Newsletter 118 of December 30, 2022

Action alliance against housing shortage and urban degradation, circular 118

For a city without homelessness
For a city without evictions
For a city without drug deaths
For a city without violence against women and children
For a city without deportations
For a city without poverty

All year long these demands were at the end of our newsletters. In this last newsletter of the year, we have made it the headline because we need to act more decisively for this in 2023.   

Throughout the year, we have demonstrated in front of Council and Social Committee meetings for the placement of all homeless people in lockable single rooms. This was only to finally implement what had been decided in the Social Committee on January 14, 2021. Unheard of.

For a city without homelessness

When Social Affairs Director Prof. Dr. Harald Rau, brought to Cologne by the Green Party in 2016, took office, he declared that his most pressing task was to integrate Cologne’s people into a “new culture of togetherness.”

Street workers from Benedikt Labre e.V. and Diakonie Michaelshoven e.V. were commissioned by the social administration to inquire about the wishes of the homeless. Mr. Rau: In the social committee on September 5, 20219: “The consistently expressed desire of the respondents to move into independent living space comes up against actual limits due to the housing market situation in Cologne.”

The “culture of togetherness” is renovating the opera house for a billion euros and has no money for decent housing for the homeless who long for a home.

“Anyone who doesn’t have a home doesn’t have peace of mind”.

A homeless man on Dec. 24, 2022 in Berlin’s main train station about poverty, security, Christmas and being chased away everywhere.

Who needs the pro housing market that doesn’t provide decent, affordable housing for all?
Housing is Right:

For a city without evictions and without power cuts

Due to current events, this demand had to be supplemented: Ms. Reker on 28.09.2022 in an interview with the Stadt-Anzeiger: “some people need this sword of Damocles of the lock, so that they deal sensibly with their energy consumption.”

In the past year, we have again protested several times against evictions on site. Modestly few in view of the many evictions:

Two years ago, there were 1,728 evictions in Cologne and in 2021, 1,589 apartments were evicted.

We need a newspaper for the poorest parts of the city, so that all those threatened with eviction can know that we exist, that we come and are there when evictions threaten.

For a city without drug deaths

Who wouldn’t have the self-evident right to their own apartment if not drug addicts and the mentally ill? The urban public has not yet reached the point that even from the JVA Cologne drug patients are released into homelessness. The residential homes for those released from prison, such as Haus Rupprechtsstraße and Elisabeth-Fry-Haus, which are financed through §§ 67-69 SGBXII, do not take in anyone whose main problem is their addiction and/or their mental illness. There is a lack of housing for drug addicts and mentally ill people in Cologne.

In the “new culture of togetherness”, no one has yet taken responsibility for the drug-related deaths, which reached an unprecedented high of 74 in 2021.

The police stubbornly continue their stupid petty war against small-time drug dealers and the local media proudly report every gram found as a result, which they still call narcotics although heroin has been approved as a medicine since 2009 and cannabis since 2017.

For a city without violence against women and children

According to the police, a total of 2908 people were victims of domestic violence in Cologne in 2021. Experts believe that the number of unreported cases is much higher.

To protect women and their children, there are only two small women’s shelters, which have to turn away hundreds of women every year because they have no space. How many women become homeless from such violent circumstances is unknown.

There is more talk about equality on all rungs of the social hierarchy, instead of the causes of violence that arise from these asymmetrical social relations.

For a city without deportations 

A total of 10,349 people were deported from Germany in 2021. 37 flights went from NRW to Albania and states of the former Yugoslavia, 12 flights to African countries.

When the asylum law was gutted in 1993, the fight against the causes of flight was promised. Instead came Frontex.

“A few years ago, almost unnoticed, the EU made the ominous decision to establish a pan-European border police to seal off the territory of the EU from the outside world and thus prevent the influx of immigrants. This is the truth of globalization: the erection of new walls to protect prosperous Europe from the flood of immigrants. The fundamental divide is between those included in the sphere of prosperity and those excluded from it. The only real solution is to tear down the real wall, the socioeconomic one; that is, to change society so that people no longer desperately try to escape their world. (S. 41)
( Zizek, Slavoj: (2005): Pure Violence. Incorrect Reflections on New Orleans, France and Related. In: Lettre International, Winter 2005, pp. 36 – 43)

With deportations, rich countries increase the misery of poor countries instead of effectively fighting global poverty. Causes of crime cannot be deported either.

For a city without poverty

The history of urban poverty began with the destruction of the ancestral subsistence resources of the rural population, triggering a movement of flight to the cities. The onset of capitalist exploitation and the resulting social inequality, which continues to grow to this day, barely features in the media.

One of the few bright spots was Beate Hinrich’s award-winning feature in which she explained how, after the deindustrialization of the cities in the 1980s, the cities began to compete with each other as centers of service and experience:

Who Owns the City? On the loss of public space

WDR 5. 15.09.2003. 53:46 min. Available until Dec. 30, 2099. WDR 5.

In our newsletters, we have often enough described how and what everything in Cologne should become top in Germany and Europe through Ms. Reker. Already as head of the social affairs department she did not stand out by fighting poverty. With this saying at the New Year’s reception of Deutsche Bank: “There is no more impressive social policy than the strengthening of the business location” ( ) she has outed herself as a representative of the so-called trickle-down economics, the conviction that the prosperity of the richest in a society would gradually trickle down to the lower strata of society and thus lead to economic growth, from which everyone would then benefit (trickle-down effect)

So far, we have been too few to take up the fight against poverty. And we have not yet figured out how to assert the strategic strength of people who do not own the means of production: their numerical superiority.

Christoph Butterwegge: Podcast: Poverty in NRW

Homelessness: First into poverty, then onto the street

From the history of the housing struggle

On December 28, 1907, 10,000 households in New York City took action against rent increases. The action was sparked by 16-year-old Jewish textile worker Pauline Newman, who enlisted 400 other young women and girls who were factory workers to encourage other families to join in. Landlords fought back with water shutoffs and revenge evictions, but families persevered and by early January, some 2,000 households won reduced rents. This is a brief report on the rent strike:

Broadcasts, Dispatches, News

Homelessness in Thailand

“Homeless people have it extremely hard”
Sabine Reuß on fear of the dentist, homelessness and the Housing First project

Preprint of the article from a brochure on the study of the consequences of immigration in rural regions

Photographer Jana Sophia Nolle has rebuilt shelters for the homeless in middle-class living rooms. Her work shows the growing social divide – and yet finds things that unite.

Berlin: The expropriation initiative demands implementation of the referendum in the new year. A conversation with Bana Mahmood

Reports of deaths from the cold are piling up. Meanwhile, the public and private sectors are focusing on architecture that pushes the homeless out of the cityscape. A group of Stuttgart activists counters with manual labor.

At least six homeless people have died in Germany as a result of low temperatures. An interview with Werena Rosenke, Executive Director of the Federal Association for Assistance to the Homeless (BAG W).

Homeless in winter: Dying on the streets begins
Hamburg forces homeless people to leave the buildings of the winter emergency program during the day despite sub-zero temperatures.!5899297/


02.01.2023, 19 right on city, open meeting citizen center old fire station

17.01.2023, 19 Werner Rügemer: What and who is behind Blackrock? Part 1 Peace Education Center, Obenmarspforten 7-11, 50667 Cologne, Germany

18.01.2021, 19:30, The End of Capitalism. Reading and discussion with Ulrike Herrmann. Civic center Nippes, Alteberger Hof, Mauenheimer Str.92. VA: attac

19.01.2022, 15:30, Social committee, Spanischer Bau

21.1.2023, 20:00, “Ithaka” – Film and discussion about the fight for Julian Assange. Cinema 813 at the BRÜCKE, Hahnenstraße 6, 50667 Cologne, Germany

Jan. 27, 2022, 6:30 p.m.-2 p.m., Enough is Enough. Against rising prices and social imbalance. Kulturbunker Mülheim.

31.01.2023, 7 p.m. Werner Rügemer: What and who is behind Blackrock? Part 2 Peace Education Center, Obenmarspforten 7-11, 50667 Cologne, Germany.

09.02.2023, 14:30 Council

For a city without homelessness
For a city without evictions
For a city without drug deaths
For a city without violence against women and children
For a city without deportations
For a city without poverty

December 30, 2022
Klaus Jünschke and Rainer Kippe


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