April 23, 2014

The Anti-Gentrification Battle in Berlin

Jason Overdorf, Global Post

The Associated Press

Over the past five years, high-profile evictions have demonstrated Berlin's new commitment to protecting owners' property rights, while some of the oldest squatter communities have been forced to go legit — and turn capitalist — to survive. In 2010, police faced down hundreds of protesters to evict residents of a five-story central Berlin apartment house that was then called “the last rent-free squat in Berlin.” Meanwhile, residents of Rauchhaus, a squat first occupied in 1971, now offer classes in yoga, silkscreen painting and welding and operate a proletarian, albeit capitalist, bar to foot the tax bill since having gained legal title to the building. But the battle for the city's soul is hardly over.

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TAGGED: Berlin, Germany, Europe

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