Leipzig. German territory. Demo against the ban of linksunten.indymedia.org last Saturday. Today trial at Federal Administrative Court.
Submitted to Enough 14 in German. Translated by Enough 14.
Press release of the Linksunten Solidarity Group, January 29, 2020
Last Saturday’s demonstration against the ban of the open posting platform linksunten.indymedia.org started very determined and powerful with about 2,000 participants at the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig.
At the intersection of Karl-Liebknecht-Str. / Kurt-Eisner-Str., clashes between demonstrators and the police took place. Some demonstrators expressed their legitimate anger against the ban, against the authoritarian judiciary and executive in this country and finally against the police themselves by attacking the latter. After a short confrontation, the demonstration could be continued to Herderpark in Connewitz with a significantly reduced number of participants.
According to various reports in the bourgeois press, a number of representatives of the press were allegedly attacked during the demonstration when they tried to film or photograph demonstrators. There have been complaints that this is happening at a demonstration for the freedom of the press.
However, this fails to recognise that freedom of the press under Article 5 of the Basic Law is a hard-won right of defence against the state and its censorship. When participants in a demonstration make it clear that they are not to be photographed, this is not state action or even censorship, but merely a necessary consequence to protect against repression. At gatherings that are critical of state action, the protesters are repeatedly criminalized – regardless of any concrete crimes, but simply because of their presence.
Press spokeswoman Anja Schwerthoff explains: “With our demo last Saturday we fought for free, independent media – as they represent the platform linksunten.indymedia.org. The bourgeois press is not at all threatened by censorship, but such media, which express also resistant, emancipatory opinions. Above all, we want to be able to create and use our own media without having to protect or defend them from state attacks”.
Not only in the media, but in the entirety of publicly perceived opinions, it has become clear how little attention was paid to the actual reason for the demonstration – the ban and censorship of an unwelcome press medium with the help of the law on associations. “This shift in discourse has once again made clear how necessary left-wing, solidarity-based reporting from below is. The bourgeois press cannot do this because of its origins; it is also subject to capitalist interests. It is necessary to build up our own structures”, the press spokeswoman continued.
Hardly any attention was paid to the various speeches or their content – the only informative documentation here goes back to solidary journalists who have published their work on de.indymedia.org, among others.
Today, after two and a half years, negotiations are beginning at the Federal Administrative Court. If the state measures itself against its own laws, the court would now finally have to lift the ban.
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