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Information Blockupy AG Antirepression / 14th October, 2013
Over the past few weeks, the German left-wing newspaper „Junge Welt“ (*) has reported several times about the prosecutions concerning the kettling of the Blockupy demonstration on June 1, 2013. The reporting also referred to the preparation of criminal proceedings against 943 demonstrators that had been identified and viedeolised by the police during the kettling.
After Blockupy 2013, many people filed complaints against the police action in various courts in Frankfurt. The complaints cover a whole range of state repression such as unlawful detention, unlawful identification, unlawful searching, videolisation, bans and more. Moreover, complaints were filed against the de-faco ban of the demonstration by the applicant of the demonstration. As far as we know, the Frankfurt police headquarter gave one identical answer i.e. submitted a statement of defence at the beginning of September that denies the authority of the Verwaltungsgericht Frankfurt and proposed to refer the proceedings to the Amtsgericht bzw. Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt (local court or higher regional court) respectively to reject the complaints.
The document submitted by the police explains in detail the perspective of the police on why the demonstration had to be stopped and detained in the kettle. It came as no surprise that the police is of the opinion that everything they did was according to law, appropriate and, of course, the fault of the demonstrators themselves. To the latter the police refers mainly as persons known by the police and registered in several databases. Furthermore, the police had identified several criminal offences during the assembling and at the beginning of the rally such as covered faces, lateral banners, shields, umbrellas, firecrackers and paint bombs. Thus the police was compelled to act as they did, at least that’s what they declared.
Therefore, the police filed criminal proceedings against all those that had filed legal action against the police, a very usual procedure – who files complaints against the police is going to face criminal proceedings themselves.
Though, the statement of defence presented by the police also says that actually all 943 persons that were identified during the kettling are facing criminal proceedings, even youngsters and people without German passports.
Though, these are not the only proceedings and investigations in the context of Blockupy 2013. There are also investigations against demonstrators outside the kettle, in particular against people from the block directly behind the kettle and against people that participated in the action day on Friday.
We have learned that the police keep trying to summon people as witnesses all over the country in order to ask them details about Friday and Saturday, this affects even people that were detained and identified in the kettle and that are therefore considered accused persons. This is, obviously an attempt to take advantage of a lack of knowledge of the announced criminal proceedings.
Therefore, once again: Nobody is legally bound to react on police summons. Everyone has the right to refuse to testify on the basis of the privilege against self-incrimination. As accused person you are not obliged to make a statement and as witness you are not obliged either if you could incriminate yourself.
For information on summons and the refusal to give evidence: www.ea-frankfurt.org und www.frankfurt.rote-hilfe.de
Let us know if you receive summons in order to enable us to get an overview of legal proceedings, accusations and summons. That is the only way to guarantee the transparency of all respective information. No matter whether you are affected as witness or accused person, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have established an information system for all people affected by legal consequences arising from the kettling
Please register here: https://lists.notroika.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/blockupykessel
State of legal actions
After Blockupy, many people wanted to file legal action against the suppression of the demonstration and the police harassment during the kettling. The Working Group Antirepression advised against the proposal to file a large number of individual complaints or even mass complaints and in favour of exemplary legal action. The motivation behind this attitude was on the one hand to reduce the costs of the proceedings for individuals and on the other hand to get an idea of the chances of such legal actions from the results of „pioneer“’proceedings, follow-up complaints can be filed even one year later.
As a consequence, exemplary complaints were filed in several cities. The idea is to file legal action covering different situations of the kettling in order to understand whether further legal claims could potentially be successful. As it was the case with many major events such as Blockupy 2012 or Heiligendamm (G8), we once again learned that the courts are working very slowly and keep trying to put off decisions.
Actually, the statement of defence of the police clearly shows how slowly the whole thing is proceeding, there has not even been a decision on which court is responsible. Nevertheless, we hope to have more information on the legal actions and on the preparation of Blockupy 2014 before the end of the year.
Fight the Power – what is the point in legal action!
Even if many people want to fight against their detention during the kettling by filing complaints, it remains only one part in the necessary action against state repression. It is just as important, however, to launch public campaigns in order to exert pressure on the state and eventually on the judiciary.
We think it would be fatal to only rely on the so called „rule of law“ as the most adequate place to fight for the right to demonstrate is the street. Juridical steps can only be an answer to the kettling. On the other hand we saw the huge solidarity demonstration in Frankfurt one week after the kettling, numerous solidarity actions in various cities launched by different players immediately after Blockupy, the resolutions, parliamentary inquiries and the call for investigating committees, as well as to the Blockupy Kettling Tribunal on August 31, 2013. This is how we are going to determine the conditions of our protests and for the next Blockupy action days
Whether in discussions, meetings or actions and even more in the streets: We are not going to let ourselves be intimidated – it’s us that determine place and character of our actions.
What is the next step?
We will try to keep you informed but to do so we will need your help. Let us know of the proceeding of your complaints, try and create networks. We will not be able to put up a coordination for you but we are in contact with many lawyers and groups of affected people, we appreciate initiatives.
Though we are still working on the consequences of Blockupy 2012 and 2013, the Working Group Antirepression is already making plans for Blockupy 2014, whenever it will take place and whatever it will look like. The vital need of preparation before and follow-up after political action and, in this context also the importance of a Working Group Repression that is able to act should be clear to everybody engaged in protests. There are many possibilities to support or participate in our work, among them solidarity parties and donations.
More information on the tasks of the Working Group Antirepression:
Get active, be creative, express your protest, increase the pressure on state power!
More information of the working group „Antirepression“ of the Blockupy-Alliance:
P.S.: Recent Frankfurt Legal Team Release (in German): „Blockupy 2013 und was danach kam“ (http://ea-frankfurt.org/blockupy-2013-und-was-danach-kam)
Further sources, all in German:
– 23.09.2013: »Die Polizei greift nach letztem Strohhalm«, http://www.jungewelt.de/2013/09-23/055.php
– 08.10.2013: Das große Schweigen, http://www.jungewelt.de/2013/10-08/038.php
Blockupy Tribunal zum Kessel am 31.8.2013:
– If you want to support the working group AntiRepression please use the following account:
Libertad!, Konto: 8020068500, GLS Gemeinschaftsbank (BLZ 43060967), Object: „Anti.Rep.Blockupy“ IBAN: DE64430609678020068500 – Paper: DE64 4306 0967 8020 0685 00 – The BIC is GENO DE M 1 GLS
– If you use the object „Krisenproteste“ you can contribute to the costs that will arise from criminal proceedings, complaints and sentences in the consequence of our protests against austerity policies and capitalism starting from M31 to Blockupy: http://rhffm.blogsport.eu/spenden
– If you want to support the initiative Blockupy as a whole please use the following account:
Friedens- und Zukunftswerkstatt, Konto: 200337319, Frankfurter Sparkasse (BLZ: 50050201), Object: “Spende Krise Ffm”