Hamburg's Jungfernstieg is considered one of the most magnificent places in Hamburg, it is an attraction for tourists and the rich who spend time in the expensive restaurants and cafes around it. In summer, however, the beautiful view of the Alster also invites many young people to sit on the promenade and have a drink or two in the evening. But young people sitting in groups on the stairs at Jungfernstieg, listening to music and drinking alcohol, do not fit at all into the image of the magnificent promenade for bigwigs for the Hamburg Senate.
In order to make life difficult for the youths and drive them away from Jungfernstieg, the Hamburg police patrol Jungfernstieg with a large contingent and control and harass the youths. For this purpose, the "Soko Alster" [“SOnderKOmission” = “Special Commission”] was even founded by the police on the orders of the Senate. In addition, the local news - whether Bild, Mopo, Hamburger Abendblatt or NDR - play an important role in justifying the police harassment, which is based primarily on imperialist chauvinism and hostility to workers. Thus, the media draw on a case from last weekend in which a youth was injured by another with a knife. From this case, the bourgeois local press constructs the existence of regular "youth gangs," one of which is said to come from the working-class neighborhood of Jenfeld and whose members, according to the press, are young foreigners. So foreigners from working-class neighborhoods are supposed to be the ones who make Jungfernstieg a hotbed of violence and crime - this is the image now being conveyed by the bourgeois media.
The parliamentary opposition - especially the CDU - also pushes the chauvinistic agitation and demands, above all, more police patrols. They used this in particular to gain political capital out of the situation and are pushing for more vehement reactionarization and greater militarization of Hamburg's inner city. It remains to be seen what new means the Senate will resort to after last weekend's fall, the ensuing agitation in the press, and the additional political pressure from the opposition. But if you look at what the Senate has built up at Hamburg Central Train Station in recent months, it becomes clear in which direction the journey is going.
The situation at Jungfernstieg makes it clear that youth - primarily youth from working-class neighborhoods - are not welcome in Hamburg's beautiful and prominent places. If you are a young person from the working-class youth and possibly also a migrant, you have no business in places like the Jungfernstieg, if the city has its way. If you meet there anyway, you can expect to be harassed and chased away by the police. According to the Hamburg police, 14 young people were checked and arrested on Jungfernstieg alone last Saturday, although - by their own admission - none of them could be linked to the stabbing that evening.
- Written by biag dem volke dienen