There has been another raid in Essen in North Rhine-Westphalia. This is not unusual in itself, except that this time it was not a raid on so-called "Arab clans", but an operation against "social benefit recipients".

On Wednesday morning, the public order office checked a total of six properties in Elisenstraße in Essen's eastern district together with employees from the housing inspectorate, the residents' registration office, the immigration office, the financial accounting department and the job center. The cops provided "administrative assistance" with a whole unit of one hundred officers.

It has to be said that Essen's Ostviertel and Elisenstraße are one of the poorest, most neglected and most precarious streets in Essen. The blocks around Elisenstraße are characterized by migrant workers from south-eastern Europe who are often forced by the chauvinistic legislation of the German state to do all kinds of day labour and illegal work. The park opposite Elisenstraße is a meeting place for alcohol and drug addicts and right next to it is a so-called "sister mission" of the Catholic Church which regularly organizes food distributions that lead to long queues around the street.

In the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung published by the Funke Medien Gruppe, the region's highest-circulation tabloid in the Ruhrgebiet region, the city speaks of a success even before an evaluation of the raid. The reason for this is that 52 people allegedly could not be found in their homes during this operation and were deregistered from state transfer payments with immediate effect. In clear terms, this means that the city of Essen is depriving people who receive welfare benefits of their livelihood simply because they were not there at the time of the raid. This is an attack on the basic rights of these people in several aspects. First of all, everyone has the right to freedom of movement and a raid with hundreds of police officers is not an official appointment that you have to attend. Whether you have a German passport or not, you are not forced to stay in your home because the bureaucrats and officials of the bourgeois state could kick down your door. Furthermore, to conclude from the absence of people in their homes that they are no longer entitled to social benefits embiggens the scandal.

This alone shows the character and purpose of the action. As with similar operations in Duisburg and other Ruhr area cities, it is an attempt to shift the burden and costs of the crises onto the deepest and broadest sections of the working class using very administrative means. In particular against migrants and increasingly against people from Romania and Bulgaria. This is the financial policy of a Christian Lindner that is being put into practice here, when attempts are made to make savings from the poorest sections of our class and, of course, with all kinds of racist and chauvinistic means.

Meanwhile, the residents of the inspected buildings live in partly inhumane conditions: poor general condition of the houses, broken doors and tinkered electricity supplies, mold, damp walls and ceilings. Meanwhile, the city does not take such administrative action against the owners who at least profit from and contribute to these conditions. There is only a warning and an appointment for rectification.

It is becoming clear that all the instruments of the police state and militarization that have been built up over the years and legitimized by racism are being used more and more to attack other sections of the working class step by step.

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