Showing posts from September, 2014

Photoblog: Silent Climate Parade 2014

When was it: Sunday, September 21st at 2:00 p.m.

Where was it: Alexanderplatz to Brandenburger Tor, in Berlin's Mitte

What happened: Several thousand Berliners donned headphones and danced their way through the streets while listening to live DJ mixes and short speeches about climate change, that were being broadcast over the headsets.  Organizers also coordinated a 'crowd tsunami'... basically, that's a giant version of the Mexican wave.  By that point the parade had covered the whole length of Unter den Linden and the effect of the wave was pretty awesome.  
Everything at the parade was environmentally-friendly, too, from the electric tuk-tuk vehicles used by the DJs and drink sellers, to the balloons and even the toilets at the end of the parade. 

Why was it: The UN conference on climate change starts on September 23rd in New York.  September 21st was therefore chosen as a global day of action, when 2,808 demonstrations were held across the world.  The aim is to show th…

Preview: NYC Tonight?

I was just flipping through all of the events in Berlin that interest me this week, when I realized hey!  All these events have something in common... they're all about New York, somehow.     

Tonight, on Wednesday the 17th there's Blitzlicht, an EBM / Industrial / Synth night with the Horrorist DJing.  The Horrorist is from New York and back in the 90s, he made a famous, dark techno tune called "One Night in New York City".  The video is here in case you happen to be one of the ten techno fans in the world who hasn't heard it before. 

Even though he was a big hit in the techno scene, the Horrorist says that he also likes Goth nights and names Front 242, Nitzer Ebb and Depeche Mode among his influences. He's the perfect person to introduce you to club night in Berlin).

Starting Friday there is the Tattoo Circus in Kreuzberg - where else?  This is a three-day event where tattoos, gigs, political workshops, films and prison tales all rub their inked-up biceps …

Rooftop Protestors Say Police Withheld Food, Water

The nine men who were living on the roof of a Friedrichshain hostel to protest their sudden eviction from it by police two weeks ago, have finally come down for health reasons. Yesterday, they told a Taz reporter that the police withheld food that was brought up to them by well-wishers, and then ate it in front of their eyes. Police also denied water to a protestor who had tuberculosis, and a police doctor refused to examine the man close-up.  
This translated article from the Taz has more details...

BERLIN taz | The rooftop squatters at a refugee hostel in Friedrichshain Gürtelstraße have raised some serious allegations against the Berlin police and politicians. They say that an official statement that was made last Saturday, claiming that the protesters were regularly examined by a police doctor during their rooftoop occupation, is a lie.

"In 13 days a doctor came twice, but he remained ten feet away from us," said Mohamed Danko from Niger on Tuesday, at a press conference …

Demo Diary: Thank F*ck for FuPa!

Before heading out to F*ck Parade last Saturday, I saw a tweet that described the streetparty-demonstration as being 'anti-everything'.  I don't think that's necessarily true.  
It's true that FuPa (as it's also known) was founded in 1997 as an antidote to the Love Parade; as a way for Berlin's underground ravers to extend a middle finger at the hyper-commercial parade that had branded their city.  It's true that the Fuck Parade sometimes attracts a few macho types who think that it's an excuse to barge through dense crowds, instead of dancing.  And it's true that the parade's political message usually consists of a series of banners with words like 'Tourismuscheizze' and 'Gentrification' crossed out on them.  But I think that the Fuck Parade pulls loads of people to Berlin year after year because of what it stands for, not because of what it stands against.  
It stands for the no-frills unity that can only happen whe…

Demo Diary: Burned Out

Last weekend, I found myself having to take a cab to Schoenfeld because the S-Bahn wasn’t running on that track, due to a burned-out cable.According to, a group of activists claimed responsibility for this sabotage.  They claimed that they did it because they wanted draw attention to the unfair treatment of a group of refugees who are facing deportation from Berlin.
When I was in Guertelstrasse park last night, where those same refugees are currently living, an activist who I spoke to brushed off that suggestion.
“I had trouble to get to this parkto help the refugees because of this train problem,” says Anya, who is also a university student.“Why would we sabotage the train when it makes us harder for us to help them?”
It does seem likely that this story of pro-refugees activist sabotaging train lines is just another escalation of the dirty war that’s being waged on people like Anya by the Berlin authorities.
So far, that dirty war has seen the Berlin Senate negotiating a deal…