Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin
Well, it seems that the story of Görlitzer Park´s “Untergang” has entered another chapter. And if you thought the situation was bad in summer then, well, think again.
As “Tagesspiegel” (one of leading Berlin dailies) informs, the drug-dealers who took the park into their possession already a while a ago and try peddling their stuff not only to the passing grown-ups but by now also to the kids visiting the local petting zoo, have extended their field of activity outside the park´s borders.
Now, if you live around the park, you might find them standing directly at your house door. Groups of dealers are gathering inside the staircases or are standing at the threshold, molesting both the residents and passers-by, including primary school kids and teenagers.
The authorities having failed. Last time we looked the local civic initiative “Unser Görli” was trying to find a working solution. But since the project lost its official subsidies in November 2013, the borough has been looking for new people with new ideas. Haven´t found them yet…
How about this then: instead of wasting what might run into hundreds of thousands of Euros for completely pointless, ineffectual and, one could almost think, sham police raids (138 last year only!), and instead of producing (by now almost hollow-sounding) permanent blah-blah-blah about the “insupportable situation of refugees”, “deep social inequalities” and “inhumane German “Asylpolitik”, how about simply closing the park for the night and/or employing park guards and maybe adding regular (and friendly) police presence? And sticking to it for a while.
While all of the above mentioned social issues might be valid problems in themselves, they must not be abused (willingly or not) as arguments that hold up or even potentially prevent putting an end to Görli´s being used as a drug-central.
The proper lighting in the park is also a great idea but the lamps alone are not going to drive the dealing mafia away. Neither are CCTV cameras (one of rare points on which I do agree with Berlin´s Secretary for Internal Affairs). Nor, with all due respect to the Madam Mayor, is a coffee-shop offering legal weed.
Like it or not, but you can´t always be be nice and absolutely fair towards everybody. Not if they are not nice or fair towards you. It is not fair to take over a public park and peddle drugs in it. It is not fair to offer those drugs to children visiting the park. It is not fair to stand at somebody´s door and enter their house to sell drugs to anyone unlucky enough to have to enter or pass the building. It is a crime to do so.
And crime is never nice and never fair. High bloody time to do something about it.
Here is the original Tagesspiegel article by Tanja Buntrock and Anne Labinski.