Statement by the assembly of the Arbeiter*innenjugendzentrum (AJZ) Bielefeld (Germany) about the criminalization of the 24 year old Halim Dener graffiti. According to police the graffiti contains a banned symbol of the Kurdish organization CDK (Democratic Community of Kurdistan) and has to be removed (after 24 years).
Originally published by AJZ Bielefeld. Translated by Enough is Enough.
Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.
Statement by AJZ Bielefeld About Demand by German Police Authorities to Remove 24 Year Old Halim Dener Graffiti
On 30.06.1994 Halim Dener was shot by the police while he was wheatpasting posters in Hannover. The shot that killed the 16 year old kurd hit him in his back while he was wheatpasting posters with the ERNK (National Liberation Front Kurdistan) symbol.
Shocked and angry about this murder, a young sprayer made a memorial graffiti on the rolling shutter of the info store “Anschlag” (Attack) at the Heeperstr 132 in the AJZ (Arbeiter*innenjugendzentrum) building. On the graffiti (image above) you can read “Killed by cops” and “This year in Hannover, I hope I will never be shot by cops when I am spraying” and a portrait of Halim Dener.
This image, that we see every time when we go inside the AJZ, is important for us. It makes sure that we don’t forget what happens in this state. It’s not some graffiti, but one that wasn’t painted over for 23 years, one that was preserved. The graffiti is also a greet to our Kurdish friends who often got hot harder by the repression of the German state as we did.
Now, after more than two decades, the Bielefeld police authorities are demanding that we remove the graffiti because they have the opinion that the graffiti is a criminal offense. In a letter they told us that they will refrain from prosecution when the graffiti will be removed until February 23, 2018. According to the letter of the police the graffiti contains a banned symbol of the Kurdish organization CDK (Democratic Community of Kurdistan). The CDK, founded in 2004, allegedly is a successor organization of the ERNK (National Liberation Front Kurdistan), which had a symbol with a green circle on a yellow flag and a red star. In the course of the PKK ban, the ERNK was also banned in November 1993. Given the developments in Turkey, which is more and more transformed in a fascist diktatorship, the attacks against the freedom of press and free speech as well as the current Turkish attacks against northern Syria, where mainly Kurdish people and structures are being hit, we see this as a cynical move by the Bielefeld police and state prosecution.
The approach corresponds with the long-standing practice of the German federal government, who only mentions fainthearted critique against the acts of the Turkish state and it’s human rights violations and avoids a break with the Turkish regime. The maxim is to keep the “good” relations with Turkey. They mainly mean the good business relations and to keep the refugee deal with Turkey alive.
The German federal government approves arms deals with the Turkish state and is negotiating about the construction of German arms factories in Turkey. Furthermore they can’t deceive us with the temporary stop of the upgrade of German tanks, because the war of aggression against the self-organized canton Afrin is being carried out with exactly these tanks. Such a temporary stop is an eyewash, because of the military attacks that are being carried out against the population in the Kurdish regions in the east of Tukrey for years now, it was clear from the beginning that these weapons are used against Kurdish civilans in- or outside Turkey.
The German state sucks up to it’s Turkis NATO ally by taking care that the critique against Turkey is not getting to loud in Germany. Thus the bans of November 1993 were expanded on March 2, 2017. The symbols of the student goups YXK (Association of students from Kurdistan) and JXK (Female students from Kurdistan) and various other symbols of Kurdish associations and organizations which are not banned in Germany. Furthermore the symbols of the YPG (peoples defense units) and YPG (female defense untis) who were celebrated as heroes for their fight against the islamic state and portaits of Abdullah Öcalan are banned now (That actually isn’t 100% correct, the YPG and YPJ symbols are only banned when they are used in direct relation with the PKK, translator). On top of that there are many criminal proceedings against Kurdish and Turkish activists in Germany.
The German police makes itself to henchmen of Turkish interests when people who are on Turkish lists are being detained and interrogated in Germany. When people who flee from Turkey have to fear to be deported back to Turkey. By doing this the police is also pursuing the Turkish war with the instruments of repression. Our solidarity is with the people in Syria, Kurdistan and Turkey who standing up against the authoritarian regimes and fight for an equitable society.
Solidariyt with the YPG and YPJ!
No Criminalization of the Kurdish resistance!
Abolish the ban on the PKK!
Hands off our garffiti!
In memory of Halim Dener – murdered by cops!
The assembly of the AJZ Bielefeld im Februar 2018