Thursday, 14 May 2015

The Squat Revolution

The Hafenstraße
25 Feb 2015 | From Andreas of Germany

The postcard is such a fitting aide-memoire for what our country is celebrating today: the 29th anniversary of the People Power Revolution, or simply the EDSA Revolution. This event holds a special place in the hearts of many Filipinos as they remember a revolution that restored democracy in tour country in 1986. Though the situation and magnitude of these events are quite different, they both depict a fight for something that is important.

Hafenstraße is a common German abbreviation of St. Pauli-Hafenstraße, a street in St. Pauli, a quarter of Hamburg, Germany. It is known for a former squat. Although referred to as a squat, during its history various contracts existed between the occupants and the buildings' former owner, the City of Hamburg. To the squatter movement of the 1980s, Hafenstraße was a focal point for various social conflicts. Solidarity with these issues led to growing conflict with the state. Meetings were held at the end of the years 1984 to 1990, where up to 5000 people participated. Discussions covered topics such as squatting, anti-NATO politics, anti-nuclear politics, the question of political prisoners and international solidarity.

The firewall of the occupied house Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 16 All-Over mural by Harald Rosenberg. It consists of several smaller motifs that flow into one another. The sayings and writings on the facades of houses in the Harbor Street reflects the spirit of the republic in the 80s.

Hafenstraße in the St. Pauli district of Hamburg was a political place and a notorious squatters' hotspot. And from the crumbling and rotting houses, organized chaos, and riots and violent conflicts, this once rebellious street is now a picture of peaceful communal life. Hafenstraße's squatting days have already passed. Today, Hafenstraße consists of 12 houses owned by a cooperative administered by the residents. It has developed its own little infrastructure, bookshops, cafes, and bars. The houses are largely repaired and further renovations and constructions are planned and carried out. It has now become a much sought-after location. The battle is over.

No comments:

Post a Comment