One-stop shop for urban revolutionaries battles closure

M99 sells things like pepper spray (‘antifascism deodorant’) and books on how to free animals from labs

The Financial Times published an article about HG/M99:
»M99 is a one-stop shop for the urban revolutionary. For the last 30 years, Germany’s hard-left activists have gone there to stock up on the tools of their trade — gas masks, cans of pepper spray and black balaclavas.

M99 is unique, says the rambunctious shop manager and wheelchair-bound Hans-Georg Lindenau, whose nickname is HG: “You get this mixture of all different social strata consuming information, entering a dialogue and taking action. Once that’s gone, you’ll never be able to recreate it. This place is not a commercial enterprise — it’s an institution.”

Mr Lindenau is a relic of a bygone age, when Kreuzberg was vibrant hub of artists and activists, many of whom lived in vast squatter communes in abandoned houses. During the Cold War, the district was part of the neglected no man’s land near the Berlin Wall. Today, its location — a ten-minute bike ride from the Reichstag and Angela Merkel’s chancellery — has made it prime real estate.

But the shop, tucked away on a quiet street in Berlin’s bohemian Kreuzberg district, is being forced to close next month, a victim of a wave of gentrification that is remaking Germany’s capital city.«

HG lives in this shop and the eviction (dated to August 9th) will force him to live on the street. Bizim Kiez and many other organisations try to prevent the eviction.

full article online



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