The smell of sulfur, popping noises, thick smoke escapes from the hallway - then the officers have gained access to the house at 94 Rigaer Strasse
STEFAN ZEITZ / imago images / Stefan Zeitz
Black smoke wafts through Grünberger Strasse. According to estimates by the police, around 2000 people are on the move, chants echo through the neighborhood. "If you take the Riga residents from us, we'll flatten the city," the demonstrators shout. In solidarity with the house "Rigaer 94", which is partially occupied by left-wing extremists, they walked through Berlin-Friedrichshain on Thursday evening.
At the very front, black hooded participants run. At Wismarplatz, a resident holds a red T-shirt out of his window, attached to a pole. Fireworks crack occasionally. Demo participants throw bottles and stones at the police, as a reporter from the German press agency reported. Smoke pots and firecrackers are also ignited. The officers use irritant gas, there is a scuffle. After the demonstration ended, a police spokeswoman said that the protest was not peaceful, but that it did not escalate either. There were four arrests in the course of the evening, she told SPIEGEL. 1,300 emergency services were deployed across the city.
Before that, violent riots had occurred in the course of a fire protection inspection at Rigaer Strasse 94 in Berlin-Friedrichshain.
After negotiations failed, the police, on the orders of the district, forcibly entered the barricaded house in order to enforce control.
This ended in the afternoon.
And the day before, there had been riots and attacks on police officers, including with stones.
When the demonstration train turns into Rigaer Strasse, the crowd cheers.
At the intersection with Samariterstraße there are further expressions of solidarity.
Masked people appear on the roofs to receive the demonstration with pyrotechnics.
The demonstration ends in front of Rigaer Straße 94. A pyro show including fireworks will greet the demonstrators.
This is followed by a rally, many people sit in small groups on the street and linger in front of the partially occupied house.
"Today we're celebrating our victory," comes the sound from the loudspeakers.
"Rigaer Strasse will stay forever."
Rigaer Strasse 94, seven hours earlier.
At 9:40 a.m., the Berlin police's chainsaw eats its way through the front door of the partially occupied house.
At the same time, music by the hip-hop band Antilopen Gang can be heard.
"Sometimes I hope that everything is just a dream," booms from the loudspeakers of the left-wing autonomous residents.
As soon as the song has reached the chorus, the first police officers are in the hallway.
The smell of sulfur is in the air, loud popping noises can be heard.
There is thick smoke from the hallway.
"The attack starts, fuck off," calls out a resident over the loudspeakers.
On the fourth floor someone is fiddling with a green smoke torch.
In fact, the emergency services turn around.
As the police later announced, the officers were sprayed with a fire extinguisher.
Several police officers complain of irritation to the respiratory tract.
They enter the house again five minutes later.
Accompanied by pyrotechnics and chants, an official approaches with a power cutter.
While the second security door withstood the saw at first, a resident announces "tough resistance from the house" over the loudspeaker.
Residents throw paint bags and fruit at police officers
Officials from another police unit, who want to gain access through the courtyard of the neighboring house, feel this.
As a spokesman for the police and the residents report via Twitter, the officers are pelted with bags of paint and fruit.
When they return to the street a few minutes later, many of them have splashes of brightly colored paint on their black uniforms.
The day before, the Berlin Higher Administrative Court ruled that representatives of the owner were not allowed into the house.
Only the fire expert and representatives of the district were planned.
And the police - if the appraiser wants to use their protection.
With 350 men she was on the spot and a restricted zone was set up.
In the Kiez, school and daycare were closed on Thursday, as was the district office.
The inspection was scheduled for 8 a.m.
The residents of the house had offered to pick up the fire expert and the district representatives and show them around the house.
The only condition: no police.
As it is said from several sources, the expert insisted on police protection.
Negotiations with the residents' lawyers also came to nothing.
Around 9:30 a.m., the district ordered the door to be opened and the house to be secured in order to make the inspection possible.
It took the police more than 40 minutes to open the second door.
When the policemen penetrate the courtyard, firecrackers can be heard.
Several of them suffer from bang trauma, as the police later say.
According to the police, a total of 21 officers are injured during this operation, they all remain on duty.
After a few minutes, the previously loud music stops.
Now you can only hear the 50 or so demonstrators who have gathered at the intersection with Liebigstrasse.
They ask the police to leave the house.
Occasional rockets shoot into the sky where a police helicopter is circling.
The tour ends in the afternoon
While some police officers try to clear the stairwells, others patrol the roof.
The streets are largely blocked, only residents can pass.
At 11:38 am, the residents tweeted: "The police are in the house." Less than an hour later, the fire safety inspector begins his work and enters the building, together with two representatives from the district and the residents' lawyers.
A police spokeswoman reports that all obstacles have been removed.
The ascent is officially over four hours later.
As a police spokesman said around 5 p.m., it went quietly and without any disruption.
The fire protection expert was able to examine the intended rooms and finish the test.
According to the police, deficiencies have been found that need to be discussed without an urgent need for action.
While the residents announce via Twitter that they are still alive, the police dismantle the barriers and withdraw.
At least for now.