Thursday, 5 November 2009


The Köpenicker Str. 137 was squatted on the 23.02.1990. Short time before that, the house stopped being rented. The house didn`t got torn down, how it was planned, because of the squatting. In summer 1991 there was made a pre-contract with the administrator of the estate, the W.B.M. (housing association Berlin-Mitte), for the use of all rooms. The contract included measures for D.I.Y. building up as well as making single contracts for the housing space.
On the 01.05.1993 there were made unlimited contracts for the housing space, with the new administrator of the estate, the G.S.E. (association for urban development).

failed tryings of eviction:

1994 Volquard Petersen became the new owner of the house with a back-assignment. He quit the contracts and made a action for possession in 1996 to have room for his plannings to built an office block. The case got dismissed and the quittings void by law.
Meanwhile Petersen got huge bills so that the house got distrained and set under forced administration. The Commerzbank applied for a forced sale, what got tried 1999 several times.
Because of a lot of protests and solidarity actions, and also because of valid rent contracts, there was not even one interested investor on the first two auctions. The third auction got taken back in Mai 2000.

forced administration of the house:
The forced administration of the house was stopped and given back to Petersen, from whom noone heard since then. The people who lived in
KØPI started a rent community and made contracts with public utility companies. Since then the rent community ist handling the whole administration of the house.
The drink- and wastewater system as well as the roof was rebuilt totally D.I.Y. Also the basement got developed. Comprehensive reconstructions in the living spaces and smaller reparations are people here doing themselves.
There is no owner or administration needed to keep our project.

the forced auction:

On the 8th of may there was another forced auction. The local court and the creditor Commerzbank talked beforehand and tried to keep the auction secret. They sold KØPI and the KØPI- trailerpark for half of the value to the speculator "Besnik Fichtner", which is operating out of a dubios company mixup. The public prosecution department investigates a case, against him and several persons behind him, because of hard fraud and a lot of other things. Fichtner said to a newspaper "Berliner Zeitung" that he wants to built luxuslofts and berths for yachts. It seems like Fichtner forgot in his greed, that the KØPI is not built up right next to water and it´s going to be difficult to built a harbour on our ground.

Kopi - autonomous and self-organized culture and living project:
The house gives around 50 people living space including their children, from which some of them are living here since their birth. The common used rooms offer space for all different kinds of uncommercial cultural events. There were hundreds of bands from all over the world playing in the two concerthalls, the last 18 years. Young talents from berlin as well as well known musicians from America, Europe or Asia. For a lot of east-european musicians was KØPI the place for their first gig in Germany. Also a lot of theatrical performances or Dance- and other performances are taking place on the stages in KØPI.
We also have a non-commercial cinema, charge free sport- and theaterrooms, a self-organized screen- printing workshop, the techno- basement, berlins oldest climbing room, the open office, vegan/vegetarian Soupkitchens, a band-exercise room and a lot of more.
And all that in conscious of without one cent from the state, city, partys or any other "benefactors"...



After the auction in March 2007, and the following cancellations of the house contracts, the future of Köpi was unclear.  But since then, the situation has changed in some concrete ways – therefore this update.
It came to long and hard negotiatons with the new owner of the house to secure the Köpi as a living and cultural project.
The first priority in the negotiations was the idea to bring the whole of the Köpi complex, for an extended length of time, under self-management (eg. in the form of a contract that is continueously passed on i.e. that is linked to the project and not specific people so that it has no ending).  We wanted to keep the Köpi for as long as possible out of the capitalist economy.
A possible solution was canceled by the Commerzbank, who, still officially, has veto rights (and is still using them against the Köpi).  Therefore, we have concentrated on maintaining the present contracts and getting them extended.
On the 18th birthday of Köpi, the owner extended the contracts for to the whole ground floor, the first floor and the side wing (the concert spaces, some living spaces and the office) for 30 years (based on the conditions for the rest of the house).  The cancellation of the old contracts for the rest of the house for the 31st of May have also been withdrawn.  Through this, there are no longer any unclear legal positions for the whole house and the land it sits on, i.e. all rooms, including the yard and the land in front all are covered by contracts.
These contracts allow us a continues existance for an unforseeable length of time, without us having to compromise or bring to an end our concept of a non-commercial living and cultural centre.
Our concept: „Köpi stays – and the way it is!“ is and was not negotiable.
This success would not of been possible without the help and support of our thousands of friends from around the world.

The various acts of support, the demos, solidarity actions, donations, the massive publicity, created a lot of pressure and put us in a strong position with regards to negotiating with the owner to halt his plans for an eviction of the house.  To all our supporters, once again, a massive thank you -  we could not of done it without you.
Thanks For All The Support – We W ill Never Forget It!
However, even though the threat of eviction has been lifted from the house, this does not mean that we can sit back.
The situation that has existed for a long time with regard to the Köpi Trailer Park is still unclear.  There exists at the moment an allowance by the owner but there is still no long-term contractual solution.  At the moment there is no danger of eviction but if the owner of the land changes, the next conflict will be forseeable.  We need to stay alert.  Please keep your eyes open and come to the action days at the end of May and show that they cannot push projects like the Köpi out of the life of our city’s so easily.
Apart from that, we still need to show solidarity with the other projects in Berlin that are faced with eviction.  The situation being faced by Rigaer 94, XB-Liebig, Liebig 14 and Schwarzer Kanal remains critical.
The example of the Köpi shows that through massive public pressure, we can win.  We see the saving of the Köpi as just a small step in the struggle for the maintaining of all our free spaces.


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