(eng) Criminalization Of German Antifascists

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Sun, 11 Feb 1996 14:57:33 +0100


Press Release From Autonome Antifa (M)

[Note: As stated at the end of this press release two
antifascists from Germany will be in North America for the month
of April to discuss the upcoming trial and antifascist organizing
in the FRG. As an act of solidarity, we (Arm The Spirit) would
like to help organize a tour for these comrades. If you're
interested in getting involved please contact us at:
<ats@etext.org>. This tour can be organized in a variety of ways;
whether it's a speaking event, arranging a radio interview, a
fundraising benefit or just a meeting with local activists - all
are important. If you can arrange something in your city or
region than please contact us as soon as possible. This is very
important as we need to find out how much travelling will be
required and if there's enough resources and money available to
organize a multi-city tour - which would start on the east coast of
the U.S. Also the German comrades will have to decide for long
and how far they will be travelling during the month they are
here in North America. If you need more information contact Arm
The Spirit at our e-mail address or p.o. box (see below) or
contact Autonome Antifa (M) by e-mail, fax or post (also see
below). - Arm The Spirit, February 10, 1996]

----

For immediate release:

Trial Date Set For Largest Trial Against Antifascists In The
History of the Federal Republic of Germany

The largest trial against antifascists in the history of the
Federal Republic of Germany is scheduled to begin in Lueneburg on
August 14th, 1996. 17 antifascist activists are charged with
paragraph 129, building a criminal organization, a reference to
the Autonome Antifa (M) from Goettingen, Lower Saxony. This trial
will determine whether the Autonome Antifa (M) is a criminal
organization. According to the highest federal court, the group
"poses a threat to public safety and order" by organizing
demonstrations and actions against neofascists. The charges focus
on 7 coalition demonstrations between 1991 and 1994. Each was
attended by several thousand people of diverse political
background and helped prevent the spread of fascism in the
region.
The trials will have severe consequences not just for the
individual defendants and for the politics of the Autonome Antifa
(M), but also for the entire left in Germany. It is a test case,
an attempt to make antifascist politics impossible. If the state
is successful with this anti-Antifa trial, every other legally
organized antifascist group will be a potential target for
repression; grass-roots politics and the right to demonstrate
would be restricted . Even groups like Greenpeace would be
vulnerable to criminalization as a "criminal organization".
Fascists on the street continue to spread their terror,
setting fire bombs and murdering. The New Right and old Nazis
keep their propaganda machine running, spreading fascist lies in
universities, in government-sponsored institutes, and on-line.
The German police is in the international press again because an
amnesty internation report says that the German police is racist,
documenting police beatings of foreigners. Meanwhile, the justice
and police departments on the state and federal levels are
fine-tuning their instruments to repress leftist organizations.
Antifascist work is being fought with all means by the justice
and police departments. Joachim Bloch, director of the interior
secret service (Bundesamt fuer Verfassungsschutz), stated in 1990
that antifascism is a means to defame the Federal Republic of
Germany, and that "a free democracy is not an antifascist
democracy".
The investigations and trial show the extreme to which the
state is willing to go to criminalize antifascists. The court has
already scheduled 131 trial dates in just the first year of the
trial. The state attorney has introduced 115 ring-binders full of
evidence and they intend to handle each piece. Because the
charges are based on paragraph 129, each defendant has to take
two lawyers. The court is having trouble finding a building large
enough for the 17 defendants, 34 lawyers, witnesses, and court
personnel. The original trial date, set for May 8th (ironically
the 51th anniversary of the liberation from Nazi-fascism) was
postponed so that a riding stable could be rebuilt to a
courtroom. This plan was blocked in late January when the Justice
Department denied the 300,000 DM in funding necessary to install
a heating system.
5 years of investigations from the state police in Lower
Saxony are the background for the trials. A special force was
formed in which up to 28 police officers were employed.
Observations of group meetings and individuals were carried out
over months, sometimes for 24 hours a day. In just 7 months,
13,929 telephone calls were taped and transcribed. 143 people
were thoroughly checked for being potential members in the
Autonome Antifa (M). Police searched the homes, workplaces, and
relatives' homes of 17 people in July 1994, hoping to destroy the
infrastructure of the Autonome Antifa (M). Archives, personal
items, and computers worth tens of thousands of DM were
confiscated.
When the investigations began, the talk was of 52 attacks
between 1981 and 1991 for which the Autonome Antifa (M) was
supposedly responsible. In the meantime, the state attorney has
been forced to admit that the Autonome Antifa (M) has nothing to
do with the attacks. The accusation was just the means to an
ends: to justify the immense investigations to the public and to
delegitimize antifascist politics in large parts of the
population.
It is not the 17 antifascists that belong on the defendants
chair, but rather the politicians that feign sympathy for the
victims of racist and fascist violence while at the same time
aiding and abetting the development to the extreme right in
Germany.
Two antifascists from Goettingen will be visiting North
America in April to give presentations on the background and
current situation of the repression of the Autonome Antifa (M).
They are interested in meeting individuals and groups who would
like to help with solidarity work on the international level.
Especially needed are international trial watchers and donations
for the legal costs.

Autonome Antifa (M) Phone: +49 551 394569
c/o Buchladen Fax: +49 551 394564
Rote Strasse 10 E-mail: aam@paxo.nadir.org
D-37073 Goettingen WWW: http://www.nadir.org/Gruppen/aam/

Spendenkonto fuer die Prozesskosten:
Antifaschistische Liste
Kto-Nr.: 150497006, Sparkasse Goettingen, BLZ: 26050001
Stichwort: "Solidaritaet"