Organizing with tenants and fighting rightist resentments
A case study from East Germany
Leon Rosa Reichle, Peter Bescherer
Keywords: racism, East Germany, intervention, housing commodification, residential alienation
Through two neighborhood case studies in the rapidly upgrading East German city of Leipzig we discuss political implications of urban restructuring. Scrutinizing tenants’ rightist and racist reactions to the housing question, we argue that residential alienation affects people’s sense of place in a divisive manner, which in turn impacts both their interpretations of urban change and their respective practices. Based on our analyses of scapegoating and territorial stigma, we critically discuss the potential of activist intervention, drawing from two qualitative and ethnographic research projects, as well as activist experience in neighbourhood organizing.