#155: Ukraine support, free court furniture, Beamten birth
A tank on Unter den Linden
Hey 20 Percent!
It’s been a year since Russia invaded Ukraine and it still fills me with sadness that someone can murder thousands and uproot millions because of an inflated sense of self-worth. Admittedly, I’m American so this quirk of geopolitics shouldn’t surprise me, yet here we are. Although hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees have moved through Berlin in the past year, about 60,000 now live here, according to RBB24.
Still-mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) will attend what is supposed to be the biggest of the anniversary-related protest marches planned Friday. It will begin at 4pm with a literary festival at the renamed Cafe Kyiv (officially Cafe Moskau for historic reasons) on Karl-Marx-Allee before moving down Unter den Linden, past the Russian embassy and ending at the Brandenburger Tor. Giffey’s expected to speak there alongside Ukrainian ambassador Oleksiy Makeev about 6 pm. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will also appear via video link.
A different protest on Saturday is expected to attract 10,000 visitors from the same extreme ends of the political horseshoe as previous demonstrations against Covid-related regulations. It was organized by Sarah Wagenknecht, a celebrity from the Die Linke leftist party, as well as German feminist author Alice Schwarzer. They want Ukraine to negotiate with Russia and be willing to compromise (ergo, give up land illegally taken) and neither have apparently ever heard of Neville Chamberlain.
See you at Friday’s protests!
A tank, but as a form of protest
The Berlin Story museum Friday parked a trailer with a Russian tank damaged early in the Ukrainian invasion in front of the Russian embassy after winning a legal battle with the borough of Mitte. The armored protest feels a little macabre, like hanging the bodies of your enemies at the city gates as a warning but maybe that’s the intent. Mitte didn’t want to allow the artistic installation and protest, Morgenpost reported, because it claimed it was a military provocation but an administrative court said even tanks can be used for free speech. Lifting the wreck off the trailer as originally planned proved impossible because of subway tunnels beneath the area, hence the trailer solution.
Protest for the climate, win a free table
A member of the Last Generation activist group, best known for super glueing themselves to Berlin roadways to raise awareness of the climate catastrophe, was gifted a table from a Berlin courthouse Thursday after super glueing his hand to the piece of furniture during a hearing. Henning Jeschke appealed a fine lodged for spraying graffiti on the chancellery last June and during the hearing, according to Tagesspiegel, glued his hand to the table, saying he had to because “we have to talk about the climate emergency.” He and the table were carried out of the courtroom and he was eventually allowed to leave with what would become his new desk. The judge has precluded him from future trial dates because Jeschke refuses to stop disturbing the proceedings.
Babysitter arrested in alleged murder
A five-year-old girl died from at least one stab wound Tuesday and police have arrested her babysitter for murder. The 19-year-old was supervising the victim and three siblings in Bürgerpark Pankow when he left with the girl, who wanted to use the restroom, according to RBB24. He returned without her and the police and media began calling for help searching for the girl. Her body was found a short time later near the playground.
Cut umbilical cord, get Anmeldung
Did you watch White Lotus? That scene where the employee gives birth in the hotel because she was afraid of losing her job? Tuesday a woman gave birth in Neukölln’s social services office, probably because she had waited longer for her appointment than she did for the baby. Two social services employees rushed to the woman’s aid after her water broke at the information desk, according to Tagesspiegel. Emergency services were called but the new Berliner was already crowning as the emergency doctor arrived. Social services is now helping the woman, who also has two other children.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has boosted the city’s Ukrainian diaspora fourfold — at the end of 2021, 14,579 Ukrainians called the Hauptstadt home, according to the most German of bureaucracies: the Berlin-Brandenburg statistics office.
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