Anti-fascists will take it to the streets today in Berlin and other cities to protest EU states’ absurd repression against their comrades, which is increasing, as the far right are on the rise everywhere in Europe.
Police are hunting down antifascists in Germany, Austria, and Sweden, inventing excuses to harass and intimidate some 500 antifa activists.
“On the 15th of December, about 40 Neo-nazis attacked a demonstration against racism in Stockholm using sticks, knives, and bottles.” Nazis injured two people.
“Joel, along with other anti-fascists, successfully helped to defend themselves against the attack. Several days later Joel was absurdly accused of murder and arrested. While Joel was still in jail (as he still is to this day), Neo-nazis attacked another group of activists on the 8th of March in Malmö. They had previously participated in a demonstration for the international women’s day. Three people were injured severely by the nazis with knives. One of the victims, Showan Shattak’s life was in danger. He had two emergency operations and is in a stable condition now, but is still in a coma.
“On the 24th of January in Vienna, 8,000 anti-fascists demonstrated against the “Wiener Akademikerball” (the Vienna Academics Ball). The entire right wing from the Austrian FPÖ, a delegation from French Front National, the German “Pro Deutschland” and the traditionally right wing fraternities, came to waltz. As a consequence of the protests against the event, Josef from Jena was arrested. It seems he is being used to set an example: He is being kept in custody by the police during the investigation against him. Alongside, the media is running a smear campaign.” Source: Antifa Berlin
Joseph from Germany – an activist among the antifascists who protested the Neo-nazi ball in Vienna at the end of January – has been jailed under absurd pretexts by the Austrian police. He will be kept in solitary confinement for seven weeks until his trial, even though the State’s case against him is ridiculous.
He’s accused of being “the leader” of the activists who rioted in Vienna in response to police attacks against them on the night of the Neo-nazi ball. Thousands of antifa tried to stop the Neo-nazi elite ball, which usually takes place about the same date of the Holocaust Memorial Day.
Police invented the fact that he had led the riots which took place in Vienna that night because he wore a jacket which made him “distinguishable” to other protestors. There are video images that demonstrate that actually he led nothing, but police are keeping him in jail to scare the other antifa.
This video is proof that police’s accusations against Joseph are false. He was clearly not where the cops are alleging he was.
“But we know and must point out time and time again: Antifascist resistance is not only made up of symbolic acts. It also has a practical component that is carried out on the streets. Our solidarity does not end at the national borders. As a small sign, we will show our solidarity with Josef and Joel on the 19. of March in front of the Austrian and Swedish embassies and demand their immediate release. We understand our manifestation as a part of the upcoming anti-repression demonstration on March 22nd in Berlin. As important as it is to show our solidarity on the streets, we will not forget our comrades that are stuck in jail.” Source: Antifa Berlin
#Antifa Day of Action against Repression! 22.03 // 17h (5pm) // Berlin U-Turmstr.
The last demonstrations by antifascists to have Joseph and Joel liberated from the cages of the State took place on March 19th in front of the Swedish and Austrian embassies in Berlin. Previously, several demos have taken place in almost all of the European capitals:
A blog has been created where updates on their situation is constantly published, you may read it here.
- Solidarity group for Joel: http://www.facebook.com/freejoel
- “Solikollektiv für die Repressionsbetroffenen vom 24. Jänner”: http://soli2401.blogsport.eu/
- About nazi attack in malmö: http://linksunten.indymedia.org/de/node/108129
- Antifa-Call for action for manifestation on march 22nd: http://www.antifa-berlin.info/antirep2014
Later it emerged that Joseph is not the only German that the Austrian police arrested at the protest against the Neo-Nazi ball in Vienna.
They also arrested another young man, under the pretext that he had thrown “something at them”. When they took him at the police station, where they abused him, and saw he was German, the police started to insult him, calling him “Piefke”, “Marmeladinger” and “jam-eater”.
Antifa Berlin explains below how relentless and brutal state repression against anti-fascists in Germany is, and what they say bears the characteristic of inquisitorial methods, so dear to the European ruling classes.
“The repressive measures of the state in many ways also affect our behavior. Permanent intimidation is intended to illustrate that the state is virtually always ready to confront individuals… Activists are intimidated through surveillance, brutal bullying, use of #spycops on our demonstrations, arrests, video surveillance, infiltration of undercover agents, police controls at demos, and house searches.
It is often irrelevant whether the individual was actually involved in actions. It is enough to reside in close proximity to an action or to be friends with the “wrong” people to get into the focus of the authorities. Repression is therefore always trying to smash our organizations. It also aims to isolate us. Not only that political process costs a lot of money, they are also emotionally a big burden for all those concerned. Repression attempts to politically paralyze its target and limit our political practice. Because repression is so arbitrary, it can happen to anyone at any time. It is up to us to get through this together.”
Antifascists explain that ridiculous police accusations, and the relentless media smear campaign against them is aimed at turning civil disobedience illegitimate in the eyes of the public, so that the criminalization of the anti-fascists could be even more brutal.
The Saxon authorities’ repression is particularly brutal. Besides threatening to prosecute 200 anti-fascists, they also blocked their website, and tapped 10,000 phones. In spite of all state repression, anti-fascists have succeeded in preventing the Nazis from marching every year since 2010.
“Ideologically, state repression is attempting to delegitimize the anti-fascist practice by pushing a rampant extremist discourse. Spread by reactionary circles, in many places an anti-left sentiment has aroused.”
Of course, Antifa is far more than just the fight against the Nazis. There are varied and welcomed approaches, all aimed – despite their differences – at developing a network against oppression. There are workshops and events, newspapers are published, and actions are planned. From the social criticism, to the anti-sexist practice and contributions to the debate – direct action, anti-militarism, anti-racism, sports and pubs collectives – we are involved as are Antifa in many other social struggles. Thus, anti-fascism is embedded by our other practices in an emancipatory perspective.
Determined antifascist actions were always a means to combat the structures of the political right – anti-fascism is ever more relevant in 2014. This means our struggle is legitimate, and we cannot accept being dictated by the State. This is what we will build for the future and we will not be intimidated. In this sense:
The repression is everywhere, so are we!
Freedom for all political and social prisoners!” – Source: Antifa Berlin
March 22, 2014 is the International Antifascist Fight, dozens of demos will take place in Latin America, North America, Europe, mostly.
Hashtag #M22 #antifa
We’ll cover them all.
In spite of what liberal counter-insurgents pretend, anti-fascism is self-defense.