Essen. Germany. June 20. 2020. The demonstration against racist police violence was banned in Essen today, only a stationary gathering was allowed. But despite the ban people started marching after the stationary gathering anyway. A report from Essen.
Published by Enough 14. Written by Riot Turtle.
Normally I don’t really like stationary gatherings. Often you hear the same, or at least similar, speeches and the atmosphere is often rather dull. No fighting spirit. But today was different. The cops banned the march and occupied the Altendorf district in Essen two days before todays gathering had even started. Of course the ban on the march was once again motivated with COVID 19. People are allowed to go shopping in huge shopping malls, working in factories etc., but a demonstration against racist police violence is of course to dangerous. Apparently the German state is trying to sell people that contagion is more likely to happen on a demonstration in the open air, as inside buildings like for instance shopping malls. The attempt by Essen police to fool and intimidate people failed today, people were furious. Many people did wear masks and took care of each other, but they were not willing to accept the rather absurd ban in times where everybody is allowed to enter consume temples and go to work, but not to take the streets.
The mother of Adel B. spoke, and described how her son was murdered by cops. Of course with impunity. On June 18, 2019, Abel B. was shot by cops through the closed door of his hallway. Before that, Adel had contacted the emergency services and threatened to kill himself in order to get psychological help. Adel had already called the emergency services the week before, at which time a counselor was sent, and Adel was placed in psychiatric treatment. He was released from this treatment by a judge. On the day of Adel’s death, the emergency call centre did not send a counselor again, but only officers of the Essen police force, who confronted Adel with a pulled gun. Although Adel discussed the matter with them, in the meantime putting the knife aside and eventually making his way home, he was finally shot by the cops. In retrospect, it was claimed that Adel had attacked the police officers with a knife. Videos that appeared about the incident refute the lies of the police.
Somebody from the Adel B. initiative outlined how the cops criminalized Adel B. and his family in the media after his death. There were moving and angry contributions to other people that were killed by cops: Mikael Haile (also in Essen) , Oury Jalloh and of course Amad A. who died after he was burned in his prison cell, although the cops knew they had arrested the wrong person for months.
Many people spoke about the daily racial profiling operations by cops and that they are sick and tired from the institutional racism of the cops, state prosecuters and judges. But also about the racist policies of the alien department and other German authorities. A kurdis woman said that first she was forced to leave home because “they were killing us there” (she meant the support by the German state to arm, finance and stabilize successive turkish governments for decades), “and now they kill us here”. Somebody else said that it is about time to get rid of the Statues of colonial rulers. One speaker said: “To the German people here I would like to say: when they are finished with us, they will come after you too.”
Again and again cops were ordered to stay out of the gathering. After many long but moving and inspiring speeches the gathering ended. The speeches on this gathering were different. I didn’t hear the ussual perfectly prepared speeches. You could feel the grief and rage in almost every sentence. What people said was authentic and real.
Somebody suggested to leave the gathering together and so people did. A demo was formed fast and the cops were totaly surprised. Several hundred people started marching. The demo was very loud and aggresive. Many bystanders applauded , other bystanders raised their fist when the demo passed. After we marched for about 10 minutes the cops attacked and stopped the demo. There was a standoff for about 10 minutes, which ended after somebody registered a spontaneous demo against the police murder of a 54 year old man in Bremen.
Todays gathering and demo in Essen, was one of the best protests I have experienced in a long time. Something has changed after the racist attack in Hanau. Many migrants have enough of the racist attacks by fascists and racist cops. People have had enough of the racial profiling operations by cops and they know that institutional racism is so deep in German society that these insitutions will not only not help them, but are also not reformable. The often ritualized protests by German liberals will also not change anything and more and more people seem to be aware of that.
It was a strong sign that the ban against the demo was breached and the powerful spontaneous demo that followed is something that was really needed in North Rhine-Westphalia after a long time of powerlessness demonstrations, mostly organized by German event managers. We definitely need more of this kind of powerful demonstrations and other actions to stop racist police violence and the racist and opressive conditions we are all living in.
Support Enough 14!
Donation for our work in the Enough 14 info-café (More needed than ever before in times of the coronavirus) and our independent reporting on our blog and social media channels. Even 1€ can make a difference.
Keep the Enough 14 blog and the Enough 14 Info-Café going. You can do that with a donation here, or by ordering stickers, posters, t-shirts , hoodies or one of the other items here or click at the image below.