We surrender

Today they took down the camp. They started at 6 or 7 in the morning. “Pro-government refugees” with iron bars, so I heard, attacked the shacks of those refugees who wanted to stay, despite the lucrative offer of awaiting their deportation in a luxury residence.
At the final solidarity demonstration, an old guy said: “What are they shouting for, Oranienplatz is gone.” Unlike the usual ignorant neighbor, he didn’t sound happy as he affirmed it.
He looked like an unemployed electrician – short, moustache and hair growing long but looked after, glasses. I’d never seen him before.
He told me he’d lived at Oranienplatz for three months in his own shack. I hadn’t been there for over a year, except for ceremonial gatherings.
He told me they called him “Germani,” their all-purpose handyman. All his neighbors at Oranienplatz asked him to work on their shacks. In the morning they’d come: “Germani, help build my house.” So he did, almost every day. “It was fun and of course it’s important to feel needed.” I told him that’s also why most of us loved to go there – and why some of us were occupying a tree on the cleared lawn.
We spoke about the clique who pushed through the peaceful eviction in exchange for a pat on the head. “In the end, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white. If you have money, you’re nice. If you don’t, you’re a piece of shit.” I agreed with few corrections.
“I don’t know where I’m sleeping tonight, but I’ll find some place. It’s just such a shame.”


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