The exterior of the anarchist library Kalabal!K in Berlin (photo courtesy Kalabal!K)

The exterior of the anarchist library Kalabal!K in Berlin (photo courtesy Kalabal!K)

An anarchist library was raided earlier this month in Berlin after police executed search warrants in the hunt for two men wanted in connection to a series of posters depicting police violence during the last year’s G20 protests in Hamburg.

Kalabal!K, located on Reichenberger Strasse in Kreuzberg, was searched on the morning of May 9 after police suspected two men wanted for libel were located inside. Just after 5:15am, Berlin police reportedly broke open the door of the anarchist library with an angle grinder. They also stormed an apartment in the same building, as well as three other apartments in the Neukölln and Tempelhof districts.

The State Office of Criminal Investigation (LKA) gave Berlin police permission to search the premises of Kalabal!K, which is located in a left-wing project house known as “Reiche 63a,” part of a collective run by the Self-Governing Comradeship of East Berlin, where police reportedly seized evidence including data carriers, as well as illegal weapons and guns.

Police arrested two men, aged 24 and 27, on suspicion of spreading slander in connection to the “wanted” signs that were posted around Kreuzberg in December of last year following the violence at the G20 summit in Hamburg. The posters in question depict several members of the Hamburg police and local politicians, who are accused in the renegade poster of forming “a terrorist group for the purpose of attempted manslaughter, serious injury, mistreatment and kidnapping.”

Politicians depicted in the poster include the Federal Minister of Finance and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz; Senator Andy Grote; and Hamburg’s Chief of Police Hartmut Dudde. According to activists, these individuals were responsible for motivating police aggression during the Hamburg G20 protests last July, where for several nights left-wing groups demonstrated against the summit.

Criticism of police aggression during G20 was widespread, with several journalists reporting a disproportionate use of force to put down demonstrators. According to a report by Constanze Nauhaus in Der Tagesspiegel, “the police deployed such a massive force to surround the demo’s starting point at Hamburg’s Fischmarkt square that it was almost impossible to count the number of water cannon and reinforcement units stationed in the surrounding streets.”

The raid on Kalabal!K was captured in part on social media.

In recent months, Kalabal!K has been holding “Anti-Google Café” sessions every two weeks in response to plans by the tech giant to open new offices in Kreuzberg. In a statement, library members called for a demonstration in solidarity with the prisoners and condemned the raid as part of a prevailing order whereby “control, repression, cops, justice, punishment, and jail are the logical consequences of people defending themselves against a system based on power and property.”

Kalabal!K’s members have also called for “discussion and chaos days” and demonstrations. “We know that not everyone can participate in this way, but we are working toward the day when everyone will be able to come together in unannounced demonstrations on the street,” the members wrote. “We want to be uncontrollable and use the framework of the chaos and discussion days to take the road together and send a signal to the rebels on the other side of the walls.”

Despite the recent raid, the library Kalabal!K remains open at Reichenbergerstr. 63a in Kreuzberg.

Dorian Batycka is an independent curator, art critic, and DJ currently based Berlin. Previously, he was curator of contemporary art at Bait Muzna for Art Film (Muscat, Oman), assistant curator for the...

One reply on “Police Raid Anarchist Library in Berlin’s Kreuzberg Neighborhood”

  1. The actions of the police are why anarchist bookstores and anarchism are necessary and relevant.

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