Wuppertal. Germany. The Enough info-café has been closed for almost 2 months now. To be more precisely: The last day that we opened was on March 13. A second statement by some of the Enough Info-Café in times of the coronavirus: Keep on moving.
Published by Enough 14.
Read also Part 1: About the Enough Info-Café in times of the coronavirus.
In the last two months a lot has happened. We already wrote that we closed the Enough Info-Cafe before the state started to impose authoritarian measures. At the moment the German state starts to lift more and more of these measures. Of course people hat to keep on working to fill the pockets of employers and shareholders all the time, but now they are also allowed to spend their money in consume temples, to fill the pockets of employers and shareholders even more. Only bars and clubs remain closed and major events like festivals also remain prohibited. What people are also not allowed to do is to gather and protest outside. Not now and not in the near future. But there were some court cases that were won by protestors, and small gatherings are sometimes allowed under rather bizarre terms.
As we wrote above, bars and cafés are not allowed to open again yet, so the Enough Info-Café remain closed. To be honest, we don’t know if we would have opened if this restriction would habe been lifted. We neither need authoritarian state measures, nor capitalist motivated liftings to take our responsibility. There is not that much space in the Info-Café and we feel responsible for the safety of people that come to the Café and for the things that happen there. Keeping distance is not that easy in a small space like ours. On the other hand the free shelves in the Info-Café are needed more than ever before, so we are working on a concept to distribute free food and other things outside. In the coming days we will announce the restart of the free shelve outside of the Info-Café.
The conditions to keep the Info-Café going after this is all over are getting harder and harder. We still don’t know if the Enough Info-Café will survive the current situation. Our finacial gap is getting deeper and deeper as several expenses are continuing despite the closure. If you are willing and able to support us, every donation will help, also a 1 Euro donation. For the moment we are still confident that the Enough Info-Café will be reopened as soon as it is safe enough. But as we said in our last statement, whatever happens, even when we have to close indefinitely: We will be back in some way. The struggle against all authority, patriarchy and capitalism is far from over and will be intensified!
So what has been going on in Wuppertal in the past weeks. At April 4, there was an unregistered gathering against authoritarian corona related state measures at Mirker Bahnhof in Wuppertal. About 30 people came out of the blue, did their gathering and dissapeared again before the cops were able to interfere.
This years May Day protests in Wuppertal, took the cops by surprise once again. Apart from the unregistered demo at 00:00am, there was a short gathering at the Helios hospital in solidarity with healt care workers and several mocking squatting actions. The cops responded by occupying the Ölberg district for days. The autonomous center (AZ) is again and again under siege since the annual unregistered autonomous May Day demo was able to march, despite announcements by the cops that they would stop any attempt to march on May Day. In the evening hours, about 20 hours after the autonomous May Day demo took place, the cops started to harass people who looked “alternative” and/or “leftwing” more intensively than they usually do. After the cops felt disturbed from a bicycle rider, things got rough. Five people were arrested, and released again the next morning. Of course the cops did not act against an unregistered fascist gathering on Laurentiusplatz, the cops were standing directly next to it and watched the fascist protest. But they did not interfere. At the same time other parts of the city where under a state of siege .
Many things have changed in the past years. Until 2018 the unregistered autonomous may Day demo could march without major problems in Wuppertal. But that changed two years ago. The cops blocked and attacked the demo at the starting point on Platz de Republik and many people were detained and charged after the demo. The trials of the 2018 May Day demo are still continuing today.
In January 2019 the new state police law was implemented in North Rhine-Westphalia. The cops now have even more powers than they already had. But its still possible to take the streets with unregistered demos. After the repression and blocking of the 2018 May Day demo, the cops wanted to block the autonomous May Day demo in 2019 again, but this time the cops were surprised. The cops sealed off the area were the demo was supposed to start, but in reality 150 people started marching from a different starting point. No cops, no trouble, no arrests.
The authoritarian state measures in times of the coronavirus, give the cops even more possibilities to overload people with repression. Sebastian Lotzer wrote in his piece Pandemic War diaries – First of May Edition: “Let’s talk about the fact that we were less than our opponents, but we can still be smarter and more victorious.” As long as this years May Day actions in Berlin were not static, the cops had problems to control the situation. The trouble and arrests in Berlin started when things became more and more static and predictable. In Wuppertal things were different, but there was one similarity. In Wuppertal the cops also had problems when people were moving, but they took control again when things became static and predictable. After that the repression and arrests took place.
We cannot change what happened on this years May Day. We also don’t want to say what was right and what was wrong when things became static. People ended up in a situation where the cops started to harass people and so many people showed their solidarity and the cops abused that and repressed them. Protesting in times of the coronavirus is difficult and although the state always was authoritarian, none of us has experience with this kind of state measures. But we can learn from it. We can learn to keep on moving and to create moments of surprise. The cops showed that they have problems with moving out of control concepts. So let’s keep on moving!
Solidarity with those who were arrested and harassed!
Some of the Enough Café, May 7, 2020
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