Electricity in an area of Berlin was cut off on Tuesday after far-left Antifa militants allegedly vandalised street lights by tearing out cables before members of the group set fires and vandalised property.
The rioters tore out cables from street lights in the Riga Strasse area of Berlin, a neighbourhood known for links to far-left Antifa extremism due to the street being the location of the notorious Riga 94 squat. The sabotage is said to have led to power outages from Liebigstrasse to Zellestrasse.After cutting power, the alleged Antifa extremists lit a fire in the area and built barricades. They were spotted shortly after midnight covering the facade of a local building with paint. Around 20 or so masked extremists, wearing black bloc-like apparel, were seen but ran when police arrived on the scene, Bild reports.
Around 1:10 am on Tuesday, witnesses said rioters started more fires and more residential buildings were covered in paint. Firefighters, accompanied by police, were able to put out the fires and restore order to the area by around 3:30 am.
According to Berlin police, four vehicles were “badly damaged”, and there were multiple cases of vandalism to local buildings. They added that the rioting had a political motive.
Bild reports that more far-left rioting is expected this coming weekend to coincide with the anniversary of the Liebigstrasse 34 squat. A Berlin court ruled that the occupants must leave the building, described by squatters as the “anarcho-queer-feminist house project Liebig 34”, earlier this month.
The riot is just the latest in the area which has been an Antifa stronghold in the city for decades. The German security agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), recently warned that far-left violence was increasing and had the potential to become deadly.
A recent BfV report stated: “Even the step of deliberately killing a political opponent no longer seems completely unthinkable.”