January 28, 2023

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Asbjørn Svarstad, New Year’s Eve | Missile Hell in Berlin: Parts of the city look like a war zone

comment Expresses the opinion of the writer.

In the early afternoon, initial reports were received that the night was going to be hot.

Rockets slammed low into the streets and “ordinary” citizens were forced to seek refuge in restaurants that were still open.

In traditional trouble spots like Sonnenalle and Urbanstrasse, there were gangs shooting at each other across the street.

Otherwise, they threw obviously illegal “hit China.” It was so strong that a wave of pressure hit the legs below an ordinary walker.

Asbjorn Svarstad

Asbjørn Svarstad started writing for the local newspaper Dagningen, and for a few years was associated with VG. From 1987, Stringer Dagbladet in Copenhagen. Since 1996 he has been living permanently in Berlin, where he has worked with several Scandinavian media outlets. He works mostly with historical articles and political commentary and is a licensed guide in Sachsenhausen.

The neighborhoods exploded

During the evening, law enforcement authorities tried to “calm down” the situation and not draw attention to the troublemakers. But half an hour before midnight, it seemed as if entire regions had exploded.

In Friedrichshain, Yidding, and Kreuzberg, ambulances and fire trucks were massively attacked by gangs of masked men dressed in black, who fired rockets directly at the vehicles, hurled explosives at them — and simply emptied the ambulances of vital aid, while staff tended to the sick. .

A shocked ambulance driver had just been speaking on regional television about how a missile suddenly smashed his windshield.

busy with photography

A firefighter has been directed to an alleged fire in a narrow street. When the first vehicle arrived, rescuers attacked about 25 men, assaulting them, looting their equipment, and throwing explosive charges at them.

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The witness was particularly surprised to note that many of the perpetrators were constantly busy photographing others. The material has undoubtedly been used for social media bragging. So it was not a matter here of spreading slogans for or against an “important” cause – but simply showing one’s desire for destruction and recklessness.

During the first New Year’s Day, 18 police officers, 15 paramedics and firefighters were counted, as well as 20 “civilians” who were hospitalized for injuries sustained during these attacks.

Many of the regions in question are said to be “under Arab control” and critics describe them as examples of how parts of the German capital have been marked by decades of non-integration.

But it also appears that many without an immigration background were among those arrested.

Interconnection on the highway

Aggression and “measures” were used against rescue ships for the first time two months ago, when young climate activists glued themselves to the motorway every day – thus stopping morning traffic in and out of Berlin.

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Activists also refused to move to emergency ambulances and came under heavy criticism, after blocking ambulances that were terminally ill – or on their way to tragic accidents.

Later on, false alarms became a major problem. “Someone” calls and reports incidents resulting in serious personal injury, so that a grand alarm is sounded and several trolleys are ordered to the scene. (It’s definitely pure coincidence that things like this tend to happen around the same time as highway glugging (?)

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An unprecedented phenomenon

Throwing a few empty bottles at the police on the night of May 1 or firing high-powered rockets on New Year’s Eve — bought illegally in Poland — have been a regular part of annual celebrations in Berlin since before the Wall fell.

But ambulance workers being physically attacked and fire trucks being deliberately set on fire with missiles is a hitherto unseen phenomenon.

Ordinary people now complain that for several hours on New Year’s Eve they feel like they are in a lawless environment.

The force of order was driven away, while the mob celebrated by bombing each other and their surroundings—or attacking those who dared appear to be tending to the sick and wounded.

The Ambulance Workers Union is now calling for cameras to be installed in all vehicles, so that in the future it will be possible to track down and prosecute attackers. Firefighters agree with this concept, and they also want to get body cameras – that is, cameras on the body.

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The state police union is calling, from next year – for the lives and health of members – for a blanket ban on all forms of New Year’s Eve fireworks.

Only at the beginning

Experts are just beginning to discuss why firefighters and ambulance workers are becoming as “legitimate” targets as police officers.

Politicians in Berlin have begun campaigning ahead of their re-election, which will take place at the end of February.

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The reason is that the September 2021 elections ended in chaos, because the lines were too long and the number of ballot papers too few. And now the Social Democratic Lord Mayor – Franziska Giffe – will have to explain how the current state government is unable to protect rescuers from bombings and angry mobs.

So this is a problem that in the coming weeks will continue to keep the boiler boiling.

So far, none of the suspects have been able to provide any credible explanation as to why rescuers should have been beaten and their cars set on fire.

But some geniuses are sure to appear soon and they also have an explanation for that.