The Struggle Is Over, Or Everything Continues?
Google will for the time being not move into the Transformer in Kreuzberg, but will rent the 3,000 square meters to two social organizations, Betterplace and Karuna. How to see this change in strategy from Google, will probably become clear some time soon. Nevertheless it cannot be denied that the continuous actions against the Google Campus have contributed to it being not that easy for them to come to and implant themselves in Kreuzberg. The damage (to its image) inflicted lately on Google by small and bigger, mostly informal, actions has led the giant corporation to conduct a charm offensive as to ward off more damage. The pictures of the bosses of Google in Berlin - that show Rowan Barnett as a “social angel” handing over the keys of the Transformer to some social organization - have to cover up the negative expressions articulated in the streets of Kreuzberg over the last two years. Google as the responsible “Big Brother” that doesn’t only knows what is best for humanity, but also for the inhabitants of Kreuzberg and Berlin.
The critique on the Google Campus wasn’t only about displacement and rent hikes, but more and more also about the role Google plays in improving domination and control. This technological progress, that is to say attack, is not only contained in a Google Campus, but is omnipresent in the prevailing discourse, from the new tech companies in Berlin over Industry 4.0 to the political agenda of all parties. The struggle against Google & Co is a struggle against the existing domination and how it manifests itself. The unmasking of the lies of politicians and self-appointed neighbourhood spokespersons is not important here, since it is their job to maintain the status-quo and to pacify protest. For a strength of the struggle against the Google Campus is the shared refusal to engage in negotiations and to give control over the struggle to political windbags. The change in the plans of Google was not fought for in the offices, but in the streets.
In the course of the last two years a struggle developed grounded in obstructing the Google Campus and aimed against the technological attack and restructuring of power. The target of the attacks was not only Google, but the whole tech scene, domination and those who promote and defend it. During these two years it was attempted to develop an antagonistic project on our own terms against the world Google & Co dream of. A struggle that is sustained through initiatives of the individuals involved, through creativity and self-organization. A struggle with the perspective of the subversion of relations, and not of “merely” the obstruction of the Campus.
And what does this mean now that Google has officially put the Campus Berlin project on hold? To discard everything and find a new “opponent”? To abstain from the critique and attacks against Google and other tech companies now that Google doesn’t come to Kreuzberg? If it wasn’t about the target, but about the path itself to get there, then what matters is to build further upon that. We will be looking back on the last two years, the forged relations, the intense discussions, the conflicts, the more or less collective attacks, the acquired experiences, etc. Which raises the question; wie all dies weiter spinnen?
That the fires of the revolt burn!