Violence still simmers months after Berlin squat eviction

Police say they are still dealing with violent reprisals even months after they forced the eviction of residents from a controversial leftist squat house in Berlin.

Nine people were arrested during the eviction of the squat in the Friedrichshain district of the capital in February, sparking a spree of violence and vandalism by up to 1,500 protesters, which left 61 police officers injured.

Since then at least 40 criminal acts have been reported in the vicinity of the building, most of which are thought to be the work of people still angry at the eviction and the gentrification of the area.

Those include attempted arson, attempted assault and trespassing, Berlin police spokesman Volker-Alexander Tönnies told Friday’s Berliner Morgenpost newspaper.

So far, no-one has been injured and none of the culprits have been caught, but police have opened multiple investigations, the newspaper reported.

The tabloid Bild has also reported the existence of an anonymous letter threatening more violence, which police said they were aware of.

The building at Liebigstraße 14 has long been a flashpoint for the debate over gentrification in the Friedrichshain area. Before the eviction it had been occupied continuously by squatters since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990.

The building was bought from the city, which had been tolerating the squatters, by private investors investors in 2007. They issued eviction orders two years later.

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