Leipzig. Connewitz. German territory. Anyone who lives in Leipzig and may have been at the cross on New Year’s Eve can actually only have their ears ringing (as long as they are unharmed) and their eyes burning from what happened in the media after New Year’s Eve. So distorted, so unnecessarily exaggerated is that what happened there, that the question arises why it actually happened. To make it clear in short: We welcome the actions of the people on the cross and do not want to play it down or belittle it; but it was, with all success, also not this phantastic “more than before”, which cops, politicians and the media have now turned it into. It was more than happened on the cross in other years and a little less than was possible on other occasions in Leipzig.
But why now this giant theatre? Is it really because comrades tried to murder a cop there? Because the attacked cops were hurt as never before? Because the attack went beyond every foreseeable measure? At least that’s what people should be made to believe and this is not aimed at any kind of criminal prosecution or the like, but rather at preventing the emergence of a left-wing radical movement and to chase its protagonists apart and divide them at an early stage.
Originally published by Indymedia DE. Translated by Enough 14.
Short retrospective view
In order to understand this, we look briefly in a completely different direction, namely to Cologne, or more precisely, we look to 26.10.2014. On this day, what had not been seen for so long: mass militancy from the far right, without any left-wing resistance, the “Hooligans against Salafism”, HOGESA. Several thousand hooligans and Nazis demonstrated under the common slogan “against Salafism” and in a broader sense against the “progressive Islamization of the Occident”. Even though HOGESA did not really achieve any success worth mentioning and as a structure gradually collapsed, one thing had become clear: There was a relevant number of people who were ready to use violence and who were prepared to take on state power on the subject of “Islamisation” and to stand up against it for the interests of a German people who were somehow threatened and imagined.
It would be an exaggeration to see this day as the starting signal for a new right-wing mass movement, as there had been already enough approaches for this before. What was rather new here was that it was not against “foreigners” in general, but against “Islamists”, i.e. those “foreigners” who spread fear and terror and who, according to their declared intention, were not striving for “integration”, but for a transformation of the western world into an Islamic state. And that already at that time frightened some “upright Germans”, as we know today at the latest. Often very general racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism are encoded in this. However, these attitudes had become something unspeakable in the broad population, they had their last public home with neo-Nazis and perhaps in some villages in Bavaria and East Germany (if one can speak of a public sphere here), as the mobilization in Schneeberg in autumn 2013 had shown.
Attempts by the New Right to carry out racist mobilizations under the guise of anti-Islamism had previously failed. Their previous attempts were probably not very attractive for possible comrades-in-arms, not enough of them came together, they were too much surrounded by anti-fascist counter-mobilizations, but also the fact that there were sometimes violent clashes with Salafists, who sometimes pulled out a knife, may have had a deterrent effect. HOGESA now gave the people who had already been mobilized in terms of content but did not dare to go out into the streets the necessary assurance that their position was sayable and that there were energetic German men who were prepared to protect them, whether from Islamists, anti-fascists or simply social ostracism.
And so, under the influence of HOGESA, another movement came out of the dirt, PEGIDA. Siegfried Däbritz, a participant in the HOGESA demonstration in Cologne, was not the only one involved in PEGIDA. Right from the start, the movement had a positive attitude towards hooligans who acted as stewards and protectors of the demonstration. How PEGIDA developed is well known, as well as the social effects. PEGIGA may be regarded rightly as a preparer of the election successes of the AFD. But we don’t want to go deeper; the only important thing to note was that more and more people dared to say something that seemed taboo to them before as being taboo in public space, while protecting the connection of new forces with militant hooligans and neo-Nazis. The success of (even if only superficially) “peaceful” parts of the New Right thus came about not against but precisely through the association with the militant Right. This was not about a superficial tolerance of violently acting comrades in spirit, but an explicitly positive reference. As a consequence, it was (and still is) to be observed that the association with the militant right had the consequence that further parts of the hitherto non-militant right began to take part in violent clashes.
Right agitation on New Year’s Eve at Connewitzer Kreuz
The current government is in dire straits with the New Right. Not because they have problems with the content of their positions, but because the New Right rejects them in unison, even further rejects the state as it is currently constituted, and because this goes so far that representatives of the government as its associates are attacked, threatened, hurt and even murdered. Another problem is that those who are hostile to them cannot be talked to. They are not open to the usual political gibberish of threats, empty promises and small gifts and concessions. Threats and empty promises are rejected, small gifts and concessions arouse the desire for larger gifts and concessions. And so the New Right can cheerfully chase the rulers, but also other representatives from politics and the media, and cause general insecurity.
The contacts of the Leipzig police to the New Right and to Neo-Nazis are well known. The desire for an authoritarian transformation of the state and a stronger control of society is likely to play a role for even more cops, even those who would not even call themselves right-wing. In addition, however, there also seems to be an instrumental relationship between the leadership of the cops in Leipzig and the right-wing troll mob. “Information” about the events on the cross was deliberately spread in the “social” media, the situation was described as if only luck had prevented the death of a cop, as if a seriously injured person had emergency surgery in hospital, etc. All this is in line with the assertion of the New Right about the left and above all the autonomous movement, an assertion which has long since found a home in the state: That the autonomists are empty fanatics of violence, or worse, powerbrokers for the establishment of an authoritarian state comparable to the Soviet Union, in short, misanthropists (a stereotype that was also used by the Leipzig police commissioner Thomas Schultz in an interview after New Year’s Eve) or in the language of the New Right: The new fascists.
By spreading the distorted depiction of the cops, exactly this right-wing troll mob was thus brought onto the scene, and not without success: the media, which had become completely helpless at the latest by the mass effect of the “social” media, spread the hate as a fact. Left-wingers who had previously voiced criticism either fell silent or immediately distanced themselves from their own statements. In a mixture of right-wing internet trolls, sensationalist media outlets and ruling politicians a picture of horror emerged, which completely distorted the events on the cross.
The goal behind the baiting
Much worse than what has been described, however, is something else. This can be seen through, as research by the Kreuzer (for all non-local people: a Leipzig city newspaper) and the taz revealed. Worse, the distorted depiction of the events on the cross is not really about the events on the cross, but rather about discrediting the militant autonomous and anarchist movement and isolating it socially. The aim is not that people will believe the police at the end of the presentation, regarding the question of what really happened on the cross. The point is that the actors, whether they did it or not, are misanthropists. That those who threw stones and fired rockets at the cops are a danger to society. That they act without sense and reason, that their goals are mean and inhuman, that their actions are born out of hatred and the joy of indiscriminate violence and the like. In the end, someone, whether from the media, the repressive authorities or politics, must be able to say These people are unequal and alien to us, they should be locked up or worse for the protection of the general public; to do violence to them is not a crime, as well as to those they are friends of. These people are nothing but a threat, they destroy peace, they turn the good society into a bad society, they trample on the aims of the moderate left and drag them in the mud, they turn against innocent people and use violence against them, they destroy their property, they know no more boundaries and no more proportionality. And this has been a success, as it almost always is when the police have such an intention and are supported by the media and politicians, or they have the same intention. They succeeded, because even if not everyone agrees on what happened at the cross, everyone agrees, from right to left, that it was a serious offence that anyone came and threw stones at the cops. And that this remains so, that is the true goal behind all this baiting.
Why is this the target?
Now the next question is, why is this target so important to the cops and it is generally easy to answer. They don’t want those who throw stones at them to be accepted. That is obvious. But the issue goes a bit further. As already described in the introduction, the actions of the police are an expression of the old principle “divide et impera”, divide and rule. And this in turn is more than just an old fortune cookie slogan, it is the long-established formula that people are more easily controlled when they are divided into groups that pursue different interests, or more clearly, that seemingly pursue different interests. And so the intention behind all this is that the people who were on the cross, continue to be the people who live in Connewitz, or even further a leftist movement of some kind, disintegrates into groups with individual interests that they believe to be different. And this goes far beyond the situation at the Connewitz cross. In Leipzig it is a permanent topic: whoever burned down the excavators or hit the proxy holder, betrayed the interests of all those fighting against gentrification, etc. It is not just a matter of distancing oneself from the crime, but above all from the offenders. Those who make the citizen celebration and those who set fire to an excavator should think that they have no common interests, or that their interests oppose each other. And the important point is that if they think this way, it is not because of the cause (that is, that their interests are actually different), but because the state or whatever enemy has been successful in dividing and confronting people with a common goal. So when, after the clashes on the cross, people say: “Well, as the police said, that’s probably not how it was, many things were lies, but to attack them, that’s not acceptable, that’s inhuman”, then the main goal of the cop propaganda has been achieved.
What happens if this “divide et impera” does not succeed, we can see in the above description of HOGESA and Co, but we can also see it historically at the Wendland or at the take-off runway west and the like. But the Wendland and the Runway West are not as good examples as HOGESA is, because both fights were regionally limited and narrowed down according to the topic. Solidarity between civil and autonomous forces existed only with regard to place, time and topic; beyond that, there were no lasting and noteworthy solidarity effects.
Now the autonomists (in contrast to their grandchildren, the post autonomists) have in recent years turned away from the subdivisional struggles to struggles against state power in general, and in this respect Leipzig has probably also developed a certain esprit in recent years. The attacks on police stations, on courts and state offices, … in any case, is no longer a peculiarity and is directed against the state as an actor. The attacks on the cross are also part of this context, even if the de facto harassment of the cops in recent times may have added a certain amount of flavour to the whole thing. It is quite a horror for the supporters of the current state that such a thing is welcomed in parts of society. This, to put it mildly, would be the basic condition for any form of guerilla. And here the state is doing everything right in its sense when it manages to isolate the autonomists and to hammer into those who dream of a better society: “You can dream of a better society, but you must not do anything against this state. And so most people who dream of a better society are already in exactly this position, that they are fighting for their cause to the extent permitted, but cannot do anything fundamental against the state they hate, or in other words, cannot do anything fundamental. And in order for this to remain so, if possible, forever, the wedge must be driven between the autonomists and society, and always and above all where there are signs that this separation, on the basis of which everyone remains controllable, is beginning to dissolve, because the people who have been divided there are beginning to recognize each other and to see that their interests are not different at all, but are the same or at least very similar, more similar, at any rate, than the interest in doing things the way the state demands. And because that is the way it is in Connewitz, that something like that is developing for a long time, Connewitz is hated by all friends of the wrong order. And that’s exactly why the police get support from the politicians even on a federal level, to push a little riot up to civil war again. That the cops and the politicians are really concerned about it, we can see by the fact that they really go to great lengths to create a rift between people. They say: These people, they are murderers. And it could hardly be worse. It would be even more drastic if they were rapists or mass murderers, but that is simply absurd in view of the situation. And with murderer the highest card is already played, without a single cop actually coming anywhere near life-threatening and serious danger to life and body is demonstrably more often caused by cops than by any autonomous person.
What is to be done?
The last question we want to deal with in this context is the question: What is to be done in view of what has been described, at least if someone shares something of what has been written so far. But we think: there is nothing at all to do in this respect. The cops, the media and the politicians will try to do it again and again. They will portray us each time over and over again as the very bad and the evil and the stupid. And quite a number of people will continue to say: We want nothing to do with these dirty children. We cannot do anything about this, because the success of the smear campaign against us is not because the campaign is well done, it is because the campaign meets people who are insecure and intimidated and who have lost the overview, but at the same time believe that they have a very good overview and that they know exactly what has to be done and how and so on. They don’t listen to us grubby children anyway, they are just annoyed with us. But at the same time there are more and more people who realize that it’s actually not so bad to socialize with the grubby children and who understand that it’s good to know a few grubby children and to spend some time with them every now and then, because they have realized that the grubby children are not so bad as they were told before.
But we can’t convince them of that, they have to convince themselves. What we can do is to give them regular opportunities to do so.
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