(en) press statement Vrankrijk (fwd)

keyser (keyser@xs4all.nl)
Mon, 16 Jun 1997 20:57:03 +0200 (MET DST)

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Press statement

Amsterdam, June 16 1997

Last night, June 15th at 21.30, a complete demonstration of about 300 persons was arrested immediately after leaving Vrankrijk (see *). The demonstration was held in order to show solidarity with the people that had been arrested during Saturday and Sunday. There was absolutely no reason for this police action; the demonstration was peaceful and had only marched for a few yards. This mass-arrest therefore cannot be linked in any way to 'punishable offences'. That is why the authorities used Article 140, participation in a criminal organisation. For a few years now the authorities have tried to use this flexible law to criminalize fundamental political opposition. Later that night, the police again moved against us unprovoked. They forced a great many people to flee into Vrankrijk. A few dozen of them were also arrested later. Furthermore, the police made clear that they are considering to raid the cafe and the house, in order to arrest everybody present there. This police threath still hangs over us, and could be carried out any moment. This wasn't the first politically motivated intimidation concerning the Eurosummit. Before, several houses and even a bookshop in Nijmegen in the east of the Netherlands were visited by Amsterdam police. They threathened to take action against the people living or working there if they would offer hospitality to foreign demonstrators. And on Saturday June 14th, a group of Italians was robbed of their right to demonstrate. They were held up by force inside their train, arrested and later thrown out of the country.

We see this against the current political background: During this Eurosummit we get a foretaste of the United Europe as the EU leaders are planning it. Fundamental opposition will not be tolerated, and will be suppressed by an overkill of repressive measures. They want to force the EU upon us in a top-down fashion. At the same time they apparently want to stop a grass roots international organisation from developing. The oppositional movement that is struggling against the current European structure, and that wants to create a different and just future, is highly diverse. We see ourselves as a radical part of this movement. The authorities have a lot to gain by eroding the solidarity within this movement, and by keeping the general population asleep. That is why they are using an old trick: In the media a picture is generated of nihilistic 'Chaotics'. An artificial division is created between 'good' and 'bad' demonstrations. By constantly stressing the 'violence' and 'riots', they are diverting attention from the main issues here. To make things clear: we have not organised the so-called "Days of Chaos" and the like. We only assume responsibility for those things we organised ourselves. (See *). But we refuse to be forced into denials, or to let the authorities constrain us to 'acceptable' means of protest. We take the right to organise our protest as we think is necessary.

We will not be silenced. We will continue to carry out our political beliefs, and will organise ourselves internationally with who we want. We will continue our struggle for a just future !

Stop the EU !

For international solidarity !

Release all prisoners now !

This is a united statement by the people living at Vrankrijk and by the people who run the cafe Vrankrijk.

(*) Some information about the Vrankrijk centre: Vrankrijk is a radically left project in the Amsterdam inner city. It has been in existence for 15 years. There is a cafe, where political info-meetings, benefit parties and cultural activities take place. Furthermore, the house provides a home for about 20 people. The people living there and the cafe-group operate independantly. But we are united in our fundamental opposition to the current system in Europe, and in our resistance against the EU of banks and multinationals. During the Eurosummit the centre is used as an information point, meeting place, First Aid station and a gathering place for protests against the current EU policies. These functions are carried out in accordance with other groups within the diverse anti-Euro movement. Type Bits/KeyID Date User ID pub 1024/BEC440B9 1997/02/17 Backslash <bslash@xs4all.nl>

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