In an unprecedented operation, some 1,500 policemen Arrivals from eight federal states proceeded this Friday to evict one of the last large buildings squatted in the center of Berlin. Supported by helicopters, climbing units that took over neighboring rooftops, heavy tanks and even a new technical anti-drone team, the security forces in the German capital began their assault on number 34 Liebigstrasse, a four-story building on Friday morning. of the early twentieth century in the popular neighborhood of Friedrichshain illegally squatted for years mostly by women from a group self-described as “anarcho-queer-feminist.”
However, the vast majority of the agents who joined the operation did not participate in the seizure of the building. His mission was to isolate the target and create a security cordon so that a small group of policemen could assault with their backs covered a building that its occupants had transformed into a fortress. An anti-terrorist operations command was at all times ready to intervene. It was not necessary.
After several unsuccessful attempts to access the interior of the house with the use of crowbars, chainsaws and radials, a group of agents managed to enter with the help of a ladder and after breaking a window on the first floor. It took them half an hour to cut the thick bars that blocked it. And after almost four hours of slow and cautious search in front of the barricades and traps set up by the occupants to prevent the eviction, the police managed to evacuate all the inhabitants by force. “A total of 57 people have been located who have already been evicted,” the police reported in a tweet, in which they announced the immediate and priority entry of archaeologists to check the status of the building and the subsequent delivery of it to the attorney sent by the courts to execute the order of expulsion and eviction of the occupants. In the vicinity, meanwhile, protests and fights with the agents continued.
The first confrontations with the police took place as early as 4:00 a.m., when members masked from the so-called «black block»Radical leftist activists known for their violence in the demonstrations, unsuccessfully tried to break one of the chains of riot control agents deployed in the area. For weeks, left-wing militants had called for European solidarity to defend the building that had become one of the best-known symbols of the radical left. “X Day: lead the eviction to disaster” is one of the slogans that have circulated in the forums of the autonomous movements on social networks. They came by the hundreds, but the police deployment was so overwhelming that supporters of the resistance were only able to witness an eviction that lasted for hours from afar. Those who tried to break through police barriers or attacked officers with bottles and cobblestones were immediately detained.
Before dawn a police tank and an excavator with a ram took up positions in front of the building. A group of police officers also pushed a wheeled assault tower built with steel scaffolding up to the facade. After the judicial prosecutor, dressed in a helmet and bulletproof vest, failed in his attempt to access the building, the police began the assault simultaneously by several routes at around 7:00 a.m. The barricades, traps and obstacles mounted inside the building by its occupants, however, prevented a rapid eviction. The agents advanced slowly through the interior and were dripping its inhabitants out, mostly through the window on the first floor and the stairs placed by the agents. Some of the women were carried in their arms. And while, a few dozen meters away, protests and fights with the police by supporters of the radical left continued.
The eviction of “Liebieg 34” was ordered by a court after the owner of the building demanded its return in a long and complex legal process. Two years ago the ten-year rental contract signed by the group of women that inhabited it had expired and since then it had been impossible for the owner to access the building and for his lawyers negotiate a solution with interested parties. The building will now be cleaned up and predictably sold as housing. The assault on Liebigstrasse will not, however, be a final operation. Just around the corner and a few meters away, there is another similar building occupied by left-wing radicals on Rigaerstrasse 94. It is the last stronghold in the Fiedrichshain neighborhood, a short distance from where the Berlin Wall used to be and in the old sector Communist city, movement occupies in the German capital.