• Germany's news in English

Police prepare to clear Berlin refugee school

The Local · 1 Jul 2014, 16:33

Published: 01 Jul 2014 09:13 GMT+02:00
Updated: 01 Jul 2014 16:33 GMT+02:00

Berlin police chief Klaus Kandt sent an ultimatum to regional district mayor Monika Herrmann, initially for 7am on Tuesday, requesting that his officers be given permission to clear the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule.

On Tuesday afternoon that request came through. 

Berlin Police tweeted: "For us that doesn't necessarily mean forced eviction. We will consider our next steps calmly."

But The Local's reporter at the scene said police began clearing protesters away with violence from the cordon outside the school shortly before 4pm.

He reported pepper spray being used and police putting on riot gear to get rid of demonstrators who were sitting down outside a cordon which has been in place around the former school for a week.

"They are wearing helmets and trying to clear protesters," he said. "They're blocking people from going into that area. An announcement was made telling around 200 demonstrators to leave as it was not a legal protest."

A female protester whose nose was bleeding told our reporter: "I'm so angry I can't even go home."

The chants also switched from being about refugees to criticizing the police. “Stupid policemen, murders and fascists,” was one of the chants.

By 4.30pm most of the demonstrators had been cleared.

Protesters read a statement by Hans Pannhoff, a local councillor, at 3.40pm.

Pannhoff confirmed he had asked police to clear school but only after negotiating with the refugees.
He demanded the refugees move to a different part of school building and was willing to let them stay if they do so.
But he said in the statement that there was only "a short window of time" for this to happen. "The statement was met with boos by protesters", The Local's reporter said.
Police shut down the area around the building last Tuesday after a handful of refugees refused to leave the former school which has been occupied by around 200 refugees for 18 months. 
Story continues below…

PHOTO GALLERY: Police seal off area of Kreuzberg

SEE ALSO: Berlin police accused of 'siege' at refugee school

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Lion shot dead at Leipzig Zoo after breaking out of cage
Motshegetsi (l) und Majo. Photo: DPA

A young male lion was shot dead at Leipzig Zoo on Thursday afternoon after he broke out of his enclosure.

EU takes Germany to court for 'discriminatory' foreigner toll
A sign that reads "toll" along the Autobahn by Rostock. Photo: DPA.

The European Commission on Thursday said it is taking Germany to the EU Court of Justice because of the country's plan to impose a road toll that would mainly charge foreign drivers.

After 3-year trial, suspected neo-Nazi terrorist speaks out
Beate Zschäpe. Photo: DPA

Beate Zschäpe, the only living member of an underground neo-Nazi cell accused of murdering ten people, has spoken to the court in Munich after three years of silence.

Green party wants only e-cars on Autobahn by 2030
Photo: DPA.

The environmentalist Green party has an ambitious plan for German cars to be petrol- and diesel-free within the next 15 years.

Commerzbank to make one in five staff redundant by 2020
Photo: DPA

Germany's second largest lender Commerzbank said on Thursday it plans to cut 9,600 jobs by 2020 and withhold dividends to pay for a €1.1 billion restructuring.

Germany's favourite smoker wins battle against eviction
Photo: DPA

How a pensioner with a serious smoking habit won a years-long fight for his right to keep his home - and his favourite pastime.

Thousands evacuated after WWII bomb found in Cologne
File photo of a Second World War bomb: DPA

Several thousands people were being evacuated from a district of Cologne just north of the old town on Thursday morning, after a Second World War bomb was found in a parking lot.

Kidnapped German journalist and her baby freed in Syria
File photo of a Syrian soldier: SANA/DPA.

A German woman who was kidnapped in Syria last year while she was pregnant has been freed along with her baby, the German Foreign Office said on Wednesday.

Air Berlin to cut 1,200 jobs and halve airline fleet
Photo: DPA.

Struggling Air Berlin, Germany's second-largest airline, announced on Wednesday a major restructuring plan that shrinks its fleet and cuts 1,200 jobs.

Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Photo: Thomas Wolf/Wikimedia Commons.

From stunning chalk-white cliffs to fairy tale castles, Germany has some breathtaking sights to see, perfect for social media.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd