Hundreds of demonstrators confronted riot police in central Berlin the night of Oct. 9 to protest the eviction of one of the city's few remaining squats, a symbol of the German capital's once-thriving alternative scene. Hundreds of police were mobilized to remove residents of the Liebig34 squat in the hip and gentrifying Friedrichshain district of the former East Berlin. The eviction itself went off peacefully—but after dark, ranks of masked and black-clad protesters marched in a driving rain from the central Mitte shopping district with a banner: "Defend free spaces, remain on the offensive." Shop windows were smashed and cars set ablaze. Police charges were met with barrages of pelted bottles.
European governments are complicit in the systematic, unlawful and frequently violent "pushback" or collective expulsion of thousands of asylum-seekers to squalid and unsafe refugee camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Amnesty International charges in a new report. Entitled Pushed to the Edge: Violence and Abuse Against Refugees and Migrants along Balkan Route, the report details how, by prioritizing border control over compliance with international law, European governments are not merely turning a blind eye to vicious assaults by the Croatian police, but actually funding such activities. In so doing, they are fueling a growing humanitarian crisis on the edge of the European Union.
Protesters clashed with police in Slovenia's second city Maribor Dec. 3 in a march against austerity measures. Police said more than 20 were arrested and at least one officer was injured after some from a crowd of around 6,000 protesters threw rocks and fireworks. Protests began in the city last week to demand the resignation of Mayor Franc Kangler, who is accused of corruption. But over the weekend, deomstrations spread to the capital, Ljubljana, taking up general anti-austerity demands. Protests in Ljubljana and five other cities of small post-Yugoslav state were peaceful but large, bringing thousands to the streets.