Affluent expats and tourists from Italy, Spain and the UK are being blamed for the city’s turbocharged gentrification. This has mutated into physical attacks and abusive graffiti (“yuppie scum” being a favourite) in trendy but poor frontline areas like Kreuzberg and Neukölln.
It all started about two years ago when anti-tourist graffiti appeared in bars, cafes and on the street. Around the same time, says Jannek, bars started posting “no hipsters or tourists” signs on their entrances. “Then people started saying ‘we can’t stand any more of these people’, meaning tourists, hipsters or ‘long-time tourists’, making no distinction between them,” he adds. Then the attacks on hostels and hotels began, accompanied by verbal insults against individuals in the street. Latte-serving cafes have been attacked with bricks and bottles, he says.
Being part of the gentrification problem, unexpectedly I found myself in the middle of the struggle between Hipster Antifa and mostly Bavarian-born defenders of Berlin “authenticity”.
Only in Berlin.