#197: No lion, retail strike, racist ticket checkers
How many lions are there anyway?
Dear 20 Percent,
Get ready for Berlin to become the laughing stock of Germany.
Berlin cops just abandoned their search for a supposed lioness that escaped from parts unknown Wednesday. The cops based their frantic search — and subsequent media frenzy — on a sketchy video as well as “reliable” eyewitness accounts from officers in the dark, wee hours of Thursday.
But experts say the video more likely shows wild pigs and, despite the massive police presence, not even a paw print was found. The cops even used drones and helicopters with heat-seeking cameras to find the non-lion.
If they’re willing to fall for the lion ruse, it’s no wonder they can never find our stolen bikes, or tow an illegally parked car.
Anyway, this newsletter is late enough because of the fast-breaking lion news. On the bright side, maybe the Berlin lion jokes will finally replace the never-ending stream of BER jibes.
Or maybe just add to them.
Have a good weekend!
If you followed the drama on our Twitter and would like to make sure we can keep you similarly up-to-date on future farces, feel free to donate on our Patreon or buy a 20 Percent mug, so you look better than everyone else at the company coffee machine.
BVG slammed for racist ticket checkers
German-American Opera singer and translator Jeremy Osborne July 10 was awarded €1,000 for pain and suffering by a Berlin court after a racist interaction with guards checking tickets on the U2 in 2020, according to RBB24. He had a valid ticket but got into an argument after asking to see the guards’ IDs. Osborne’s lawsuit was based on an anti-discrimination law unique to Berlin but the court said neither that nor another equal treatment law applied in the case — instead the court said his general rights as a person were violated by the checkers’ racist comments. While it’s the first time BVG has been held responsible for the acts of its notoriously aggressive and violent checkers, one checker was sentenced to eight months in prison and €2,000 in restitution in April after attacking American Abbéy Odunlami in a similar case. It’s baffling how BVG has for years just ignored the obvious issues with its ticket checkers.
Pre-weekend panic shopping may be more difficult today and Saturday after union Verdi called for employees at Rewe and Edeka to strike, according to Tagesspiegel. The union wants €2.50 more per hour for its retail workers — inflation has leapt 6.9% over the past year while wages rose just 1.7%. Just 800 of the 150,000 retail workers in Berlin are expected to take part in the strike — so your store might be hit but also maybe not.
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Newsletter pal Ben Knight has released his first full-length documentary, We’re All Going to Die. It started with a fascination with preppers, those weird kooks preparing for global apocalypse (or at least really bad worldwide chaos) and evolved into a fear that the world is going to end. Soon. 20 Percent co-founder Maurice Frank is listed as a producer and you can catch the film August 1 at Kino Central in Mitte. Follow this link.