Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Berlin Sells the Berlin Wall to Developers



On March 1st Berlin sold a piece of its culture and history to the highest bidder.  And the crowd went wild.  On the streets along the East Side Gallery, the longest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall and open air gallery, hundreds gathered in protest of the cultural rape.  City honchos and district bosses simply shook their heads and stated that the new owners had the right to destroy the second biggest tourist attraction in Berlin.


How an officially-marked Berlin denkmal (monument) could be sold without public involvement is a scandal of the highest order.  Construction crews removed the first section under cover of night, but by 9am Friday morning, hundreds had gotten wind of the change.  You just can’t hide a giant crane lifting a brightly colored, 12 foot concrete slab in the air.




Police gathered in force:  at first only a few dozen ‘garden variety’ officers formed a human wall and taped protestors off across the street from the Wall.  When push came to shove, a gang of riot police quietly sidled into position and dropped a metal barricade between the construction site and the crowd—but not before the entire group broke through the police tape and wheeled a mock section of the Wall right through the police lines.  The wall segment read ‘Mr. Obama.  Tear Down Wall Street,’ a reference to Ronald Reagan’s famous statement at the original Berlin Wall: ‘Mr.Gorbachev. Tear down this wall.’

In the end, protestors' efforts were not in vain.  Police informed the crowd over bullhorns that the wall destruction would be delayed--for now...

For the full photo story, click here.

4 comments:

  1. Good on You and the protesters, Craig. I would have physically been right there - had I been in Berlin. Otherwise, my heart is indeed in support of preserving a portion of the wall as a monument / memorial - and the east side gallery is the best place to do it.

    Here's hoping that they realize that in this case, "tearing down the wall" is not a benefit.

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  2. Thanks, Rose. I know you would have been there. My reporter pal and comrade-in-protest Der Irische Berliner has alot more in depth reporting on the situation:

    http://www.irishberliner.com/2013/03/hoffnung-for-east-side-gallery.html

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  3. So sad...."cultural rape" is a very apt description. So glad you photographed the open air gallery while it existed!

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  4. Well, it's not gone yet: recently THE HOFF visited Berlin and got personally involved in our humble little fight. He thought we might be lookin' for a little freedom:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2013/mar/17/david-hasselhoff-returns-berlin-wall

    Sadly, I missed the whole thing. I blame living in Scheissedorf. :(

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