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Berlin Neighborhood To Experiment With Eliminating Parking Spaces

Berlin, Germany - For at least three months beginning this coming summer, a south Berlin neighborhood will embark on a novel experiment: eliminating parking spaces. The idea behind the project is to devote the space usually reserved for cars to other uses like growing plants or providing recreation. “The idea we are pursuing is whether public spaces can be experienced and used in more efficient ways than keeping them reserved for parked cars,” Green council member for Berlin’s Kreuzberg district Annika Gerold, who heads transport affairs, said, as The Guardian reported. Reducing or eliminating car use in cities is seen as a climate solution that has other benefits for public health and urban life.

Berlin’s Pledge To Socialize A Quarter Million Apartments In Danger

Just over a year ago, Berliners won one of the biggest victories in decades for tenants in large cities. On September 26, 2021, in a landslide victory, locals voted overwhelmingly in favor of a referendum that called for the drafting of a new law to socialize almost a quarter of a million apartments in the city. Such a law would clear the way for  the largest expropriation of housing in post-unification Germany—a significant step forward in the global fight against vampire real estate and the large private companies and wealthy investors that have gobbled up housing stock and maintained a death grip on rent prices throughout the world. The passage of the referendum was a rare victory and a lesson to many tenant activists that, through organization and education, they can fight back—and win. The fight, however, is far from over.

Housing Rights Groups Renew Calls For Expropriation Of Private Properties 

Berlin, Germany - A coalition of housing rights activists and groups has condemned the Berlin State’s slow approach in implementing the mandate of the 2021 referendum on the appropriation of properties of large private corporations in the housing and real estate sector. Last week, the Deutsche Wohnen & Co Enteignen (Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen & Co Initiative, DWE), formed by housing rights activists and groups in Berlin, gave an ultimatum to the Social Democratic Party (SPD)-Greens-Die Linke (The Left) coalition to present a roadmap for the socialization of private real estate properties in the city without delay. On September 26 last year, alongside the federal and Berlin State elections, citizens of the city took part in a referendum which saw 59.1% votes in favor of expropriating the property of realtors who owned 3,000 or more residential units.

Rethinking Land And Relation In Berlin’s Struggle For Housing Justice

Across Europe, affordable housing is being pushed farther and farther out of reach. Homes are increasingly owned not by the people who live in them, but by companies who rent them out for profit. Housing is no longer treated as a public good, but as a commodity and vehicle for wealth and investment. In Berlin, which currently boasts some of the fastest-rising housing prices in the world, the situation is particularly extreme. Following the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1992, private investors flocked to the city to capitalize on the state-supported financialization of the housing market. As of today, more than a quarter of Berlin’s roughly two million apartments are owned by private companies. According to researcher Christoph Trautvetter, more than half of the city is owned by fewer than one thousand multimillionaires.

Berlin: Protests Against End Of ‘Rent Cap’ And Real Estate Swindlers

The repeal of the Berlin “rent cap” by the Supreme Court means massive rent increases, arrears payments and poverty for hundreds of thousands of people. The ruling, which exacerbates homelessness amid the coronavirus crisis, has a signal effect for the whole of Germany and is emblematic of the inhuman enrichment policies of the ruling elites in Germany and Europe. Balakrishnan Rajagopal, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, spoke on Twitter on Thursday of a “deeply disturbing judgment” and, referring to the pandemic, warned, “The German government still has an international legal obligation to respect the right to housing vis-à-vis tenants.” Despite the threat posed by COVID-19, more than 10,000 people took part in spontaneously organised protests that same day.

750 Guests Attend Solidarity Event For Venezuela In Berlin

The event in the Humboldt Hall at the Berlin Urania was organized by the daily newspaper junge Welt, on behalf of an alliance of more than 30 organizations, parties, media and initiatives. Occasion for the meeting was that on the same day the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas had on Tuesday representatives from 29 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean – including 21 foreign ministers – to a major conference at the Foreign Office. -only the  Venezuelan Foreign Minister was not invited to the conference.

35,000 Hit Streets Of Berlin To Demand Agricultural Revolution

"This protest shows that the desire for a different agricultural policy is now undeniable." Organizers said 35,000 people marched through the streets of the German capital on Saturday to say they're "fed up" with industrial agriculture and call for a transformation to a system that instead supports the welfare of the environment, animals, and rural farmers.

Berlin Startup Offers €1m To Save Ancient Hambach Forest From Coal Mining

Ecosia offers to buy remaining forest from energy firm RWE, which plans to fell most of the trees. A non-profit Berlin tech startup has offered to buy the remaining 200 hectares of an ancient German forest to save it from being destroyed for coal surface mining. Ecosia, a search engine which donates the majority of its advertising revenue to conservation initiatives and funded the planting of almost 40m trees across the world, has approached the energy firm RWE with an offer of €1m (£877,000) to secure the final stretch of the 12,000-year-old Hambach forest in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia. “We think that a fair reconciliation of interests can be found between RWE and the people, and with our commitment to buy the remaining stretch...

Germany’s Far-Right Supporters Outnumbered By Protesters In Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) - Some 5,000 supporters of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) marched through Berlin on Sunday, but they were heavily outnumbered by anti-AfD demonstrations, including one from the city’s club scene which blasted techno music across the capital. The AfD’s anti-immigration, anti-European Union and anti-Muslim messages helped it become the third largest party in the German Bundestag in last September’s vote but it has had little impact on parliamentary debate since then. The AfD demonstrators, bussed in from around Germany, marched from Berlin’s main station, down the banks of the Spree river to the Brandenburg Gate near the German parliament. But there were around 20,000 anti-AfD protesters - according to police estimates - most of them younger people, highlighting the divisions that have emerged in Germany since the 2015 refugee crisis.

In The Footsteps Of Refugees: Berlin-Aleppo Peace March Begins

By Staff of Euro News - Hundreds of activists set off from Berlin on Monday on a three and a half month march to Aleppo to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Syria. Before setting off, Caspar explained why he was taking part: “It’s Christmas and it is nice to spend time with family, but we also have to raise awareness that in other parts of the world people are struggling and that we could do something to make their lives better.” Jaber, who is Syrian, was also passionate about the march, saying: “This affects me personally. The march and the people are here to express their humanity and I want to contribute to it.
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