Saturday, July 9, 2011

Wagenburglers

The name Vauban melts in the mouths of many of my friends in Madison. When they arrive in Freiburg these days on an ICE (LOL) from Frankfurt Airport soaked because the air conditioning on the train is broken* they cannot wait to visit the greenest quarter of our Green City. It is easy to get there. Just walk south on the platform, avoid taking the escalator to the deck of the bridge spanning the main station’s track field - since you are already soaked anyway - but rather climb those 40 steps in a temperature of 30 degrees centigrade (86 Fahrenheit) and mount a red! not a green streetcar named Vauban. It will take you to the entry of Vauban in just 15 minutes.
*This is the contribution of our Federal Railway to fight climatic change

Stepping off the streetcar number 3 at Paula-Modersohn-PLatz
When stepping off the streetcar at Paula-Modersohn-Platz you will possibly suffer a cultural shock: the gate to Vauban looks like a fort protecting a couple of wagons. This is the home of the Wagenburglers (people living in a wagon fort?). They live in their densely parked or rather packed camping cars and old buses on a lot that eventually will be covered with a multipurpose Green-Business-Center including a hotel and shops. The construction plans date back a couple of years but were often changed with changing investors. When nothing did happen until May 2009 the empty lot started to attract people looking for a place suited to live their alternative lifestyles.
The Wagenburglers claim their right to a selfdetermined life
and oppose the Green Party's policy of expulsion
When at the beginning of this year the construction plans for the Green-Business-Center had been finalized it was clear that the Wagenburglers had to leave the place. A hectic search went on (and still is on) for a site where these people could move to. The city immediately said that they had already set aside three lots carrying such poetic names as Eselwinkel (donkey's corner), Biohum (bio humus) and Schattenparker (shadow parker). These places however are already filled with fellow Wagenburglers. Private people who were asked for some land to lease wearily signaled their refusal.
Although Vauban remains green, the Wagenburglers are mocking the Christian Democrats and the Green Party accusing them of a zero tolerance for space to place their wagons.
Their mocking cumulates in the phrase: Gypsies back to Africa

The last deadline for the removal of Fort Wagon is July 31. So pressure is building up at the Rathaus: They must leave and if necessary be forced by law countered by the Wagenburglers: We shall fight to stay. They have already announced a demonstration in the city center for the July 23. It is to be feared that more actions will follow in particular when the Wagenburglers will call in those professional demonstrators from all over Germany who like nothing better than bashing the police.

Please stay tuned for any future development

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