In late June, Berlin's central Kreuzberg district became the scene of a tense standoff between a group of refugees squatting in an abandoned school and the district authorities. The refugees had moved into the school after authorities destroyed refugee camps just a few months earlier. As more and more squatters moved in, the governing Green party faced pressure to resolve a situation where hygiene was deteriorating and crime was becoming an issue.
On June 24, authorities attempted to evict refugees from the school. With the refugees refusing to leave, the school and surrounding neighborhood block was besieged for eight days by riot police, protesters and press.
VICE News was on the scene from day one and documented the events that would ultimately mark the climax of Germany's refugee protest. We gained access inside the school to document the situation and were also on the scene as negotiations between authorities and refugees were taking place to resolve the standoff.