2020-02-11Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/24059
Communities of struggle: the making of a protest movement around housing, migration and racism beyond identity politics in Berlin
Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät
After the initial moments of political protest have passed, urban protest movements and neighbourhood initiatives often face the challenge of establishing a sustainable organizing structure in their neighbourhoods and of creating long-lasting collaborations, including maintaining relations among various participants and heterogeneous political actors in the city. This paper analyses the political practice of Kotti & Co, an urban neighbourhood initiative that has been active in political struggles pertaining to social housing and displacement and working against racism and neoliberal urban politics in the super-diverse city of Berlin. In the larger context of urban protest movements since 2011, the initiative managed to overcome a series of political challenges and to build a long-lasting organizing practice. The authors identify Kotti & Co as a ‘community of struggle’ that was able to foster a lasting movement through three elements of sustainability. The protest first managed to build bridges across and beyond its members’ differences (class, migration background, sexual orientation) by finding a common set of political demands and social practices as well as by establishing collective place-based subjectivities. These place-based subjectivities have contributed to overcoming conventional identity politics by forming a new kind of political identity through the struggle itself.
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