Januar 23, 2022
Von Interkiezionale
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Why we are writing this text and what we have done so far.

The Interkiezionale, as a coordination is defending the threatened projects -with individuals from Køpi house and Køpi Wagenplatz beeing part of Interkiezionale.
We feel the need to address a problematic situation with the Kopi collective that during the Kopiplatz eviction has reached its highest levels, but that had already been felt for some time.

As a network that was part in the fight against eviction, who used the spaces of Kopi for various events and activities, as a structure who called and organised manifestations and demos we feel responsability for the people who came and supported, we want to be transparent and share this critique with the scene.
Our goal is to start a discussion aiming at a collective solution.

Køpi -as other projects- is a result of the past fights: that represents the heritage of the squatting struggle, creating the conditions in Berlin for the opening of autonomous spaces. Køpi is still considered a political project. Consequently, what happened during the eviction has to be discussed in a collective way to find common solutions to a problem that is part of what we are experiencing in Berlin inside different Houseprojects.

As a first step we went in November 2021 to the Køpi house assembly to express the issue and share our criticisms and to inform the project of our next steps, which would be first the publication of this text.

What happened and what problems are we talking about

As Interkiezionale here we don’t want to criticize negotiations and deals that projects are willing to make in order to maintain their spaces. Among different political approaches we’ve accepted and respected the position of a threatened project when this decision was made through consensus. This though was not the case for a deal that was offered to Køpi and Køpiplatz.

Part of the strategy to save the Køpiplatz was also negotiations with the municipal housing association HOWOGE which tried to buy the whole place (Köpenicker strase 133-138) from the owner. The project refused the first proposals of the HOWOGE which would include a self-eviction of the Wagenplatz and made own proposals for saving the Wagenplatz all together at least for winning some time. After this proposal they heard nothing from them for a few months until 3 weeks before the eviction, when the eviction date was already set, the HOWOGE answered with a new offer. This offer should save ~30% of the Wagenplatz and improve the contracts of the flats in the house but included a self-eviction of the other 70% of the Wagenplatz until one week before the announced day X. This proposal was rejected twice after it was received.

Then suddely a week and half before day X first a few people from the Wagenplatz and even more people from the house put this proposal back on the table despite the collective decision and the actual consensus the project had made at the beginning of the struggle for no self eviction. This procedure took place over multiple days. An extra meeting with the lawyer was announced for the next day as an update meeting to inform about the new proposals from HOWOGE and developed into a voting process if the Wagenplatz should evict itself. This meeting and vote was without a lot of people from the Wagenplatz because they were busy preparing against the upcoming eviction and didn’t have time to discuss a deal that had already been rejected. This voting decided yes for the deal despite the collective’s previous clear no’s.

This procedure revals all the power dynamics and mechanisms that the project is facing. The homes and lives of multiple people became a deal behind their backs where other people were discussing and deciding the future of their project and home. eventualy the negotiations could not come to an end and the final decision about the contracts wasn’t taken by the project because by that time as the owner refuses the deal to sell to the HOWOGE.

We would also like to highlight how different individuals from the Køpi house, before and during the eviction, showed zero solidarity to the Køpiplatz.Non-solidarity did not only take the form of indifference, but often actively acted as firemen by controlling and extinguishing the different forms of active solidarity for the Køpiplatz. The level of non-existent solidarity was frightening, any regular tenent shows more empathy when their neighbours are evicted. If the house plenum had not prevented almost every form of resistance from the house during the eviction and criminalised it itself – much more would certainly have been possible to defend the Wagenplatz.

General situation of house projects in Berlin

The general situation in Berlin is difficult as we all know. Many projects, too many, are endangered, too many have been evicted so far.

It seems that the hopeless situation has in many ways made us even more individualized than usual. The existential need and also desperation has often led to individual projects trying to save themselves by any means, even if it involved dirty deals, distancing themselves from other projects or rejecting political ideals.

On the other hand, the established house projects are in many ways self-contained, almost privatized, and don’t really involve themselves in citywide collaborations.

The existing order continues to have an interest in dividing us, in playing us off against each other, this must not be forgotten. Again and again, owners hold out the prospect of supposed success if the feet were kept still and the political were let out. But that should never be the solution.
Nevertheless, we must of course also understand what happens to people in such extreme situations, instead of just fucking each other up. The fact that decisions are sometimes not made in a thoughtful or sustainable way is so, we should find a way to deal with that.

But that some people from Køpi tried to save themselves, on the back of the Køpiplatz, that can not be accepted.

Nevertheless, it should not only be about this single place, but also about the general situation of desolidarization and individualization within the projects. A line has been crossed and we should now decide both in this situation, how and whether it can continue, but also critically reflect where we otherwise do not act coherently and sincerely.

Call for general assembly

As interkiezonale we heard bits of this situation which is descriped here and invited some people from kopi and kopiplatz to dicuss this situation with us. For us it was very hard to hear and understand this story and we found it difficult to want to show solidarity to Kopi now and for the future while there is still an overwhelming amount of unsoliadric behaviour accepted in the project. But we want to support the few people in the house who are interested in waking up Kopi from its hibernation and being an active political house again.

We don’t see our coordination as an external institution that can decide consequences or propose demands. We rather see ourselves as people and groups from already evicted places, threatened projects, who fight against evictions and for this reason we seek for collective discussions and exchange, when dominant and unsolidaric behaviors are taking place inside our structures.

That’s why we will call in the february 2022 for an open assembly in order discuss together the situation developed in the structure of Kopi willing to find a collective solution. Stay tuned for the date!

Quelle: Interkiezionale.noblogs.org