We are building security!


The arbitrary displacement of the "other", the supposedly "evil" and "criminals", but also the poor and defenceless, lower social strata or other ethnic groups, as well as their criminalisation are in no way a privilege of the American state, as is often suggested. A long tradition of this may also be proved in the European state. Since the 17th Century hospitals, penitentiaries and poor houses, since the 18th Century mental institutions, prisons and barracks have been excluded from the city. The Jewish ghettos demonstrate how whole population groups have been banished. Michael Zinganel uses archive pictures and the slide presentation "Through the Slums" (which the journalist Hermann Drawe held over 300 times in Vienna between 1904 and 1908) to demonstrate how the proletariat of the suburbs have been systematically suspected as a dangerous class since the 19th century in publications, police reports and court protocols. Definitive town planning based on military and safety measures also has a long tradition in the European city. If the gigantic rebuilding in Paris or Vienna in the 19th century provided clear space for the military against uprisings, then today the blanket video supervision of London, called "ring of steel" or the state of emergency in Genoa during the G8 summit are paradigmatic examples for a re-militarisation of European cities.