I spent the afternoon at a Berlin squat house, getting drunk with Slavic anarchists. As I was walking by, they were in the first floor window, smoking, playing punk music, and muttering angst against criminal government. Germany, too, is a police state. The outer walls were draped with banners and painted in anti-establishment slogans. The building looked on the verge of condemnation, but apparently they own the title. 50-60 squatters live there, in a share-what-you’ve-got living arrangement.
A fella returned with Chinese food. He had buggy blue eyes and patched pants. I forgot his name. He grew up in Brooklyn on Avenue X, and these days works as a salmon fisher in Alaska. He has been camping on the beach in Spain for the last two months, is currently squatting through Central Europe, soon on his way to impregnate his Lithuanian girlfriend, per her request.
Police recently raided a nearby Squat House. The activists retaliated with 1 million in city damage, swearing Berlin möchte brennen (Berlin will burn) if raids continued. They bragged about their influence and numbers, drawing 6,000 supporters to a demo[nstration] they organized in less than a week. The numbers are self reported.
A gal from the Anarcha-Feminist House (self described as a collective and social living house-project) came through gleaming with pride for her steel frame fixie bike. She had dreaded hair died red, a soft hippie voice, and sores on her face, which was probably once pretty, many years ago. Maybe more. She starting with no one else is to ride her bike then, somehow, segued into when I was on mushrooms and speed, I was riding, and broke this bone here (pointing at her sternum). She removed the heavy chain and pad lock from around her waist. The bug-eyed anarchist chimed in calling it a “smiley”, saying they use it to beat bad punks. A Polish anarchist said it is great for smashing taxi windshields. We drifted onto the topic of picking locks and copying keys, unanimously agreeing to make a copy of a key isn’t very hard. With a marker, a file and enough time, you can copy any key. We all laughed about having plenty of time.
Anything spoken about with passion is worth listening to, may it be an underground alternative subculture, or the political views of radicals. “People look at us like we’re freaks, but we think they’re freaks.” I feel their plight, at the convenience of a fading afternoon.
Rather than railing against the establishment, as they honorably do, I participate directly in the mainstream economy they loath. I suppose if you’re clever, you can respect the play of both sides, and commit to neither. Can’t change the game, unless you play the game.