Anti-gentrification protesters disrupt Berlin luxury property tour
Published: 21 Oct 2011 15:50 GMT+02:00
The “Long Night of Apartment Viewings,” organised by the ImmobilienScout24 real estate website bussed about 2,000 apartment hunters through eight different districts of the capital, showing off about 150 properties for rent and sale.
The tour was greeted by protesters, who say rents and property prices in formerly run-down and latterly fashionable districts are forcing out original inhabitants, as well as the students and artists who make areas attractive.
At one property in Kreuzberg 25 people showed up to disrupt the viewing. A 29-year-old woman wrote on a doorway with crayon and was arrested and charged with criminal mischief, according to Die Welt newspaper.
Just down the road, a group of 30 protesters were confronted by police who issued trespass warnings, while in another incident in the Prenzlauer Berg district, protesters smeared apartment walls with an unknown substance and stole some small items, Die Welt reported.
The issue of gentrification is an emotional one in the capital, which was long famed for its low rents but where prices have been rocketing in some suddenly fashionable areas.