Domingo 28 de Abril de 2002, Ip nº 13

It's on the house, global youth
No person is illegal," reads a sheet hanging from a balcony on a forth floor.

We are in Friedrichshain, the last shelter of the squatt movement in Berlín, and a cultural center of the alternative scene. In the early 20th century it used to be a workers' neighborhood. Under the German Democratic Republic it was desserted and, after the fall of the Wall, in 1989, the possibility of occupying the half-abandoned houses attracted thousands of young people.


"Against a Europe of the rich", "Delete the elite": the political slogans mix with invitations to art exhibitions, dj sets of "electro-queer-punk" or "latin cocktail beat", and "soli-partis" (parties intended to help immigrants get their visa).

Sascha works as a postman three days a week and studies Politics. His point of view is almost a symbol of the new global activism often mistaken for globaliphobia: to him, inhabiting this house is a political action in itself. "It's about organizing as a community and avoiding the values capitalism tries to impose on you: individualism and consumism".


Activism is a part of the trend: against neoliberal globalization, sexism or the destruction of the planet, the idea is to get involved with some political activity. Let it be public: being a leftist is fashionable, and in Friedrichshain it is a sin to wear expensive clothes. People dreams of a "No-Logo" world but, according to the pesimists, the neighborhood is deteriorating. There are laws impeding eviction, but the buildings' owners push to repair and rent them to young professionals.


The "real punk", such as Flo (24), are already moving into trailers in the suburbs. To him, Friedrichshain is becoming more and more shallow: "You can see it at the discos. Before, people from the occupied houses used to get free tickets; now they have to pay for them".

  19/04/2002. Clarí


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