“Köpi”: Berlin police begin evacuating the car camp

Berlin center
Police begin evacuating the left-wing autonomous car camp “Köpi”

Berlin: A police evacuation vehicle is at the beginning of the evacuation at the entrance of the trailer park

© Fabian Sommer / DPA

The evacuation of the “Köpi” has begun: The Berlin police are trying to advance to the area in Berlin-Mitte with technical equipment. Before that, there had been arguments.

The Berlin police began on Friday with the evacuation of a left-wing autonomous car camp called “Köpi” in the Mitte district. The officers tried to use technical equipment to advance to the area on Köpenicker Strasse, where residents had holed up behind a high fence. The police announced this on Twitter.

Before that, there had been clashes between counter-demonstrators and the police around the cordoned-off area. Local reporters watched as officials and supporters of the project clash. The police had gathered hundreds of officers and clearing equipment in side streets.

Before the evacuation, people could be seen on tall trees on the so-called Köpi-Platz. A spokeswoman for the project called before the start of the police action by megaphone that an advance on the site would endanger human life. “Don’t put up with that,” she said, and verbally abused the police. Smoke rose from the grounds too.

Last symbol project of the left scene in Berlin

The car camp on a site on Köpenicker Strasse is considered to be one of the last symbolic projects of the left-wing scene in Berlin. About 30 people live in construction trailers on the approximately 2,600 square meter property next to a house occupied in 1990 on the former strip of the wall. The property owner successfully sued for eviction in June with reference to a building permit. The Berlin Court of Justice rejected an urgent application by the residents to stop the foreclosure on Wednesday.

The police cordoned off the area around the project on Thursday. Objects were thrown from the grounds of the car camp, said a police spokeswoman. For their part, the residents had reinforced the fence around the site in the past few days. One will not give up without a fight, it was said last week.

According to the spokeswoman, 700 of the planned 2000 police officers come from other federal states or from the federal police. The officials would not only be deployed on the premises, but also in other “significant locations”, for example to protect party offices.

Reactions hardly predictable

On Thursday evening, several hundred people demonstrated in Kreuzberg against the eviction. According to police, one officer was slightly injured when someone in the crowd threw an object. Garbage cans went up in flames.

Hundreds of supporters of the “Köpi” in Mitte and Friedrichshain protested against the eviction last weekend. In the past few nights, garbage cans and tires were set on fire in the area several times. On Wednesday morning strangers damaged the glazing of the entrance doors at the Bürgeramt in Berlin-Mitte and sprayed “Köpi remains” on the building.

A large rear building belongs to “Köpi”, but it should not be cleared. The building on the strip of the Wall in East Berlin was occupied in 1990, the year after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In addition to apartments on the upper floors, there is a concert room, a climbing wall, a small sports hall and a cinema in the basement and the lower floors.

How the situation will develop after the evacuation can hardly be predicted. The resistance to the evacuation of the occupied house “Liebig 34” in Friedrichshain in October 2020 was much smaller than on similar occasions before. During a fire protection test in the partially occupied house “Rigaer 94” in June, however, there was a violent attack on the police.


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