Discover more from 20 Percent Berlin
#110: Racist cops, topless damages, cheap public transport
Plus the Zero Waste Festival, the Handpicked Berlin newsletter and a translation event
The big news this week is that our very own Berlin government finally delivered on a promise. Sort of. A monthly AB ticket will cost just €29 from October through December as a sort of local consolation for the disappearance of the wildly successful national €9 ticket.
The fare will only be available to those who subscribe to an annual ticket for the period, though the subscription can be cancelled to expire at the end of December. It also won’t extend to zone C because Brandenburg politicians hate nice things and they even made Berlin promise to pay for any financial burden the €29 ticket may add to their green, leafy state’s bottom line.
There’s more info here and we’ll update the site/guide as more details become available — like most things in this town, it was rushed out the door before it was actually ready but then we somehow all love that about Berlin.
Have a good weekend!
This is the usual sentence about sharing this newsletter with your friends and sharing some of your hard-earned cash with us on Patreon because we like doing this and money helps. We also will take inherited cash. And profits earned on wise investments. Any money, really.
The Berlin corona stats for Friday, September 16
New cases in one day: 1,289 (2,146 Tuesday)
Total deaths: 4,786 (+8 over Tuesday)
🔴 7-day Covid-19 incidence (cases per 100,000): 209.8 (198.9 Tuesday)
🟡7-day hospitalization incidence (also per 100,000): 7.6 (8.4 Tuesday — It’s yellow again!)
🟢 Covid-19 ICU patient occupancy: 3.3% (3.0% Tuesday)
Source: Berlin’s corona page
Batteries? What batteries?
Electric automaker Tesla is now reconsidering completing its under-construction battery plant southeast of Berlin because cars and batteries made outside the US would no longer qualify for hefty tax benefits in the world’s biggest economy, according to the Wall Street Journal. Legislation designed to battle inflation and China’s dominance in technology require electric cars and components to be made in the US to qualify for a $7,500 tax credit there. Tesla has been building cars since March in Grünheide southeast of Berlin and the battery plant was to become Europe’s biggest. Tesla may have been considering changing plans for some time — late last year it rescinded an application for a €1.1 billion government handout for the plant, according to Handelsblatt.
Racism among police, again
A Berlin cop is now on desk duty after a video surfaced of him using racist slurs while arresting a Syrian immigrant in Lichtenberg for Schwarzfahren (riding public transit without a ticket) and while attempting to give a warning for an unknown offense to his wife, according to Tagesspiegel. The video shows two police officers next to a man on a bed in handcuffs with his wife nearby. One of the officers threatens the woman with jail if she touches him and he then says, “This is my country! You’re just a guest!” The man eventually paid a €750 fine for getting caught three times riding public transit without a ticket and was reportedly set free — the couple then went to a police station and filed charges against the officers for assault and the racist comments.
Topless damages? What damages?
A French woman who was kicked out of a popular wading pool near Treptower Park last summer for sunbathing topless lost a case against Berlin seeking €10,000 in damages Wednesday, though the judge didn’t give a reason, according to Der Spiegel. The woman, architect Gabrielle Lebreton, was eventually forced to leave the pool by police in June 2021, sparking protests over the inequal treatment of men and women in public places in Berlin — in response, officials have since altered most public bathing rules to treat everyone equally. Lebreton’s lawyer told the magazine she would await the court’s official decision before deciding whether or not to appeal.
Ok, so it’s not Berlin but on this day in 1979, eight members of two separate families escaped East Germany, traveling from Thuringia across the border to Bavaria in a self-made, cotton hot air balloon. The successful escape sparked two movies (no, not Up!), including Disney’s (!) Night Crossing in 1982 and Balloon, a 2018 German production.
Handpicked, another newsletter
We occasionally put business — well, startup — news in here but we’re inconsistent because we’re recalcitrant capitalists and also probably champagne socialists but Igor over at Handpicked Berlin does a much better job of keeping up with fundraising and, even more importantly, job openings. Give him a read and maybe a follow.
Zero waste is all win
The Zero Waste Festival is tonight (Friday) and tomorrow at Engelnest co-working in Schöneberg. Speakers, workshops and companies working to do better. The focus this year: Green cities. Thanks to Zero Waste for providing our Patreon patrons with some free tickets. More info and tickets here.
Party like the Hohenzollern
One thing that surprised me after I moved to Berlin was being able to go to interesting dance events (raves, I’m talking about raves) in real-ass public cultural buildings. There was one memorable night/early morning in Frankfurt’s Schirn art museum, for example, as well as an opera house here. And here’s your chance at the Humboldt Forum: Part of the opening ceremonies include these open-air club evenings tonight and tomorrow.
Translations are a thing
One of Berlin’s best bookshops, Dussmann, is hosting a discussion on German-to-English literary translations Wednesday, Sept. 21 at the mothership at Friedrichstraße 90. Local translation stars Katy Derbyshire and Lucy Jones will take part in the discussion led by Dussmann’s John Owen. Entry is €6. More info.