amw (amw) wrote,

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Polizei raus aus der Rigaer!

I have never been so angry at the police till i moved to this neighborhood 3 years ago. Today i find myself shoulder to shoulder with professional anti-capitalist protestors and the exact left-wing activists that 10-15 years ago would have annoyed the hell out of me. To be honest, if i met them downtown protesting some shit when i was trying to get work done they'd probably still annoy me. But here, 3 blocks from my home, they are my neighbors, and i support them 100% against the chilling overreach of the police. Aside from the regular (!) home invasions where the cops storm several buildings in my hood under the pretense of looking for illegal immigrants or violent anarchists, let's talk about what it looks like EVERY FUCKING DAY on my walk home. I have to go past fucking roadblocks filled with riot police. Sometimes i need to take a different route home because they have made impassable riot lines. They cluster on street corners for blocks around. Groups of riot police stand outside the corner stores under the pretense of protecting the businesses from actual neighborhood folks who shop there every day. Even in the parking lot of the grocery store spaces are taken up by police command and control trucks. The whole area has been declared a "danger zone", which is the justification the cops are using to oppress the whole fucking neighborhood. No fucking joke, get out the subway station and walk to my house, one block back from the main road it feels like a police state. It is truly shameful.

Today after work i joined the protest again. Up until these ones, Reclaim the Streets back in the late 90s was the only protest i have ever gone to that i actually believed in. Because taking back the streets for the people, for pedestrians, for dancing, for community, for local business - that is something i believe in. Fuck urban sprawl. Fuck chain stores. Fuck gentrification. I benefit from capitalism and i am pro-globalization, but that doesn't mean i am for the systemic dismantling of small town culture and inner city neighborhoods. Reclaim the Streets was Occupy for people who cared more about their neighborhood than what some rich banker fucks were doing. Over the last 2-3 weeks my neighborhood has started standing up for its own rights. The crowd keeps growing. Something's gotta give. It's a weird mix of hardcore anti-capitalist protestors, anti-fascist hooligans, gutter punks, gypsies, refugees, crusties and just the regular left-leaning middle class folks who live in this neighborhood. And all of our families and children. Hip-hoppers are representing on the impromptu stage erected in the middle of the street, klezmer bands, beatboxers, house DJs, ragga MCs, minimal wave, ska and punk bands. We are all sorts and we are angry. All we want is our neighborhood back.

Last week i stayed until the cops started cracking down for real. People lit fires. Bottles were thrown. The cops pushed and shoved and blocked off all the streets except for one exit. People for two blocks around hung out their windows banging wooden spoons against pans for hours in protest. The police wouldn't leave. They just came in greater and greater numbers, trying to intimidate us, tire us out, make us go home. Tonight i left before that started. But seeing it happen once was enough to fall completely on the side of my neighbors. How do these cunts live with themselves, oppressing a neighborhood of largely peaceful folks who just want to be free? It's disgusting. It's shameful, and my God if it doesn't get you thinking, don't these motherfuckers have something better to do - anything better to do - than suit up like fucking Power Rangers with pepper spray and try to intimidate a bunch of punks and hippies and regular everyday working families in their own homes? It makes me sick.

And you know what is even more disappointing? When you read the German newspapers and they almost all describe us as "left wing extremists" who are "setting fire to cars" and "vandalizing the neighborhood". Hey, you fucking non-Nordkiez-living motherfuckers. I live here, i've lived here for 3 years, and the majority of the squatters in those buildings have lived here for much, much longer. If we want to spray ACAB all over our fucking neighborhood that's our prerogative. Maybe some of the people living here are criminals, but then go arrest them when they are committing a violent crime. Don't treat the entire neighborhood like some kind of police state. Fuck the police. All cops are bastards. Kein Mensch ist illegal. Solidarity with Rigaer 94 and Liebig 34 Ⓐ
Tags: news, politics, protest

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