With the G-20 riots in Hamburg, the Rote Flora got brought up, and it probably deserves to be told as a story. It is the hub of revolutionary and anti-capitalist behavior for Hamburg.
If you go walking out of the Hamburg train-station (considered the the central area of town)....heading northeast.....along Max Brauer Allee (maybe two blocks off toward the end)....about 30 minutes walking distance.
In the 1888 period, it was originally constructed as a theater. The original name was the Trivoli-Theater. It went through a couple of different names....no one really explains this....my guess is simply different owners came along and needed to 're-brand' the place.
It was mostly used for musicals, operas, or shows.
Some people proudly note that it's one of the few places around in WW II that was bombed or burned out....surviving the period. Along 1953, it was renovated into a movie theater operation (for 11 years). Then in the mid-1960s....for twenty years....it was a department store.
Then came this odd period in the late 1980s....where some guy came up and wanted a renovation episode....to remake it back into a musical hall. The neighbors and business operations around the area voiced concern and this renovation was stalled. Along 1989, came the squatters. The building was empty and they simply took up use of the building. Someone should have taken appropriate action.
The authorities? It depends on who tells the story.....most argued about this and wanted people to simply vacate without any police action. That never occurred.
All the way up to 1995....talk continued and the squatters stayed. It had become this hub for the revolutionary crowd and anti-capitalists. Then fire occurred. Oddly enough, the squatters found money and renovated this back to some useful stage, and continued on.
It's safe to say for the past decade.....the political players of Hamburg have quietly allowed the Rote Flora to exist. They talk about removing the squatters but nothing ever occurs.
The make-up of Hamburg? Well....in the last election.....the center-left to far-left took around 70-percent of the vote. It's a working-class city with a large presence of ultra-rich....who all lean a bit to the center-left or far-left.
Now since the G-20 riot episode....Rote Flora is a negative thing. Cops? They don't show any enthusiasm for the episode required. You'd basically need to level the entire building in a matter of hours and leave no brick on the grounds.....otherwise, the revolutionary crowd would walk back into it.
Will the SPD/Green coalition government do anything? I have my doubts. The Greens are strong backers of the anti-capitalists and they won't pursue this 'end'. The SPD has a lot of public frustration and anger over the riots and what the anti-capitalists turned into. Luckily, they just had an election in 2015....so they've got two years before this comes up. They could spend a year trying to talk over the problem and demanding that the squatters leave....before the public discovers that it was just time wasted.
It might be a topic worth watching over the next twelve months.