Hannover. Germany. On April 11th from 02.00 p.m. people gathered to protest on Limmerstraße in Hannover-Linden (near the tram station Leinaustraße).
Originally published by Indymedia DE. Translated by Enough 14.
++++++++++++ about 70 people +++++++++++ unregistered ++++++++ banners, signs ++++++++ traffic blocked ++++++++ breathing masks, sunglasses, everybody keep distance except the cops ++++++++++++ fyler and too quiet speech from the speaker +++++++++ much attention by passers-by ++++++ aggressive cops with dog ++++++++ 13 identity checks +++++++++++ most of them could escape +++++++++
After the first groups of two people with signs, masks and distance walked through the pedestrian zone, others quickly joined them from the side streets. Curious passers-by stopped. Soon there were more than 70 people in the middle of the pedestrian zone, alone or in pairs, showing signs and banners at a distance from each other and shouting slogans like “say it loud, say it clear, despite Corona we are here”. Most of them wore creatively designed protective masks.
From a small speaker’s box was a speech; “Racist murder in Celle? On Tuesday, April 7th, the 15-year-old arcan Hussein Khalaf was stabbed to death in Celle. The 29 year old white German perpetrator is presented as being confused. According to media reports he is close to far-right conspiracy theories. A racist motive can therefore be assumed. https://de.indymedia.org/node/76746
There were other leaflets, too. One about the Corona situation, which appeared in the last weeks also as a wall newspaper at different places in the city, is attached here as pdf.
On the banners and signs racism and the situation of refugees in camps were addressed: e.g. “Racism kills – even now”, “Here is space – evacuate camps immediately” and “For real solidarity – open borders”.
In addition, slogans on other issues could be read: “Profits, borders, poverty kills”, “The houses to those who live in them”, or “Everything for everyone”. Others dealt directly with the current Corona situation: “Prevent total surveillance – Against cop state and denunciation – For social revolt”, “Kill viruses, kill borders, kill cops” and “What helps against a virus – Wash your hands? – Federal Armed Forces? – Tighten laws? – Surveillance? – Suspension of basic rights?”. Some sang “Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here”.
Because of people were standing scattered around, buses and trains could not drive on. After about 10 minutes the first patrol car appeared. The two police officers first asked somewhat confusedly for a leader of the gathering before they jumped on a person who was moving away from the protesters. Even though almost all protesters were “hooded” or protected with protective masks and loop scarves, it seemed that, according to their learned patterns, they rushed at the person who was dressed rather “classically” with black cloth, sunglasses and hooded sweatshirt.
The arrested person was repeatedly brought to the ground by force and fixed with painful grips. Around the person, who was quickly isolated in a side street, a small cluster of protesters and angry passers-by was formed. The cops brought in a nervous, constantly barking police dog. After a long period of back and forth and recording the personal details, the arrested person was later released.
Most of the protesters remained in the middle of the pedestrian zone. In the following five minutes, until 02:15 pm, more patrol cars, riot police (BFE) police vans and a loudspeaker car of the cops appeared. A group of protesters, as well as two solidary shoppers, were kettled by the cops on the tram tracks and pushed together tightly. Most of the other protesters dispersed or stayed at a safe distance to observe the situation.
Around 02:30 pm the 13 people in the kettle left the tram tracks after several announcements from the Cop loudspeaker. Some moved self-determined, others were pushed and shoved by the cops. Some fell to the ground. Inside the kettle the 13 people stood close together, pushed by the cops. When the police were asked to keep a safe distance, the police reacted with threats and shoving. None of the closely grouped cops wore a face mask – only a few wore gloves.
Many passers-by stopped and watched the cop parade and the crowd they provoked – sometimes with scornful looks and comments.
With further loudspeaker announcements by the cops, the passers-by and solidary people were also asked to move away and threatened that, if they did not do so, their personal data would be recorded for violations of the Protection against Infection Act. The only ones who did not keep the safety distances at this time were the kettling cops and the people surrounded by them. The people in the kettle were led one by one to the side, their personal details were recorded and most of them had to take off their protective masks “for identification”. After they had been given a ban for the premises until 10:00 p.m. for violation of the Protection against Infection Act, the people were allowed to leave the kettle. Shortly before 03:00 p.m. the last person was released. While the densely packed horde of cops slowly thinned out, they had to listen to scornful comments and scolding from some passers-by. Shortly after 15: 03:00pm the crowd of cops had dissolved again, except for two patrol cars and a loudspeaker police car.
This report should give you an insight into how protest can take place under special orders and contact ban. For us too, this was an attempt with an uncertain outcome. We (The people who wrote this article on Indymedia DE, Enough 14)call upon you to experiment on your own and to share your experiences. It is possible that in the future, more mobile and less static forms of protest will be able to avoid the quick kettling and the related identity checks.
Anonymous, April 11, 2020.
Enough 14 is not organizing any of these events, we are (re)publishing these texts for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.