Leipzig. German territory. What happened on New Year’s Eve at Connewitzer Kreuz can only be adequately understood in the context of recent months. The year 2019 was marked by increasing aggressiveness and numerous humiliations, bodily injuries, insults and violent assaults by the cops, not only in Connewitz but in the whole of Leipzig. After a violent assault on left-wing youths at the Connewitz police station in 2018 ¹, the year 2019 was marked by numerous attacks on demonstrations by the pigs, people were beaten up, threatened, injured. In Connewitz they even dared for a few weeks to harass the residents with martial foot patrols of small BFE troops, who also harassed and pressured residents massively. After some attacks against the cops in Connewitz ², the police leadership seemed to have understood that the introduction of these foot patrols in the Connewitz neighbourhood met with general rejection.
Originally published by Indymedia DE. Translated by Enough 14.
Nevertheless, the state attacks on the neighborhood continued, resulting in sustained high presence of patrols and ridiculous press releases complaining that cops are unwanted in the neighborhood. Absurdly enough, the Linxxnet was repeatedly brought into the media spotlight ³ ; although it is a left-wing institution in which people sometimes fight for a better society, as an institution it is state-supported and not anti-police. This shows how indiscriminately the police take action against everything that does not fit into their own idea of security and order.
It was remarkable how much the Leipzig police now use press releases to set political accents and influence public discourse in their own interest and against left-wing politics. The cops are thus increasingly appearing as independent political actors. This is not only to be seen as a Leipzig phenomenon, but it is a striking feature of the entire term of office of the new Leipzig police chief Torsten Schultze. He is conspicuous by his constant moaning about the displeasure that he and his colleagues are met with from the population because of their choice of profession.
When police forces invaded the neighbourhood in October to stop people from gathering on the streets and to demonstrate strength through a massive presence, the outrage was huge. The people were determined not to accept this and with a few projectiles they made clear to the pigs that they were still unwanted in the district.
After some self-defense actions directed against actors and profiteers of the upgrading and capitalist transformation of the neighborhood, the big horn of repression was blown. On the state side the countless stories was about a new quality of violence , there was something about new RAF groups, for the uncountable number of times some new investigation group (Soko LinX) was founded and talked about “cleaning up in Connewitz” – they now also wanted to take stronger action against garbage and graffiti.⁴ The haven of left-wing extremism should finally be shut down.
The neighbourhood responded on 13.12. with a powerful demonstration against cops, fascism and gentrification. The demonstration remained largely peaceful, but the numerically strong and also determined and angry appearance expressed the accumulated anger about the permanent harassment and assaults of the cops. What was noticeable was how restrained the pigs acted. Admittedly, they were present and visible, which fortunately also motivated some people to attack them. However, they seemed to have learned from the experiences of past demonstrations. The demonstration was largely left alone and no arrests allowed. It is important that the cops understand that they cannot just arrest people or interrupt a demonstration for every little thing. That is why we must continue to respond consistently to attacks by the cops, remain in solidarity with one another and free prisoners as far as possible.
December 31 was a day of cop occupation and harassment in Leipzig-Connewitz. A state of emergency had already been invoked in advance and residents were asked by police notices to protect their property from possible damage. The days before the New Year were marked by massive police presence. In minute intervals, vans filled with helmeted pigs drove up and down the streets. It was clear that a state attack on the neighbourhood was being prepared or was already in full swing. On the last day of the year, the residents were informed already at noon by the noise of helicopters that they could expect an evening of governmental demonstration of power and harassment by the cops.
Around midnight, however, more than 1000 people gathered at the Connewitzer Kreuz to celebrate New Year’s Eve together. Many of them had already had unpleasant contact with the state power in the past days and weeks, e.g. in the form of “suspicion-independent controls”, which continued even until shortly before midnight in the vicinity of the Connewitzer Kreuz. Everywhere in Connewitz there were martial and aggressively acting groups of cops on the streets, who made it clear by their appearance that they were motivated that evening to injure or arrest as many people as possible. During the whole evening there was harassment and partly unfounded attacks of the cops on residents and celebrating people. According to Twitter people were harassed because they carried a banner.
Around 00:15 the situation finally escalated. After the cops did not react to previous requests to leave the neighbourhood and let the people celebrate New Year’s Eve in peace, they (the cops) were attacked with various projectiles. However, instead of withdrawing and taking the announcement seriously, they reacted with massive and arbitrary attacks on bystanders. People were brutally beaten up, dragged from the crowd, insulted and humiliated. It is worth mentioning that the pigs attacked people completely arbitrarily, regardless of whether they had previously participated in attacks or not. Saying something that didn’t suit the cops, or standing in the way was enough to be violently attacked or beaten up. Numerous reports about this from eyewitnesses can be found on Twitter.
In view of the increasing police violence, it would nevertheless be wrong to portray oneself as a victim. One should not complain about people being harassed, beaten, insulted by cops. Because we know that the police will always be on the side of the rich and powerful, and also on the side of fascism. This is shown sometimes more, sometimes less clearly.⁵ All people who fight for a better world, free from exploitation and oppression, are logically in conflict with the state power and its allies. And must therefore expect attacks by cops. We have no expectations and no demands on these pigs! We reject dialogue with them as long as they wear their uniforms and defend a system of injustice with brutality! Nevertheless, the increasing police violence should be addressed and we, as a movement, must think about how we can face it collectively and in solidarity.
What was also to be seen on New Year’s Eve was that many people reacted in solidarity against the brutality and aggressiveness of the cops. Some of those who were arrested were liberated again, cops were put in their place when they tried to drag people out of the crowd and beat them up, even though unfortunately this was not always successful. In addition, many people took part in the attacks on the pigs. All this illustrates the increasing anger caused by the constant provocations of state authorities.
The fact that for political reasons some public prosecutor has now been persuaded to talk about attempted murder because some cop lost his helmet and was injured in his ear makes one speechless. Especially in view of all the murders and serious injuries committed by cops in Germany in recent years, which are usually treated as self-defence or swept under the table altogether. This is a mockery of those affected by this police violence and their relatives. We do not believe in the civil justice system, but we are frightened by the clarity in which political interests are incorporated into police investigations and legal classifications.⁶ In view of the wording in the police press release, which was published in the night before the start of the editorial work; continued by the media storm, which occurred due to the collisions at the Connewitzer Kreuz in the last two days, it becomes clear how prepared the entire police operation including political agitation was. This form of agitation is continued by the media, where it is still a popular practice to accept police reports uncritically.
The Leipzig cops obviously wanted the escalation and got it. Just like the pictures and headlines that are now supposed to justify further repression, investigations and attacks on the district. That in the course of all this now the Junge Union (Youth organisation of the CDU, Enough 14) demands the ban of the Left Party⁷, should be mentioned for satirical reasons.
In view of the past and undoubtedly imminent attacks by the cops on our neighbourhood and all that it stands for, it is important to get together all the more now. Rhetorically, a police attack is apparently being prepared at the moment, which – as the cops would put it – could bring about a new quality of violence. The repression that is already looming on the horizon will also be severe and should be answered appropriately. We must organize ourselves better, build stronger solidarity structures also in the neighbourhood and make sure that nobody is left alone with upcoming repression! Furthermore, we have to be aware that rumours and gossip primarily benefit the cops and their investigations. They are usually detrimental to constructive debates. That’s why it still remains true: Anna and Arthur keep their mouths shut!
Finally: Thanks to all who showed solidarity on New Year’s Eve at the Connewitzer Kreuz!
Solidarity with all prisoners!
To a combative new decade!
And it will never change: Pigs out of Connewitz!
NO COPS! NO NAZIS!
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