Reclaim your City!

NTD Kleber

Call for participation in the Nachttanzdemo (dancing demonstration at night) in Reutlingen - The city is for everyone!?!

By means of ongoing modernisation and gentrification the appearance of cities is meant to become a representation and advertisement for its respective municipalities in the endless competition as locations for companies and as shopping cities. That's why there are, for example in Reutlingen, countless different possibilities to spend money: Lots of 'fancy' cafes, a wide range of clothing stores, a 'beautiful' new Stadthalle (municipality hall for events) and several other places were one is forced to consume, where you can feel perfectly comfortable.


But where do you go, if you can't spend money or don't want to? If you want to hang out casually with your friends? If you just want to do what you feel like doing at the moment? In that case the situation in the cities is not as good. In cafes you get thrown out if you're not consuming, in shopping centers you're blamed to scare of customers and hanging around in clothing stores without being able to buy something nice is not that attractive as well.


The few places that remain for us to spend our time together self-organized and without pressure to consume, like parks and social centres, are controlled everyday by forces of 'order' to enforce the laws and regulations and to suppress every attempt of people to meet self-organized and spontaneously in the name of the so-called public order.


In the Pomologie, a park in Reutlingen, for example, every gathering of people, which are see as youth, is dissolved consequently after 11 pm, if need by also by using a police helicopter, which was “around anyway”.


In Reutlingen everthing is done a bit more orderly.

Therefore the autonomous youth and cultural centre “Kulturschock Zelle” is watched very closely by the police and outdoor constructions for parties are analysed in creative ways: In their opinion a temporary fence was only there to provide a save space for drug consumers and in their fantasy the chill out area, meant to provide a save space to relax, was a place to buy and consume drugs.


But not only for analysing the functions of constructions is an experienced eye needed. When checking young guests of the Zelle for illegal substances the police acts also very thoroughly and often sees it fit to inspect their genital area in search for drugs. It would of course be sad if the police would have to go home without results just because of acting appropriate. Even if there's no party the police likes to demonstrate their power. At the occasion of the weekly assembly of the Zelle they once sent police cars to collect the personal data of visitors and members of the autonomous youth centre under a cheap pretext.


Zelle vs. municipality

These actions of the police are directly connected to those of the municipality of Reutlingen. By claiming that this 46 years old youth centre suddenly needs a licence for selling alcohol, it tries to restrict the independence and autonomy of the Zelle by using regulations that are made for regular pubs and clubs and not for a non-profit project like the Zelle. Having such a licence would heavily increase the legal responsibilities of the chair persons of the Zelle and thereby damage its system of decision-making, which is characterized by grass roots democracy and equal rights for every member. But that's not the only reason why the Zelle refuses to accept to necessity of a licence so firmly. This piece of paper would offer almost endless new possibilities for the municipality of Reutlingen to hinder the functioning of the youth centre and to restrict its autonomy.


But even without the licence the Reutlingen municipality has lots of options to make the work of the Zelle people difficult. One recent example is the newest idea of Albert Keppler, the head of the public order office in Reutlingen. He tried via a decree to force the Zelle to allow the police to enter events in the Zelle without justification. If the Zelle would not obey, it would get a fine of 5000 €. After he was criticized for that from the Zelle he withdraw this decree. If his decree had no real legal basis or if he wanted to show that he is, as he claims, not in general against the Zelle, is not yet sure.


Those who restrict our freedom shall feel our resistance!


One things is for sure: As guest of the Zelle we will continue to resist against the presence of the police on the Zelle area and we will use all means of civil disobedience to keep them away. Those who beat us up during demonstrations, those who force as to undress on the street, those who hinder us from living free and self-determined even a little bit, shall feel our resistance. We hereby also declare our deepest solidarity with the people in Hamburg, Berlin and all around the world who have to suffer much harder repression than we have to!


Racist and xenophobic thoughts and positions are getting stronger in our society. In the last months there have been several attacks throughout Germany against places were refugees live. The police is almost always unable to identify the perpetrators and does not want to see the racist motivation behind such crimes. The most accommodations for refugees are situated far away from city centres and are often quite isolated. Since the refugees don't live in luxury, as right-wing politicians claim and many people believe, they often simply can't afford to participate in social life at all.

We are angry and ashamed when people, who flee from their homes because of war, oppression and bad living conditions, have to fear for their lives again in a place where they hoped to find a refuge. We oppose the inhuman European policy that aims on the creation of “Fortress Europe” against refugees and kills people on a daily basis.


Racist policies, Frontex and violent cops are not the only things we're fighting against and we want to draw special attention to the homophobic and transphobic protests against the new education plan 2015 for the schools in Baden-Württemberg. These protests are only the peak of widespread homo- and transphobic sentiments in our society. In this context you can often hear sentences like “I am not homophobic, BUT if me son would be gay, I would be worried.” We believe that homo- and transphobia are serious problems in this society where still only heterosexuality is seen as normal.


The Problem isn't that I see sexism everywhere - the Problem is that you don't!

It's extremly disgusting that people get discriminated because of their sexual orientation, their outer appearance or their behaviour. This is often connect to the sexist normality in our society. In the dominant view there are two different sexes, which are seen as biological although they are constructed, and these two sexes are attributed with distinctive characteristics and behaviours.


The “woman” is described as soft, emotional, weak and fearful, the “man” on the other hand is shown as strong, brave, emotionally cold and rational. If “women” have changing sexual contacts they are stigmatized as “sluts”, “men” who do the same are seen as especially “masculine” instead.


In Reutlingen, like in probably every other city, you can see signs of this sexist normality everywhere. Some clubs, for example, have young “women” dressed as angels hand out flyers in the pedestrian zone or print pictures on their posters, which reduce “women” to attractive-looking objects. But for one club in Reutlingen all this is not enogh. There lightly dressed “female” dummys are used to “decorate” the pissoirs in the restroom for “men”.


But not only clubs build their publicity strategy on the slogan “sex sells“. On huge illuminated advertising columns one recognizes the same patterns all the time, for example in advertisements for the newspaper “Bild” or for the cigarette brand “West”.


Back to local politics

As we have seen while looking at a “modern” city like Reutlingen, almost no place is left for the people who want to live their own lives there. According to the principles of “modern” urban planning the utilization and exploitation of the people in the name of rising profits is much more important than their needs. One example for this policies is the newest project of the Reutlingen municipality, the urban development plan “K8“. According to this plan houses in the old city shall get torn down and be replaced by a new “shopping paradise” and high-class housing. Projects along this pattern are being carried out all over the world. Renters who do not fit into the concept of a “fancy” town or are simply unable to pay the rising rents are kicked out and the flats get upgraded to generate a higher profit rate.


It's important for us to make clear that our critique against this policies in Reutlingen and many other cities is not against luxury or the modernisation of the urban infrastructure, but against the social consequences, which inevitably result from modernisation under capitalist circumstances.


The described situation in our cities and in our society in general is in our opinion connected to a huge fundamental problem of our society, but we don't want to wait until a distant revolution. We want to take back as much public space as possible right now!


You can meet up in the city spontaneously and without asking for permission, beautify the city with some colour, do street art, fight for self-organized cultural centres or get active in existing ones. Maybe it's also time to pay another visit to the public order office with a crowd of party people or to take back the public space by starting activities together like an open air cinema a street festival or many other things!


We want to start this process here and now and by doing what we like best: Celebrating in the city together with hundreds of people who also don't want to accept the situation as it is.


That's why we call upon you to take part in the great supraregional Nachttanzdemo in Reutlingen. Come to Reutlingen, take all your friends with you and contribute to the demonstration with creative and diverse activities!


26.04.2014, 5 pm at the central train station in Reutlingen