Today, Hafenstraße consists of 12 houses owned by a cooperative administered by the residents.
Although referred to as a squat, during its history various contracts existed between the occupants and the buildings' former owner, the City of Hamburg.
Between the initial occupation of the squat and 1992 there were often riots and violent conflicts between the squatters and police forces or groups of fascists mixed with hooligans. They have been referred to as helping originate the Black Bloc.
To the squatter movement of the 1980s, Hafenstraße was a focal point for various social conflicts. Solidarity with these issues led to growing conflict with the state. Meetings were held at the end of the years 1984 to 1990, where up to 5000 people participated. Discussions covered topics such as squatting, anti-NATO politics, anti-nuclear politics, the question of political prisoners and international solidarity.
In 1987, after the first contract expired, barricades were built up to save the squat. A pirate radio station, "Radio Hafenstraße", was set up a month before to provide information on the situation. After 8 days of barricades, a new contract was negotiated between the squatters, their supporters and the City of Hamburg.
In 1990 a campaign was started against Hafenstraße, stating that supporters of the Red Army Faction were living there. A raid using 1000 police was initiated by the Bundesanwaltschaft, the German General State Prosecutor, but no real evidence was found to support the allegations.
After the final contract expired the houses were sold to a cooperative to defuse the potential for conflict between the residents and the state.
- The official German name is spelled "-straße" instead of "-strasse"
- Autonomia and the Origin of the Black Bloc accessed 7 November 2008
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- Hermann, Michael u.a., Hafenstraße, 'Chronik und Analysen eines Konfliktes', Verlag am Galgenberg, ISBN 3-925387-34-X, 1987 (in German)
- Sigmund, Monika; Zu bunt: Wandbilder in der Hafenstraße, ISBN 3-00-000713-X, 1996 (in German)
- Mallet, Carl H; Die Leute von der Hafenstraße, Über eine andere Art zu leben, ISBN 3-89401-346-X, 2000 (in German)
- Lehne, Werner; Der Konflikt um die Hafenstraße, Kriminalitätsdiskurse im Kontext symbolischer Politik, Hamburger Studien zur Kriminologie, 18, ISBN 3-89085-893-7, 1994 (in German)
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