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Solidarity protest in Hamburg over housing project clearance

The Local · 5 Feb 2011, 12:46

Published: 05 Feb 2011 12:46 GMT+01:00

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Around 250 people took part in a protest march through the city, the police reported, and attempted to build barricades and break a jewellery shop window.

When the march ended, some demonstrators launched fireworks in the Altona district of Hamburg and destroyed six shop windows. Around 80 protestors also gathered in the St. Pauli district and were seen throwing fireworks.

The police arrested one man and took a total of fifteen people into custody. According to the police, no-one was injured.

The demonstration follows a week of protests in Berlin over the clearance of the 'Liebigstraße 14' housing project on Wednesday.

The house in the former East Berlin has been occupied since 1990. The occupants were eventually granted rental contracts, which were terminated when two private investors bought the house at the end of the 1990s. An extended legal battle was finally lost and resulted in Wednesday's forced eviction by 2,500 police officers.

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Your comments about this article

14:55 February 5, 2011 by Landmine
Why do they continually let goons protest when it always ends in some sort of damage to someone else? Hellooooo???? Seems like that just leaves the government open for litigation because they approved the protest.
15:42 February 5, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Oh, GOON is such an Ugly Word.

I prefer Green Party Constituent.
18:36 February 5, 2011 by Landmine
lol... Isn.t Goon and Green Party Constituent one and the same?
21:59 February 5, 2011 by wood artist

The answer is simple: prior restraint.

It's a legal principle that says you can't arrest somebody, or prevent them from doing something simply because you "believe" the will ultimately do something illegal. If somebody applies for the necessary permits, says they will "follow the rules" then there is no basis to deny them the rights we all have.

Now, it may be true that history says "these people" always allow their demonstrations to turn violent or create damage, but that's not a legal basis for denial of rights. If you could discover some "plan" to cause problems, then you could act, but that's about it.

Now, as a point of reference, do you really want the police coming to you and arresting you because they "believe" you might do something illegal?

Nobody else does either, and that means our freedoms, unfortunately, come with a price.

01:55 February 6, 2011 by Frenemy
@wood artist: valid point (as long as we stick to residence evictions). But just as a counter example, in the anti-terror context we arrest people (on a regular basis) because we "believe" they might do something...
11:12 February 6, 2011 by Landmine
@wood artist

I guess you are right, lets let people like Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson, David Berkowitz, Ted Bundy and The Unabomber run around and do their stuff....
12:08 February 6, 2011 by wood artist

Hopefully those arrests are based upon some level of evidence that they are actively planning attacks. Charges of conspiracy are difficult, but when people begin to take active steps, they can be arrested.


Unfortunately crime does happen. It might have been nice to have captured the people you mention after their first offense, but sometimes serial criminals are tough to catch, and in the case of the people you list, just exactly why would you arrest them? None of them, perhaps with the exception of Manson, ever said anything or made threats that caused friends, neighbors, or law enforcement to see them as threats.

The system isn't perfect, and never will be. There are innocent victims. We don't always catch the "bad guy" before he can strike again. That's sad, but nevertheless true.

Still, if the alternative is preemptive arrest and detention, I guess I'd vote for the current system. We're sharing ideas on The Local, based in a country that knows only too well what happens when the government is allowed to make preemptive arrests, and I have no desire to see that return in any country. I doubt many do.

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