Environment Magazine

Hamburg Residents Push Back Against Police Control Zones

Posted on the 10 January 2014 by Earth First! Newswire @efjournal


from SchNEWS

The cops iron grip on Hamburg has slackened slightly after police decided to somewhat downplay their game following pressure from the streets and in the media. The police presence has been scaled back and the Gefahrgebiet or “Danger Zone” laws are now “only” being enforced between the hours of 6pm and 6am,

The Danger Zone was established after riots kicked over gentrification in Hamburg. See SchNEWS RED FLOWER POWER and “DANGER ZONE” DAS REAL LIFE GAME.

Since Sunday(5th) when the DZ was established there have been numerous protests. There was an impromptu demonstration on the day held by eight hundred demonstrators against the zone being enforced in the red light district of the Reeperbahn, the Old Town, St Pauli and Altona Nord, where Rote Flora is located.

On that  night alone 263 people were stopped, according to a police report, with sixty being forced to leave the area. The Hamburg Morgenpost reported “that people were told to the leave the area because they looked like leftists”. According to the German daily tabloid paper the police intend to uphold the ban until the spring, so local residents have months of police harassment to look forward to.


Following an incident where a cop became really confused when he found a toilet brush during a search conducted on someone within the danger zone there was a call-out for people to take toilet brushes into the danger zone. The cops are now turning up hundreds of bog-brushes in the zones.  There’s also been a call out for a Friday pillow fight on the Spielbudenplatz. Online posts say “Please bring pillows of any kind, filled with soft material, to put a smile on your face and if available: the whole family! From 17:30 let the feathers fly!”

That this declaration of martial law  has the full support of the governing party of Hamburg, is  not so surprising, especially as in recent months the mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz, has been continually slashing democratic rights, instating a police state rule and clashing with anarchist groups to further highlight the “need” for police action.

Scholz is national deputy chairman of the SDP who hold an absolute majority in the state government. Last October the SDP had asked Hamburg police to capture and conduct searches on all citizens with dark skin so they could verify whether they were part of the 300 migrants that had escaped from the Libyan conflict. They had reached the Italian island of Lampedusa and from there were taken to various refugee camps.When the Libyan crisis ended at the beginning of 2013, the Italian authorities moved quickly and closed down the interim camp for refugees, giving asylum-seekers valid European travel documents plus five hundred euros each and then left them to their own devices.

They eventually arrived in Hamburg. In October 2013 around 80 of the men had found sanctuary in the St Pauli church. Because of the police checks, they were stuck within the church grounds and were restricted from moving around the city. This led to regular demonstrations in the city of Hamburg in solidarity with the refugees that often led to confrontations between the police and protesters. Culminating with the Rote Flora demonstration on the 21st December which ended in riots throughout the city and the establishment of the danger zone.

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