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Germany, Re-claiming bank land - protest camp in Witten

At April 2 - parallel to G 20 in London - we did a small protest camp in front of the municipality in Witten/Germany, protesting against the crisis and underlining the need to get back social control over real values, especially land and housing.

Using the slogan “Take back the Land from Deutsche Bank” people from Tenants Association, Antifa, Green Youth, The Left and local Social Forum put some tents on the square, symbolizing the social victims of crisis. Posters explained the situation of encampments in the U.S., flyers explained the involvement of Deutsche Bank in foreclosures and evictions in the U.S., taking that as an example for the consequences of financial capitalism on social living conditions.

Before, at April1, we had distributed a fake press releases, stating that the parliament just the day before decided to socialize and communalise the financial industries including Deutsche Bank. We stated, that now a local commission is looking for implementation, including the question of re-allocation of foreclosed DB-housing in the U.S. It was quite an exercise to anticipate how a socialisation and communalisation of a bank with a strong investment sector could be organized in practice.

Deutsche Bank is one of the biggest evictors in the state of Massachusetts. Shortly before the action we managed to get in contact with comrades in Massachusetts who demand to re-write mortgages of DB at today’s property values for fixed rates that home owners can afford based on the home owner’s income. And that they stop all evictions if they foreclose!

Our small symbolic action in provincial town of course could not develop serious impact to get heard by Deutsche Bank. But is was an experiment demonstrating a possible strategy.

Atmosphere at our small camp was totally relaxed and peaceful. We created and celebrated a song which reflected local situation and crisis from the background of German democratic-revolutionary traditions. Slogans were painted at the place. Passing people (there wer not many) were interested and mostly agreed in our general views.

Local press covered the action quite nicely: details

We could have done more for visibility, in fact we had many more ideas.  Main local effort was that we managed to bring some different people, including very young, together to do some internationally minded action, that we all shared a common view, and that we can follow up with that experience.

At the same time it was an experiment for developing a protest language for transnational action, with a potential to target specific multinational landlords.

If you are interested in discussing such targeted corporation campaigns please or other trans-local action ideas contact the group at: e-mail