Berlin artists’ lock-in protest to halt developers

From Guardian UK – Kate Connolly

Bohemians and anarchists have joined forces to fight the gentrification of their living space

Darko stands behind an iron gate, his bare chest daubed in red paint with the words “victim of bank”. Four floors above him Reza, an Iranian painter, leans out of the window to pull up a basket of provisions.

The artists are among 20 who have locked themselves into Tacheles, one of Berlin’s last bastions of alternative subculture, and are fighting eviction ahead of plans to develop it as an office and luxury apartments complex.

“It will be a catastrophe for Berlin if this goes,” says Darko, a painter from Bosnia who came to Berlin for a weekend, fell in love with Tacheles and stayed. “There are very few places like this anywhere in the world, particularly in the centre of a capital city and five minutes from the government quarter.”

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