigaer 94.jpg

22 june 2016: workers and private security helped by 300 riot police officers started the eviction Kadterschmiede the collective space of the house project R94 in Berlin Friedrichshain. The house is located into Rigaerstr. which is the center of a strong struggle against the capitalist speculation who want to transform what is the stronghold of leftist/autonomous scene into another center for shopping and their mindless culture.

Infact project like Sama-Riga Carrè as well as an already existing hipster bar (Minibar) reflect their plan of social cleansing. This is sponsored by the Minister of Inner Terror Frank Henkel(CDU) which is sending since mid 2015 more and more police presence into the area which is now classified by the state as "Gefahrengebiet"(danger area).

Basically every person who look suspect can be hindered by police officers.

Just having a different look than their "respectable" view of the "perfect" citizen can lead the situation to control of your passport and even personal object!

In summer 2016 the situation became even more surreal with the purposed eviction of Kadterschmiede. Police created a permanent block around the house door with fences and at least 30 officers at time, number which increased when there were demonstrations or public events in the area. Workers and private security were also part of this game:

they started to demolish and "renovate" Kadterschmiede throwing out everything they found on their way without respect for personal object of those living in the upper room.

Private security was daily provoking fight with inhabitants, this was a way to let police intervene in some case. Their presence was "justified" by a lie, that of the investors who own R94 and Kadterschiede. This investor made statement about the new purpose of the house, infact he promised the structure to host refugees.

We all know this is pure populism.

Refugees are hardly taken in consideration when investors plan the ugly, rich Berlin.

Refugees, asylum seekers, homeless usual accommodations do not provide any possibility for self-organisation and communication. Basic life needs are sometimes denied specially in places out of sight for activists or press. We must ask to this city government their resign.

The experience of Oranienplatz and Ohlauerstr. school teach us that self-organization works. A lesson given for more than 30 years by politic and social squatting of Berlin autonomous movements. We must ask to the governors of Berlin their resign. Not only Henkel but also the Green party who permitted the eviction of Ohlauerstr. thanks to a phone call to the police by the former council member of Kreuzberg district.

Berlin demand for the self-organisation of collective spaces has been ignored for too much time!

What is their answer?

Social borders, esasperate classism and the complete sell-out of the territory to capitalist mafia bastards!

An example: the Wohnheimeinleitung in Lahnstr.56, Berlin Neukoelln, owned by the firm PeWoBe. Here all kind of contemporary society rejects live their day facing apathy, racism, indifference often without leaving their room. The structure have no communal or lunch room. Single rooms are basically given to only Germans. Social workers, security men often do not speak other than german. This causes problem of understanding. The situation is simply not acceptable if compared with what the PeWoBe profits. In the case of homeless people who take social benefits, the Sozialamt(office providing accommodations for refugees and homeless) guarantees through the JobCenter around 540 euro a month for a single person in a triple room(!).

You can imagine what is the profit for those investing in the homeless and refugee market of Berlin

and Germany. This monthly amount is a standard price demanded by Sozialamt to the Jobcenter which is always accepts the request. All the structure provided by private companies through Sozialamt offer overpriced accommodations often run by people who do not hide their subtle racism.


11 of the 63 refugee camps in Berlin are run by PeWoBe firm. In 2015 a scandal involved LAGESO(state organ for refugees accommodation), PeWoBe and GIERSO(another private firm profiting of refugees camps). LAGESO paid overpriced amounts for personnel costs of the two firms. The costs were not compared by quality services for homeless and refugees. LAGESO boss Allert, CEO of PeWoBe Helmut Penz, CEO of GIERSO Tobias D. are connected financially and by family connections. PeWoBe and GIERSO won many contracts for the management of refugee and homeless houses without any call for participation of other companies. LAGESO even granted them emergency loans without interest as well as finance advantages. The two firms and LAGESO received in these years many complains against their hygiene and accommodation standards. Mario Czaja(ex CDU, now FDP) assured that PeWoBe and GIERSO never corrupted LAGESO. However the tax auditor of LAGESO claimed irregularity during the selection of the operators of the camps.

Other than the Wohnheim in Lahnstr. there are at least four similar cases in which basic life needs have been not respected. In November 2013, 400 refugees seekeng asylum were set into small rooms and no communal rooms were provided. Part of them were occupying Oranienplatz before

and then deported in this place located in Spaethstr., Britz.

March 2015 a gym in Gretelstr., Bergmann Halle in Wilmersdorf was object of investigation by the Gesundheitsauschuss des Abgeordnetenhauses(sanity department of the house of representatives of Berlin city state), LAGESO president Allert was contacted to end the terrible conditions in which 200 migrants were stuck.

April 2015, inquiry against PeWoBe about a fraud in regard of the contract signed with LAGESO for the management of a refugee shelter in Rohrdamm, Spandau Berlin.

AWO should have taken this contract but it was stopped by LAGESO which preferred PeWoBe with a contract of one million euro. The building in Rohrdamm was bought by PeWoBe for an overpriced amount of 6 millions euro. Probably the firm expects the total refund of this sum through LAGESO. On PeWoBe website the company declares complete for hygiene standards, qualified employers, transparence of finance and relation with LAGESO.

The company was founded in 1989 with the aim of building social house projects. Nothing true at all! Social houses do not isolate people on their room, social house projects do not need any security men who make racial profiling and distinguish.

Recently(july 2016) many refugees hosted in the Jahn Sport Halle near Flughafenstr.(Neukoelln) occupied the structure protesting against their deportation in the new overpopulated structure of Tempelhofer Feld(ex-airport of West Berlin) where around 8.000 refugees are expected in winter 2017.


Summer end, time for struggle!

R94 occupation by the police ended in mid July after strong waves of protests involving varied parts of society where not only the autonomous movements were guaranteeing their support. There have been manifestation of solidarity from citizens of Friedrichshain neighborhood which see this struggle as a common meeting point against the social cleansing started by investors and city government.

R94 is not the only place in danger of possible eviction during this fall and winter(which is the time preferred by the pigs to throw out people in the street, such cowardice!). Friedel54(Neukoelln) and M99(Kreuzberg) are other self-organized houses needing our support for their presence into the territory as cultural, social places. We had enough of empty shopping mall, fast-food chains and all the contemporary horrors of capitalism infection.

Winter may come and freeze us but when all together into demo or actions, we all know how to deal with our enemy.




originally appeared on DEFAULT nr.2, september 2016