In late June, Berlin’s central Kreuzberg district became the scene of a tense standoff between a group of refugees squatting in an abandoned school and the district authorities. The refugees had moved into the school after authorities destroyed refugee camps just a few months earlier. As more and more squatters moved in, the governing Green party faced pressure to resolve a situation where hygiene was deteriorating and crime was becoming an issue.
From Equal Times
Follow Equal Times on Facebook
On 24 June 2014, Kreuzberg – a vibrant, multicultural neighbourhood of Berlin – was virtually turned into a police state overnight.
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.