ABC Berlin: What's Happening in Germany
A short overview of the last operations aimed to bring down the militant resistance
Once again within a few months we are forced to witness the dirty movements of the BAW (General Federal Attorney): on the 31st of July, three comrades got arrested near Berlin, allegedely after having placed some incendiary devices under a few military trucks. A forth person has been arrested in his apartment, accused of being one of the people who wrote the communqués of the group. Three other comrades are (at the moment) with free feet, but under investigation. For what exactly? Paragraph 129a, terrorist association: all of them are accused of belonging to the Militante Gruppe, a clandestine group active since 2001.We borrow some words from the anti repression website Gipfelsoli in order to clarify the happenings of the last three months.
This is the third of such operations within the last three months in Germany. As of May 2007 there have been several raids following four investigative procedures based on paragraph 129a in Hamburg, Berlin, Bremen, Strausberg and Bad Oldesloe:
* On 9 May based on allegations of "forming a terrorist organisation for the purposes of stopping the G8 summit" (under various group names, 18 persons) as well as "membership in a terrorist organisation (militante gruppe, 3 persons, based on attacks which took place since 2001).
* On 13 -19 June based on allegations of "forming a terrorist organisation (under several group names, e.g. AK Origami). The allegations focus on arson attacks on vehicles belonging to the military and to a company involved in arms manufacturing in Glinde (2002), Bad Oldesloe and Berlin (2004 and 2006).
* On 31 July based on allegations of "forming a terrorist organisation" (Militante Gruppe, 4 persons arrested, 3 others searched and under investigation).
The federal criminal bureau explained several times to the press that the following house searches had neither anything to do with the raids on 9 May nor with the anti-G8 movement. However, as previous experience in 129-related investigations and trials has shown, search warrants can be obtained based on construed "research findings". This allows the authorities to gather additional information on the radical left movement. In this way, these "findings" contribute to investigative procedures in respect to future attacks; "facts" which are supposedly "linked" with G8. Only 2% 129a cases lead to conviction.
The investigative files on the 9 May raids alone add up to about 80,000 pages, about 200 notebooks. Apart from the raids, dozens of phone-tapping permits have been issued, as well as bugging cars and meetings. A witness who supposedly identified a "suspicious person" after the arson attack on Thomas Straubhaar's car turned 80 photos in to the federal criminal bureau. Some of the persons concerned are accused of initiating a "militant group" against the G8 2007. These allegations are based on telephone conversations where members of the "Global Agriculture" working group spoke of "stepping up" the campaign. The accused became suspects after visiting the web sites of the companies they are criticising or having spoken on the phone about the locations of the companies. This campaign would necessitate IT experts who specialize in setting up mailing lists, servers and managing web sites.
A large part of the files consist of analyse of "self-incriminating writings." This entails comparing how sentences are formulated, punctuation, grammatical errors such as "weakness in the genitive case," or whether letters are capitalized. Additional factors looked at are where the date is placed (right or left of the page), written with or without zeros, use of words such as "imperialism" or "precarity", references made by the author to particular campaigns and left groups, whether the spelling is "dissent!", "dissent" or "Dissent" (G8 or G-8 ) etc. Comparisons are also made between texts for similar expressions such as "raking in the money", "IWF", etc.
After every analysis a profile is drafted of potential authors of the text: city of origin, political affiliations, educational background, and position of the author within their political spectrum. Some of the texts are subsequently attributed to specific persons.
Data is compiled on the accused house mates, with whom s/he has phoned, phone and internet service providers, at which demonstrations the accused was detained, or which collaborative projects the person is working on.
Much of the data is not intended for exclusive use in the investigation of a particular case. On the contrary, it appears that inquiries for further information collection regardless of context were placed by the BKA at the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungsschutz), political "crime unit" of the BKA. In any case, the circumstances clearly indicate that the authorities have probed extensive information on the radical left and anti-G8 movements since the beginning. Surveillance permits for the radio cells in and around Mehringhof (autonomous left center in Berlin) and the HWP high school were requested for at least the first two "dissent!" network meetings in Hamburg and Berlin, both of which were attended 250 persons. In this vein, the authorities probably have logged every mobile phone which registered with the local network there. The presence of informants at the meeting itself also comes as no surprise.
All in all, after being lost in the darkness for long time, while the "Militant campaign against the G8" (a 2 year long militant campaign spreaded all over Germany, carried on from different automous groups, involving hundreds of arsons and property destruction attacks) was striking hard especially in northern Germany, repressive forces did try to put an end to this organising these frame ups, before and after the G8 summit.
It was their attempt to intimidate militant and uncompromised resistance, but it did not really succeeded, neither in undermining the solidarity inside the different areas of the autonoumous movement, nor in stopping the militant attacks.
So far a short summary of some facts.
What interests us even more, is to spend few words about solidarity. A positive thing to be noticed, is the good solidarity which developed immediately after the first raids in May.
On the same night, demonstration took place everywhere, in Germany but not only, with Hamburg and Berlin on top of the cake.
Hamburg saw a spontaneous demonstration with more than 2000 people, with some clashes afterwards, and Berlin brought up to 5000 people on the streets, all under the motto "We are all 129a!, We are all Militante Gruppe".
As well, many direct actions followed the days after, among them one by the Militante Gruppe which torched two police vans.
The goal of repression forces, to intimidate any radical resistance against G8 and capitalism, did not worked out as planned.
Above all, very few voices (mostly heads of Attac and such, but not their basis) were distancing themselves from the people under investigation or the militant resistance. Also a very positive sign.
As well, some comrades in northern Germany have been already "invited" from the Federal General Attorney (BAW) to make declarations about their comrades under investigation for the 13 - 19 June operation.
The first person who received this "invitation" went with other 40 solidaristic comrades to the cops, declaring she refuses to declare anything, and ready to face its consequences.
In Germany if you are called as witness and you refuse to testify, you can be held up to 6 months in detention. The last case happened with the infamous Magdeburg trial, where several people refuse to testify against their comrades and one of them sat almost 6 months in prison following his refusal to cooperate.
Back to this last strike against the alleged Militante Gruppe, it is a fact that three comrades are now sitting in jail under the usual heavy conditions. From the very beginning on, many expressions of solidarity have been spoken especially in regard to one of the prisoners. He was not arrested within an alleged arson attack, and he works at the university, so he has a certain kind of status in the eyes of many people. It does not seem like a difficult thing for most people to give him solidarity as a criminalized teacher, victim of some dodgy police frame up. And we, of course give him all our solidarity as well!
In the meanwhile, as we are writing this text, we are able to welcome this comrade out of prison!
He came out after paying a caution (bail), but it is yet unclear if he will be able to remain outside until the possible beginning of a trial.
The federal criminal attorney declared already that they will fight against the decision of letting him out.
On the other side, for a large number of people, such as the normal citizens, university teachers and wannabe politicians within our movement, it is a way more an undefendable thing to show support for those who perhaps enterprised an arson attack against some death machines of the German army.
Some people fear to be categorized as MG supporters or simply as "ready to use violence" from State forces, others condemn absolutely any form of violence, even the one against mere things.
Generally some prefere to pay the price of not talking too much about the three comrades, because then it would result a difficulty to keep all the aforementioned different supporters on the same boat.
We want to join the (many) voices out of the chorus and reclaim the need to show open support for the ones who might even found "guilty" of some illegal action.
We do not distinguish between innocents and guilties: this category do not belong to our anarchist background, neither we think should belong to any sincere left radical and similars.
We must be capable of expressing our full support for anyone who is fighting with his/her favourite means against this present society, let them feel they are not alone and that we stand with them and for their eventual actions; of course, this solidarity would not exclude a permanent, critical debate with our comrades.
Therefore it is extremely important to not let ourselves be split between the usual "good" and "bad", the normal game played by the State and Capital. It is important to show a clear and critical support to all our imprisoned comrades, without any distinction.
And we are happy to see that there are several voices screaming the same, to tell the truth well more than expected, a good sign, as well as witnessing many solidarity actions within the last couple of days.
Indeed, two rallies have been held in front of the prison where the comrades are being held, just as soon as they got transferred there, both were quite well attended with an average of 300 comrades; but, even before this, one night following the arrests, a car of the federal constitutional court got torched in Berlin.
A few days later an attempted arson against a justice building, in Berlin again, threw the cops and media into a panic.
Last weekend several cars belonging to companies involved within the nuclear transport got burned, and among them a car property of the German army.
Meanwhile, a well attended solidarity meeting took place, many calls to solidarity have been spread, leaflets distributed, banners dropped and money organised.
To make it clear again: we do not let ourselves be frighten, but rather we choose to struggle further than sitting home merely writing postcards to the prisoners (although this is a very important part of our struggle as well).
It is also worh noting that the participation of reformists groups such as Attac bases and large part of the university world are also within the solidarity campaign.
At the Attac summer camp, 400 people made a spontaneous demonstration following the arrests, chanting "we are all terrorists" (!).
This is probably just a papertiger origined by the fact that one of the defendant is a sociologue, it is well worth to notice that perhaps some other people around began to ask themselves a few more radical questions about the actual state of things.
However, this occasion has been used to propose a general campaign for the abolition of the paragraph 129a and b, and to go on the offensive generally against social control: a large demonstration, planned also from reformists groups for the 22nd of september, will see the appearance of a large, autonomous block against social control and the abolition of the aforementioned infamous paragraph.
The extended usage of this paragraph seeks the criminalization of our resistance, and in countries like Spain and especially Italy, where it is used virtually every two months, it has become a scary normality.
Are we heading in the same direction?
As we wrote once in our brochure "Repression against Italian anarchists", it is just a matter of time until every friendship will be catalogued under this paragraph.
We repeat it again, for us there is only one terrorist organization, and that is the State.
Therefore it seems a big contradiction how people who actively oppose it are compared to one of the main organization of death and terrorism, such as the army, are being now called terrorists!
Something everybody can reflect on.
In closing, we do not have to forget that the problem is not only represented by the imprisonment of the ones close to us, but even more by the existence of the prison itself.
The existence of those grey walls, is a threat to us all and we must fight for its destruction, day by day.
Freedom for Axel, Florian, and Oli!
For the suspension of all paragraph 129a and b inquiries!
Freedom for all!
Destroy all prisons!
Adresses of the imprisoned comrades (the third prisoner wishes his adress not to appear on public list for now):
c/o Ermittlungsrichter Hebenstreit
c/o Ermittlungsrichter Hebenstreit