Thursday, June 19, 2014
riot and repression in Berlin
Police and cleaning squads ushered a battered Berlin street back to normal life on Monday after a weekend rampage by left-wing supporters injured more than two dozen people. Police arrested 24 people. Beginning on Saturday night and resumed on a lesser scale on Sunday, violent clashes flared intermittently along Rigaer Straße in the city’s eastern district of Friedrichshain. A total of 27 police officers were injured and at least one passer-by was spray painted and assaulted by rioters. Resident Sabine, 52, told The Local “From my window I could see objects burning on the street and people digging up cobblestones and throwing them, I was scared so I stayed indoors.”
The disturbances began after some 100 people responded to an internet call to gather at 7pm on Saturday in the street. As many as 300 authorities participated against the disturbances where twenty-four arrests were made over both days for assault and breach of public order. Dubbed “the long night of Rigaer Straße” by police and fresh graffiti inscriptions, the unrest reflects entrenched local opposition to the area’s changing social composition and economy. “Fight gentrification, stop evictions” exhorted a banner in English that flew on Monday from a squat located on the street.