Solidarity Networks don’t just exist in Glasgow and in Seattle. Berlin, for example, has seen gentrification, rent hikes, privatisation of social housing, political unwillingness to build affordable housing and also slumlandlordism and thus the emergence of a number of campaigns – ad hoc, to fight with and for individuals and their families against rent increases and evictions, or permanent groups. Earlier this year one such ad hoc group tried to prevent the eviction of the Gülbol family from their flat in Berlin-Kreuzberg. They could no longer afford the rent and went into arrears after a change of ownership meant that rents went up. They had lived there for 30 years and in spring police, for the third time, tried to evict them. Thanks to a broad-based campaign called “We Will All Stay” (Wir bleiben alle) the previous two attempts were foiled – but the third one was successful thanks to considerable police involvement.
Starting on the 22nd of June, in eleven cities across Germany a campaign (http://wirbleibenalle.org/?p=633) will protest against ‘rent increases, displacement, impoverishment and evictions, in short: the entire capitalist madness’, as it says on Mietenstop (http://mietenstopp.blogsport.de/). Hopefully, the campaign catches on and people no longer have to fear eviction and losing their homes.