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Autonomous Center #Mülheim: Brutal Police Attack on Staff of the Cultural Youth Centre

German territory: In the early hours of June 8, there was a violent police attack on the grounds of the AZ (Autonomous centre) in Mülheim an der Ruhr. Two members of staff were injured and taken into custody. In the further course of the incident, the police officers committed abuses, made far right statements and behaved in a sexist manner.

Submitted to Enough 14 in German. Translated by Enough 14.

At the end of an event, an aggressive guest, who had previously been expelled from the premises, had called the police. The police calmly asked the staff to send all those present outside to check their personal identity. When this disproportionate measure was questioned, the police immediately escalated the situation by physically attacking two of the staff and fixing them with excessive force. First, Mr. O. was forcibly brought to the ground and suffered such serious injuries that the officers had to call an ambulance immediately. In the hospital, the doctors documented, among other things, a facial wound that had to be stitched, as well as numerous abrasions and bruises. There was also further abuse on the subsequent trip to the Essen police headquarters. The police officers used pain grips and even beat Mr. O. when he was already tied up. They also threatened him and tried to provoke him with far right statements.

The AZ worker Mrs. L. was also forcibly fixed to the floor and taken into custody with the sentence “We also take in the dishy woman”. She suffered minor injuries and was at the mercy of the sexist practices of the police while in custody. With the cell door open, she had to undress and was exposed to the gazes of the male officers. In contrast to Mr. O., she was not allowed to put on much of her clothing until the end of her custody. Around noon both were released from custody.

“I condemn the police violence against our staff* in the strongest terms and demand that the violent police officers be subject to disciplinary consequences,” said Stefan Gassner, chairman of the AZ association. “It is unacceptable that right-wing police officers are able to make an example of people who think differently with impunity. A public discussion about the anti-democratic structures within the police force, as well as ever tougher and more unconstitutional police laws, is long overdue.”

As staff of the Autonomous Centre, we are horrified by this disproportionate police action. We understand this police attack as targeted harassment against a left-wing youth culture project. This incident is exemplary for the right-wing attitudes within the police that are becoming more and more apparent.

AZ Mülheim, June 09, 2019

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