Report and critique by Anarchistische Gruppe Dortmund (Anarchist Group Dortmund), on the demo against the new police law in the German state North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) on October 6 in Dortmund (German territory).
Originally published by Anarchistische Gruppe Dortmund. Edited machine translation 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.
Our speech on the demo as a video (German):
On October 6, 400-500 people demonstrated against the new police law in Dortmund. As anarchist group Dortmund together with the anarchist movement Hamm (Warning Facebook link), we participated as a small block in the demo.
Of course, we focused on the critique on the police law, but we also found it necessary to criticize the strong authoritarian-communist influence on the demonstration. The criticism was expressed above all by a banner, some slogans and a speech.
During the interim rally, the demonstration lost much of its strength, especially since the big BVB fan block left. At this point we made our speech and went home.
In the following we do not want to go into our critique on the police law (who is interested in this, can read our leaflet text), but on our motivations for the certainly provocative kind of appearance for some people.
As anarchist group Dortmund we were invited to the last organisation meeting before the demo by an individual, before that we were either forgotten or deliberately not invited and involved. In general, we got the impression that it was not just us and that from the beginning it was not an open orga-meeting for all concerned. Rather, it seems that the authoritarian-communist organizations (MLPD, rebel – youth organization of the MLPD), SAV, LinksJugend Dortmund, DKP, SDAJ (Youth Organization of the DKP) and the MLPD spin-off (e.g. Monday vigils)) at the beginning have deliberately kept the circle small and hoped that later as many organizations as possible can be harnessed to their carts.
For us, such a topic should involve a broad, civil society spectrum right from the start, or it should be made clear who is mobilizing. From the beginning there was a fake appearance that pretended this was a broad alliance of different actors. Thus, in the online and offline mobilization was spoken only about the “action alliance against the police law”. It was specified nowhere, which groups are actually behind it.
We were could also observe this at the organization meeting where we were present. Except for a few exceptions only authoritarian-communist groups were present, which also set the pace. At the demonstration, too, plurality was faked, which turns out to be a fallacy, to see alone in the distribution of speeches.
From 12 speeches in total, whole seven were held by authoritarian-communist parties, groups and initiatives.
– Alliance contribution (held by SDAJ)
– Train of Hope
– Anarchist Group Dortmund
– leftjugend ‘solid NRW
– NIKA (we do not know if the speech was held)
The moderation was mainly taken over by a person of MLPD / Rebel, who build in additional little speeches between announcements.
Although of course it can be said that everyone could have contacted us, we refer here again to the very obscure organization structure.
Our own speech was repeatedly defamed by authoritarian communists as a “split” and also by moderatorship as “anti-communist”. In addition, we were accused that we had violated the demonstration consensus.
So you can get an idea of yourself, you’ll find the demonstration consensus attached below and our speech in the video (above).
In the following, we would like to discuss the criticism against us and our reasons for our action.
We as liberal communists and / or anarchists were discredited as already described with the accusation of “anti-communism”. Why are not we “anti-communists”?
In its use, “anti-communism” is a term of struggle against all revolutionary currents used primarily by fascists or other reactionary forces. In this term it is not differentiated between the different revolutionary currents, for example Bolsheviks are equated with anarchists.
There is a long anarchist tradition of using the notion of liberal communism as a self-denomination and referring positively to certain parts of Marxist theory. However, to always be clearly differentiated from Stalinism, Maoism, Leninism or other authoritarian forms.
We consider it essential, especially on such occasions. To make our criticism of authoritarian communism visible, for example on the demonstration against the law of the police that has taken place. In our view, it is essential to criticize within the radical left and we are not ready to give up our anti-authoritarian principles for a diffuse united front.
We think the criticism that such a demonstration is not the right framework to address the mentioned discourse is wrong because most of the authoritarian-communist organizations mentioned relate positively to totalitarian-socialist police states, either historical or current.
Of course, the aforementioned authoritarian-communist organizations are also affected by the new police law, but we consider it more than questionable that they can play a pioneering role in the fight against the new police law because of their sympathy with totalitarian-socialist police states. In all likelihood, if one of these organizations came to power, the police laws would be made significantly more serious than the current reissue.
If we look historically in the Soviet Union, the GDR or Mao’s China, we find as much evidence as in Cuba or Venezuela at the moment. In Cuba, death sentences and torture are legal, and in Venezuela, gunfire on opposition and state torture is commonplace, as well as the “Cuban friends” at today’s demonstration.
Why should we brazenly join in the demonstration of authoritarian-communist organizations, where we have so completely different goals, ideas and thoughts. We do not want to conquer a state, we want to abolish it. We want to commemorate the millions of murdered people in state socialist attempts to socialize rather than trivialize or transfigure them.
We do not want a police state, whether democratic or socialist! It stays that way!
The demonstration was weakly attended with 400-500 people (after the interim rally a maximum of 300), which not just because of the large parallel demonstrations in Bochum and the Hambacher forest alone. It is also a clear sign that the demonstration was not broad. The estimates of 800 people or even up to 1000 people are nothing more than a bad joke. Overall, we are satisfied with our intervention at the demonstration. For us as a group, this form of confrontation was something fresh, which is why we noticed some points, which we will do a bit different next time. For example we believe the statement in our speech that anarchism is the only social alternative was misleading in this context. We are well aware that there are other anti-authoritarian currents, some of which are of course anarchistically influenced, such as e.g. council communism or libertarian communalism, which offer an alternative to the existing one.
We stay tuned:
Against the police law and its world! For libertarian communism!
Anarchistische Gruppe Dortmund, October 7, 2018.
Demo consensus of the NoPolGNRW demo
We want a lively, colorful demonstration against the repressive new police law in NRW.
Our action will convey a picture of diversity, creativity and openness.
We will behave judiciously, we do not escalate and use violence, we endanger
Even if we disagree in individual positions of our everyday practice, let’s get together loudly in Dortmund against the new police law and protest because it affects us all.
In this sense, we put our similarities in the foreground and treat each other respectfully and solidary .
This plurality finds limits in any form of group-focused enmity.
Fascist, racist, anti-Semitic and sexist inside, as well as people through
inhuman remarks are noticed (see above), are not tolerated on our demonstration.
In this sense: we go together and come together. “
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