+++ Breaking News: Google is leaving Kreuzberg +++ current press reports can be found here +++
In November 2016 it became known that Google wants to open a Campus in the building of a former transformer station (Umspannwerk in german) at Ohlauer Straße, right in the middle of a residential area in the neighbourhood of Kreuzberg 36 in Berlin. Different alliances consisting of civil-society-initiatives and residents have formed to fight this development. We are the »No Google Campus« - Alliance, made up of the neighborhood-initiatives GloReiche Nachbarschaft, Lause Bleibt and Bizim Kiez, as well as engaged neighbors of Kreuzberg, Neukölln and Treptow.
The online-map presented on this site shows, which neighbors (blue pins), small businesses, associations, initiatives and social services (red pins) agree in saying: „Google is a bad neighbor“ and who support our campaign of protesting the establishment of a Google Campus in Kreuzberg.
No Google Campus-Alliance sees Googles temporary retreat as success for local solidarity-networks ++ Public debate has to be held about Tech-Urbanism and Gentrification ++ Suspicion remains of Google’s subtenants Karuna and Betterplace.org
The NoGoogleCampus-Alliance applauds Googles decision to give up the plans of establishing a “Google Campus for Start-Ups“ within an residential area at Ohlauer Straße. We judge this retreat as a common success of all initiatives, alliances and individuals in the neighborhood who participated in the protest against the billion-dollar-corporation. Concerning the social compatibility of clusters of Tech- and Start-Up-Economy within residential areas, we now hope in a public debate. The Berlin Senate must not promote economic development at the expense of tenants and small businesses threatened with displacement.
Unfortunately we have to assume that Google has not yet given up Kreuzberg. The internet corporation just made a bad speculation: the time is not right for a Start-Up-Campus in the neighborhood, as the inhabitants are still too sensitive to gentrification. Instead, social activism is in full blow. It therefore seems as a good strategic move of Google, to temporarily sublet the Umspannwerk as an interim location to social actors. Furthermore it must draw suspicion that both Karuna and Betterplace.org are closely related to this years' edition of the “Google Impact Challenge“, the corporation’s own funding-competition for civic engagement. Without implying a direct link between the work of these two projects and Googles business model, we cannot but pose ourselves questions about their relations of dependence with Google. We will observe the developments in the Umspannwerk. Understandably, it is yet too early for an impartial and warm welcome to Karuna and Betterplace.org at Ohlauer Straße.
Rising rents, Gentrification and Displacement have been going on for years in Berlin, especially in the area of Kreuzberg 36. Nonetheless the government (Senat) of Berlin has proclaimed the neighborhoods around Görlitzer Park (which not only include parts of Kreuzberg, but also the north of Neukölln and the western part of Treptow, called Alt-Treptow) as an area for the establishment of large corporations of the new Technology-and Digital- economy. According to the Senat, it is here, where the “german silicon valley“ shall be set up. But this development will only lead to even higher rents and to an restructuring of the local economy of the neighborhoods, as, for example, has been the case for years in San Francisco. The establishment of a Google Campus in Kreuzberg has to be viewed in this context. But the city officials ignore this: they unilaterally focus on the interests of the Technology-Industries and the Start-Up-Economy. Google is the most famous corporation that profits from these politics, which is why we started the campaign “Google is a bad neighbor“, pointing to the negative impact of the establishment of a Google Campus on our neighborhood. No Google Campus in Kreuzberg!
The Huck-Magazine visited our manifestation “Kick Google out of the hood!“ and published an article that captures the diversity of our protest-movement (misquoting our name, but oh what the heck... :) ):
“ [...]“Google’s plan to open a Campus in Kreuzberg, one of the city’s hotspots for nightlife and with an enduring tradition of leftist and anarchist subcultures, was always going cause trouble. Since its initial announcement a year and a half ago, the fight against Google has seen regular events set up by an organised group of anti-gentrification activists and anti-corporate hacktivists that have formed the superhero-sounding ‘anti-Google Alliance.’ “
You can find our own report of the manifestation in our Actions-Section.
On the occasion of our manifestation “Kick Google out of the hood!“ Konstantin from the Initiative »Bizim Kiez« was Interviewed at Radio 1. He explains, what in our view is the problem (or: the problems) with the establishment of a Google Campus at Ohlauer Straße. Find the Interview here (in german).
Press-realease of the NoGoogleCampus-Alliance
June 14, 20018, the NoGoogleCampus-Alliance will hold a manifestation in front of the Umspannwerk at Ohlauer Straße in Kreuzberg. The manifestation takes place as part of the protest against the establishment of a Google Campus in the building. The slogan of the manifestation, which is being held at the day of the first match of the soccer-world-cup, is “Kick Google out of the hood!“, and will contain soccer-elements. “We are thrilled to give our neighbors the opportunity to get sporty against Google after the first match of this years world-cup“, says Konstantin of the neighborhood-initiative Bizim Kiez, which is part of the alliance.
The protest against the Google Campus in Kreuzberg is directed at the establishment of business-structures of big tech-corporations within the residential areas around Görlitzer Park.
The manifestation starts at 20.00 Uhr in front of the Umspannwerk, Ohlauer Straße 43.
Find the link to our FB-Event (we are aware of the ambiguity of using FB. Unfortunately we have to rely to it for purposes of mobilisation.)
You can find past events under Actions.