Sunday 24th of January 2021

in berlin tonight...

Police have been sent to evict activists who had "illegally occupied" an apartment building in Berlin. After a brief standoff officers broke into the complex via a balcony.

Dozens of police officers were deployed against the activists who had barricaded themselves inside an apartment complex in Berlin's Friedrichshain district. An armored vehicle was seen outside the building as a police unit was positioned on the roof. Electricity and water were cut off in the complex.


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Picture above by Gus Leonisky: stencil on the wall of a WW2 bunker, Berlin.

meanwhile in paris...

Parisian restaurant and bar workers have taken to the streets carrying a mock coffin, an expression of their anger at new Covid-19 restrictions, which they say will kill off the whole industry.

At a rally organized by the local trade association in the French capital on Thursday, the protesters staged the mock funeral procession with the words “Bars – restaurants – clubs” written on the coffin. Others held up a sign “Restaurant industry 1686-2020, RIP,” referring to the year when the first café-type business was opened in Paris. Some of the protesters have been seen brandishing smoke flares.


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eviction of ‘anarcha-queer-feminist’ squat...

Protesters in Berlin pelted police with bottles and vandalized shops and cars on Friday night after the forced eviction of almost 60 residents of the anarcha-queer-feminist squat “Liebig 34”.

The unrest happened in the central Mitte district of the German capital, where some 2,000 people vented their anger over the closure of the squat. Some 1,900 officers were deployed to the area and said they were regularly pelted with stones, bottles and firecrackers.

Several cars were torched and property was vandalized in what the German media described as the actions of a splinter group, which separated from the main protest to wreak havoc.

The violence was sparked by the eviction of a radical-left squat in the neighboring Friedrichshain district. Named after its location in Liebigstrasse 34. It had served as home to a commune of a self-described anarcha-queer-feminist collective since the 1990s.

READ MORE: Riot police with armored vehicle deployed to evict ‘anarcha-queer-feminist’ commune in Berlin (VIDEOS)

The collective’s stay became unwelcome in late 2018, after the lease on the house expired. A court ruled in mid-September that the group could be evicted. The police arrived on Friday morning to enforce the order, sending in some 1,500 officers gathered from several German states for the operation.

Despite resistance from the occupants, who barricaded themselves in, the police gained access and forced 57 people to leave. Protests following the eviction happened in Friedrichshain as well, but unlike their counterparts in Mitte, they remained mostly peaceful.


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going dark in japan...


To the outside observer, the "yami kawaii" subculture of Japanese fashion can be unsettling and disturbing. It brings together the cute pinks and pastels of more mainstream "kawaii culture," but then melds that with some altogether more disquieting images — black T-shirts with depictions of cleavers, knives or the message "I want to die," and necklaces with fake syringes filled with blood.

To a follower of this subgenre of fashion, however, that is all on the surface. The meaning goes deeper than the outward image and actually serves to reassure others who dress similarly that they understand what they are going through, that they sympathize with their depression and that they may also be having suicidal thoughts.

Read more: Coronavirus crisis changing Japan's work culture

"Yami kawaii" — "yami" means both sick and dark — first emerged as a cultural phenomenon in 2015, but it's attracting renewed attention as the suicide rate among young Japanese women climbs after years of decline.

Rising suicide rate linked to COVID-19

According to the National Police Agency, there were 1,854 suicides across the country in August, up 16% from the same month one year ago. The number of female suicides, however, was up more than 40%.


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Coronavirus: Berlin's first

Coronavirus: Berlin's first curfew in 70 years kicks in

The German capital has implemented a nighttime curfew in response to a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases. On the first night of the new regulations the mood was somber in the Friedrichshain district, a virus hot spot.

It's just before midnight in Berlin's bustling Friedrichshain district and the curfew is about to begin. 

Leaving a Späti — the Berlin colloquialism for a kiosk — a group of friends is struggling to haul a crate of beer outside into the heavy drizzle, joking that they need to stockpile supplies — or, as Germans would say "hamster" — before the new curfew kicks in.

Read more: Traveling to Germany — rules and regulations

Over on the next street, the last of the doner kebab meat is being deftly sliced away from the enormous metal skewers, packed into flatbread "to go."

Further along, however, at an Instagram-ready bar bursting with plants, there's less urgency as drinkers nurse their craft beers or sip cocktails that have been barely touched.

First curfew in 70 years

Midnight comes and goes. In the minutes after, outdoor seating begins to slowly clear. Tables and chairs are chained together, while the sidewalks begin to fill up with groups of Friday night revelers not ready to go home.



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