On March 1st Berlin sold a piece of its culture and history to the highest bidder. And the crowd went wild. On the streets along the East Side Gallery, the longest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall and open air gallery, hundreds gathered in protest of the cultural rape. City honchos and district bosses simply shook their heads and stated that the new owners had the right to destroy the second biggest tourist attraction in Berlin.
How an officially-marked Berlin denkmal (monument) could be sold without public involvement is a scandal of the highest order. Construction crews removed the first section under cover of night, but by 9am Friday morning, hundreds had gotten wind of the change. You just can’t hide a giant crane lifting a brightly colored, 12 foot concrete slab in the air.
Police gathered in force: at first only a few dozen ‘garden variety’ officers formed a human wall and taped protestors off across the street from the Wall. When push came to shove, a gang of riot police quietly sidled into position and dropped a metal barricade between the construction site and the crowd—but not before the entire group broke through the police tape and wheeled a mock section of the Wall right through the police lines. The wall segment read ‘Mr. Obama. Tear Down Wall Street,’ a reference to Ronald Reagan’s famous statement at the original Berlin Wall: ‘Mr.Gorbachev. Tear down this wall.’
In the end, protestors' efforts were not in vain. Police informed the crowd over bullhorns that the wall destruction would be delayed--for now...