Feminist activists tear down gate to Hamburg brothels

Activists from feminist group Femen singled out Hamburg's red light district for an International Women's Day protest on Friday, breaking down a gate that seals off a notorious street of brothels.

Feminist activists tear down gate to Hamburg brothels
An activist using a power tool for the metal barrier. Photo: DPA

Wearing body paint with slogans saying “women are not goods”, some bare-breasted members of the organisation took power tools to the metal barrier.

“We destroyed a highly-symbolic gate today” of “a public street inaccessible to women”, Femen Germany posted on its Facebook page.

The barrier blocks access for women and under-18s to Herbertstrasse, not far from the Reeperbahn cluster of nightspots in the north German port city.

“We tore down the wall to denounce sexual exploitation of women, trade in human beings and sexual violence that conceals itself behind the closed doors of the sex industry.”

Elsewhere in Germany, organisers expected as many as 10,000 people to take part in a march for women's rights through the capital Berlin, which celebrated International Women's Day as a public holiday for the first time this year.

“Our Basic Law calls for equal rights for men and women in article three.  Implementing this in social reality is an enduring task,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said via a tweet from her spokesman Steffen Seibert.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.