RS Podfest: Destroy This Company

BER turned to chaos over the October holidays, with huge queues and many missed flights. Airlines advised travellers to come four hours early. The airport is only handling half the pre-pandemic passenger numbers. Who saw this coming?

Should we use Gorillas or boycott? We meet three members of the Gorillas Riders Collective, who are suing the 10-minute-delivery company, and being sued, as they fight for on-time pay, non-faulty bikes, lighter loads and real contracts. They say users should think before ordering butter in bad weather, and at least give a tip. Gorillas is supposedly worth almost €3 billion, but they aren’t spending that money on maintaining bikes.

Swapping is the new shopping. Hundreds of Berliners have joined a movement to trade their clothes instead of buying unsustainably produced fashion. They get together for meet-ups to exchange their items. Founder of Berlin Clothing swap Jenna Stein joins us.

How does it feel to win the battle, but maybe lose the war? Wouter from Deutsche Wohnen und Co Enteignung tells us what the housing activists plan to do to force politicians to respect the referendum result.

Berlin is on track to get a red-green-red coalition after local SPD branches rebelled against Franziska Giffey’s attempts to partner with conservative parties. Was it a tactical ploy, or a sign of weak leadership?

This episode was presented by Izzy Choksey, Matilde Keizer, Joran Mandik and Joel Dullroy. It was recorded live at Podfest Berlin, an event supported by Patreon and organized by our own Dan Stern.

RS Election Special: Yes But No

Berliner voters wants more left-green politics and a radical state take-over of property – but the new mayor may ignore those demands.

At Sunday’s city-state elections, a majority (54.3%) voted for the R2G parties, showing the citizens want the current coalition to continue. Another majority (56.7%) voted ‘yes’ in the Deutsche Wohnung & Co. Enteignen referendum, instructing the city to forcibly buy houses from big corporate property investors.

However it will be up to the SPD to decide if those things happen. The SPD won the most votes (21.4%) and can pick who to team up with – and they don’t like Die Linke, and have clashed with the Greens.

The referendum result is non-binding, and the SPD’s lead candidate (and likely mayor) Franziska Giffey is opposed to it (although many party members support it).

Will Giffey’s SPD really ignore the wishes of a majority of Berliners? Join us for this quick take on Berlin’s 2021 election results.

With Izzy Choksey, Joel Dullroy, Jöran Mandik and Daniel Stern.

RS Live: 2G or Not To Be

The Berlin election results could deliver a shock result: instead of the current green-left coalition, we could end up with conservatives who want to build on Tempelhof, expand highways and stop rental reforms. We’ll terrify you with the worst-case scenario.

Instead of finishing the A100 autobahn, let’s turn it into a giant urban farm. That’s the latest mad idea from Paper Planes e.V., the dream team behind the Radbahn project. We talk to Perttu Ratilainen about how we could grow veggies on the highway. More at:

Not vaccinated yet? Now you can’t eat at many restaurants or go to events. The 3G rule has been tightened to 2G – only immunized people can enter many places. Tests are fast becoming obsolete.

The Humboldt Forum is about to open a new exhibition of artefacts stolen by German explorers and colonialists. We meet Virgil Taylor from the Coalition of Cultural Workers Against the Humboldt Forum (CCWAH). He explains what’s wrong with the reconstructed city palace, outside and in. More at:

The Berlin Podfest is on October 23-25, organized by our own Daniel Stern. Attend, participate or just listen:

This episode was hosted by Matilde Keizer, Jöran Mandik, Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern.

Thanks to all our supporters! You can donate to keep us going here:

RS Live: Cars Don’t Vote

Berlin is weeks away from its state election and a referendum on housing. We analyse the campaign posters with Konrad Werner, columnist for Exberliner, and host of the weekly German news show Megan’s Megacan:

The AFD has moved from anti-migrant to anti-Green issues, declaring “Your car would vote for us”. The CDU are trying to convince Berliners they’d do a better job than the R2G coalition. The SPD is sticking with mayoral candidate Franziska Giffey, despite more plagiarism problems. She’s also effectively ruled out a new coalition with Die Linke and possibly the Greens, meaning a return to a conservative coalition in Berlin. And there’s lots of small parties with interesting ideas and terrible graphic design. Izzy’s volunteering to campaign for Klimaliste, who have a detailed plan on how to mitigate climate change, and say the Greens aren’t doing enough.

What happens if you paint the city streets with DIY safety markings and bike lanes? We meet a group who are being prosecuted for taking traffic control into their own hands. Jon from the group Vineta Kiezblock tells us how his group painted road safety marks. The Ordnungsamt painted them black. Follow here:

No more free coronavirus tests. Germany has decided to stop paying for your tests as of October 11. Expect a lot of empty shops and second-hand lab coats for sale online. The end of the tests means the end of income for some small shops.

The BVG is rolling out its new station announcement audio to more U-Bahn lines. The five-tone marimba alert is very tropical, but not very Berlin.

Mail from Maisie! She’s in Brighton, or “Kotti Am See”. She misses affordable bio food, rubbish recycling and Brandenburg lakes. But at least it’s multicultural, and free of scooters on sidewalks.

Guest host Izzy Choksey from the podcast @Sistrionics joins Joel and Dan for a live recording in front of a small safe audience at the Comedy Cafe Berlin.

Dan’s got a show coming up on August 28 at CCB. Come! Tickets here:

Thanks to all our supporters! You can donate to keep us going here:

RS Live: Deutschrap Iced Tea

What does Deutschrap have to do with the boom in bling-decorated iced tea? Maisie Hitchcock delves into her considerable knowledge of the genre to explain.

Want a hot investment tip? Get into chili farming. Berlin’s chili expert Neil Numb tells us how the city’s hot sauce boom needs more suppliers. Start growing on your balcony. Visit this weekend’s Berlin Chilli Fest at the new Reviere Südost:

Gorillas riders are holding rolling strikes at depots around the city. They’re protesting the summary firing of a worker who came late to a shift. Riders have formed a workers’ council, but say management are pressuring staff not to join. The billion-euro startup boss says “Gorillas are about cycling, not politics.” Seems he’s wrong about that. Should you shop from them? Dan says riders are just the most visible part of exploitation in your supply chain.

Tiny igloo-shaped cars are the latest shared mobility object to appear in Berlin. The Swiss company Enuu says their electric cars don’t take up as much road space. But they’re frequently parked on the footpath, and some drivers drive them in bike lanes illegally.

Urban Jungle is being retired. Urban Jungle is the name of the design on most BVG seats – that mess of red, blue, black and white squiggles. It was introduced in the 90s to hide graffiti tags. But the BVG’s new boss isn’t a fan and has ordered it to be phased out, replaced by a black and grey pattern. Get to a BVG shop and buy any remaining Urban Jungle merchandise.

Today’s episode of Radio Spaetkauf was made with support from Wander. Wander offers immersive audio experiences in locations all over the city. Visit places you always wanted to go and others you didn’t even know existed. Guides such as Daniel Ryan Spaulding will help you discover hidden corners of the city. Listen now for free at
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