Why we campaign against the planned Google Campus:
The establishment of business-structures of the Technology- and Digital-Industries in residential areas is fueling Gentrification. Start-ups, who try to settle up predominantly in the proximity of those so-called “clusters“ of Tech-Companies, lead to an increased pressure on tenants of nearby commercial units, who are not protected by german law against displacement. That threatens small businesses and eventually the economic infrastructure of the neighborhood. At the same time, the parts of “tech-clusters“ become factors of increased value of the nearby residential premises. And employees of Start-ups usually also want to move close to their places of employment. Both factors results in a stronger rent-increase than there already was before. Rising rents and the displacement of small businesses serving a local demand lead to many people not being able to afford to live in the neighborhood, so they are being displaced as well. The Technology-Industries regard these Effects of their influx without interest and distance themselves from all responsibility. Google - planning to open up a Campus for Start-Ups in the midst of this development - does so too.
What do we campaign for ?
Our campaign „Google is not a good neighbor“ aims at providing a platform to the neighborhood around the Umspannwerk to show that Kreuzberg 36 is against the establishment of the Google Campus and the displacement accelerated by the Tech-Industries.
We are against rising rents and more general rising costs of living, as well as the alignment of the neighborhoods according to the interests and needs of the Start-Up- and Technology-economy. Instead, we promote a city fostered by solidarity, which, instead of being a business model, is a place where all kinds of people can live freely.
We want to oppose Google and the other big internet-corporations with a smart city from below, in which data - collected from the public and the private sphere - is not a commodity, and in which technology serves the common good.
Our campaign connects different movements: The movement of community-organizing and anti-gentrification on the one hand with the movement of critical Tech and Coding, which promotes free / libre software and decentralized network services, on the other. We believe that our view of buildings and the urban public sphere as urban commons is compatible and combinable with the digital commons and a digitization serving the common good.
On the occasion of the event “InterLause#4: WebTech-Urbanism - Displacement, Protests, Counter-narratives“ on may 9, 2018 we presented the first edition of our brochure “Bad Neigbors: Google, Factory & Co“
The brochure criticizes the establishment of Tech-Industry-structures in residential areas and provides information on three corporations that are active in Berlin - Google, Rocket Internet and Factory Berlin. In addition, it analyzes the problematic of WebTech-Urbanism, the competition of cities for innovation in the neoliberal era and the concept of “Smart City“ - in short: city-development that is aligned with the interests of the digital Economy.
We will soon provide you with the english version to download.
We want to show that we stand and fight together as a neighborhood against displacement fueled by Google & Co. We need your support for that: download our camapaign-flyer or use our contact form, and get pinned on the online-map presented on the starting-page.
You can hand in the filled-out-flyers at:
Bakery Filou, Reichenberger Straße 86, 10999 Berlin.
Help us promote our campaign in the neighborhood: you can download, print out and put up our slogan Google is a bad neighbor (PDF with the slogan in german) or one of our other posters and logos. By this way you bring the campaign from the internet out into the urban public sphere. This way you help make more voices visible against Google.