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(en) Germany, ANIKA: Speech at the rally against police violence on May 7, 2022 in Karlsruhe (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Thu, 19 May 2022 09:27:22 +0300

On May 7, 2022, around 60 people gathered for a rally against police violence on Kronenplatz in Karlsruhe. ---- The reason for the rally was a police operation in Mannheim, as a result of which a 47-year-old man died. ---- We document the speech by representatives of the anarchist network ANIKA: ---- On May 2nd, 2022, a man in Mannheim was attacked by the police and subsequently died. That is why we are here today. ---- The police were called to help by a doctor from the Central Institute of Mental Health. A 47-year-old is said to have been in a psychological emergency situation. ---- But instead of helping the man, the police officers who rushed to the scene first used pepper spray against the victim, then pinned him to the ground and hit the man tied up. As a result, he had to be revived and later died in hospital.
Dismay over the death of the 47-year-old man, who is described as peace-loving, spread among parts of the population. At the same time, another part is trying, above all the police union, to reject any criticism of the officers and even to blame the person seeking help.
These reactions are not new. They always appear when people are particularly affected by police violence.

While the outrage is usually limited to a critical group of people and those who knew those affected, a significant part of society is trying with all their might to maintain the narrative of an infallible police force that is primarily intended to be friends and helpers. Above all, the police unions have made it their task not only to represent the officers on duty, but also to protect the police institution from any criticism and have thus also transferred the inadequate error culture within the police force to the unions.
If we want to take a critical look at the police, we have to look at the relationship of this institution to the state and its capitalist economy. As a seemingly neutral institution, the police should ensure that everyone submits to the imposed norms. The second task of the police is the protection of property.

In the event of misconduct, this subordination, like the protection of property, should be enforced, if necessary by force. At the end of the possible spiral of violence there is either imprisonment or, in the worst case, death.
This explanation shows that the police cannot be a neutral institution simply because of their tasks. It acts on behalf of and in the interests of those who are politically and economically better off or more powerful. And the use of force is a central part of their work.
On average, around 10 people are killed each year in Germany through the use of firearms by the police. Far more are injured. In the meantime, about 50% of the fatalities have mental disorders or are in an exceptional mental situation. So also in the current case from Mannheim.
This is not surprising.
In the manual "Operational Training: Professional Conflict Management for Police Officers" we learn that, according to the WHO, every fourth person is affected by psychological or neurological impairments in the course of their life. In general, people with mental health problems are often stigmatized or discriminated against. They do not always correspond to the standardized behavioral ideas. In addition, the problem is often misjudged and dangerous situations are perceived that initially are not. An escalation is usually brought about by frustration due to a lack of understanding towards those affected.
In addition, some of those affected have to have multiple experiences with the police. A study by the University of Bochum assumes that there are more than 10,000 cases of illegal police violence. Very few are even reported. Only in 7% of the cases reported are charges filed at all.
Due to the above-mentioned tasks of the police, everyone who does not fit into the prescribed ideal image of society, migrants, the homeless, the economically disadvantaged or the mentally handicapped, are often confronted with the police.
For the sake of topicality, let's stay with mentally handicapped people and the call for help to the police. For many of these people, the officers in their uniform and heavily armed are more of a threat than a help. If there is negative previous experience or a lack of understanding on the part of the officers towards those affected, escalation is not far away.
Videos show that the victim from Mannheim ran away from the officers and was pursued by them. Apparently he wasn't willing to accept their "help". He paid for it with his death.

The police are primarily part of an apparatus of repression and power that protects those who are supposedly on the winning side of society. She is neither a friend nor a helper, especially not for those who are on the fringes of society or who do not fit into the prevailing norms.
The poor error culture and the inability to criticize on the part of the police, judiciary and politicians ensure that police violence is absolutely normal in this profession.
We will not be able to change these conditions overnight.
However, we demand the immediate establishment of an independent inspection body for the police and their immediate disarmament.
In addition, we urgently need a social debate on how to deal with violence, exclusion and oppression. A debate in the sense of transformative justice, which inevitably has to result in the abolition of the institution of the police.
In thoughts with the fatalities and all those affected by police violence!
No Justice - No Peace!

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