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The Uncertain Future of Berlin's Squat Houses

Following a major police raid last week, the city’s former alternative centers seem more fragile than ever.
A squat in Rigaer Strasse, Berlin, in 2013
A squat in Rigaer Strasse, Berlin, in 2013Wikimedia /Achim Raschka

“R94 Lives!” read the fresh graffiti.

Daubed in red paint across several of Berlin’s political party headquarters last night, the slogan (since scrubbed off) referred to a massive police raid on an East Berlin squat last week, one of the largest and most controversial in Berlin’s recent history. Following an attack of a police officer nearby, a 500-strong anti-riot team backed up by dogs and helicopters stormed into the so-called “occupied house” at 94, Rigaer Strasse (or “R94”) on Wednesday night, making 100 arrests. Police raided the two houses next door the following day and kept up a heavy stop-and-search presence over the weekend.