[Video]Evicting the Unwanted: Berlin’s Refugee Crisis

The Ohlauer crisis: a watershed moment for asylum policy in Germany?

From Equal Times

By Sharon Dodua Otoo

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On 24 June 2014, Kreuzberg – a vibrant, multicultural neighbourhood of Berlin – was virtually turned into a police state overnight.

<p>Local government and police mishandling of the situation in Ohlauer Strasse almost brought the situation to near fatal disaster.</p>
Local government and police mishandling of the situation in Ohlauer Strasse almost brought the situation to near fatal disaster.

(Photo/Ole Ukena)

Up to 1,720 officers, some in full riot gear and armed with machine guns, were deployed in an area no bigger than a few blocks.

They were there to remove 40 refugees who were staging a roof-top protest against their imminent eviction from an abandoned school building on Ohlauer Strasse.

Hundreds, at times thousands, of demonstrators came out to support the political demands of the refugees.

The siege lasted for eight days, during which time freedom of movement – even for members of parliament and journalists – was completely restricted.

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