German Hippy Commune Fighting for Open Borders Puts Up Fence, Refuses to Share Property With Refugees
A hippy commune in Berlin created to promote inclusion and openness toward minorities is now protesting the city’s plans to put 500 refugees on the property they lease.
When the city proposed the 80,000 sq. ft. industrial property should be used to house 500 refugees, the 20 people who run the “Radical Queer Wagon Place” (RQWP) suddenly became not so open. They are now fighting to keep the refugees out by putting up a fence, clearly so that they can continue to promote open borders for refugees and a world free of fences and walls.
“This is not a zoo; people live here,” female resident Amina told Die Welt in an interview Wednesday, adding that the barricade is set up to preserve “an important cultural and political place.”
The group rents the large industrial public property in the Neukolln district of Berlin for around $1,000 per month. It has a theater, a bicycle repair shop and hosts seminars on injustice against minorities in a society dominated by white males.
According to RQWP’s website, the group organized a rally against closed borders and racism March 20. The event information states that the protest would stand up against “all fences and walls” and support the “right to live where they want.”
The property is now fenced in with a sign at the entrance proclaiming that it is “not an open space.”
The city is open to letting the group stay on the property and coexist with the refugees, but RQWP said this will lead to “state control” of their “self-governing society.” They instead suggest the refugees should be placed in the vast number of open apartments around Berlin, but the city and private landlords have had a hard time closing deals that suit all parties.
Several local politicians in Berlin have called out RQWP for its double-standard.
“They either go voluntarily, or they will be cleared,” Gerrit Kringel, chairman of the Christian Democratic Union faction of the Neukolln assembly, said according to Die Welt.