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(en) France, Police Attack CNT Premises in Paris, Statement from Fire and Flames Music band

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 14 Feb 2005 12:13:02 +0100 (CET)

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February 13 2005 Over 100 police officers, many of them in riot gear, attacked
a concert organized on Saturday at the CNT offices/social space.
The event, an antifascist solidarity concert featuring Brixton Cats (a
local punk rock band) Brigada Flores Magon (a local Anarchist
Skinhead band) and Opcio K-95 (a Communist Skinhead band from
Barcelona) was developing normally, with a great atmosphere and over
400 people in attendance, until the moment of the unprovoked attack.
Police claim the attack was due to a woman "attacking" or "insulting"
officers. When they attempted to arrest her, several people allegedly
began throwing bottles at them from the entrance of the CNTs property.

The CNT offices and social center are in the form of an alley off of
a small street, giving the premises a U shape with only one exit.

Comrades from the CNT and other antifascists present on the
scene quickly formed defensive lines at the entrance to prevent the
police from entering the premises, and a fight ensued in which
blows were exchanged between police and masked concertgoers.
Seeing the danger of a police incursion into the packed alley the
gate was quickly closed. Police reacted to this by indiscriminately
shooting gas and pepper spray into the area. Many police officers
were also clearly unsettled by the high degree of organization and
calm composure showed by those resisting their attack.

Demanding that concert goers exit the premises one by one and
with their hands on their heads so that they could arrest those who
they saw fit to arrest, they threatened to storm the premises.
Concertgoers and militants held their ground, dragging benches
outside to use as barricades, and explaining to the police that it
would be a serious mistake to try to enter the premises, as it would
be a long and violent process.

After an over one hour long stand-off, a higher-ranking police
officer arrived on the scene, ordered the officers in front of the CNT
to withdraw, verbally reprimanding those in command and asking
them if they realized how close they came to provoking a night of
serious rioting, and apologized to those present. Two police officers
and 5 anti-fascists were injured in the fighting.

The official police argument, that the entire stand-off was triggered
by this one woman, is hard to believe given how quickly over 100
police officers, many of them in riot gear, were deployed to the area.
Furthermore, in the last few weeks there have been several police
raids on leftist/alternative bars and spaces where concerts were
taking place, with mass controls and other forms of harassment and

On a more anecdotal note, Opcio K-95, a band represented in
France by Fire and Flames Music, was playing their first ever
concert in the city of Paris, and did indeed play to the end, with
tears in their eyes (from the gas, not the emotion!) and a almost
fully masked audience (due to the gas and the police).

It seems Fire and Flames Music bands are developing a small
tradition of rough greetings in Paris, as the last visit to Paris from a
Fire and Flames Music band also encountered serious problems
with the police.

On that particular occasion, in June of last year, Jeunesse Apatride,
an anarchist/anti-fascist oi/streetpunk band from Montreal, was in
Paris to play as part of the 5 Years RASH Paris festival. On the day
of the concert, 4 out of 5 band members were arrested in a Parisian
outdoor market where at the same time a confrontation was taking
place between anti-fascist militants and fascists. Thankfully it soon
became clear that these distinguished musicians had nothing to do
with the assorted gang of vandals and hooligans in the market, and
the 4 were released just in time to rush from jail to the stage.

From over here in Germany, we have to say that it gives us a great
joy to to be associated with events which draw such combative,
disciplined, and solidarity-conscious attendants. Finally, we are
proud that bands associated with Fire and Flames repeatedly
demonstrate their willingness to back their words up with action.
From Guardia Negras concerts in Geneva during the G8 meeting
and in Thessaloniki during the EU summit 2003, to Jeunesse
Apatride on the market of Paris in 2004, and now Brigada Flores
Magon and Opcio K-95 at the CNT in 2005, this is a trend we hope
to see continue.

Against Fascism, State, and Capital

Hate the State,
Fire and Flames

To Learn More About the CNT: www.cnt-f.org
To Learn More About Fire and Flames and Fire and Flames Bands:
Cpied from infoshop.org

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