Hamburg. The repression against G20 opponents continues – a major political trial against at least 86 left-wing activists, accused by the public prosecutor’s office in Hamburg, is imminent. The background is the disruption of a demonstration on July 6, 2017 on the “Rondenbarg” street in Hamburg by the Federal Police’s Evidence and Arrest Unit (BFE) Blumberg, which is known for its violent outbreaks.
Originally published by Gemeinschaftlicher Widerstand. Translated by Enough 14.
In September last year, the first indictment was issued to 19 demonstrators who were under 21 years of age at the time of the summit in Hamburg. In the meantime, the total number of defendants has risen to 86 persons, who are located all over Germany. Divided into 8 procedural groups, they are accused of several criminal offences such as serious breach of the peace, assault on law enforcement officers, attempted severe physical injury and formation of armed groups – some of these criminal laws were only tightened shortly before the summit. Long-term prison sentences are under consideration.
Due to the extensive indictment and the large number of witnesses, mainly police officers, it is expected that the trial will last at least one year, but more likely several years. During this period, the persons concerned will probably have to appear in court in Hamburg once or twice a week. For many of them this will have far-reaching social consequences such as loss of job and training place and separation from their current environment, friends and family, because of the long distance to their place of residence. It is not yet known when the trials will start and which group trials will be started first. The indictments themselves are similar. With the help of the construct of the “collaborative crime” the aim is a conviction without concrete individual proof. This approach is already to be implemented in the near future in the Elbchaussee trial (Another G20 trial, Enough 14), for which the verdict is scheduled to be announced on July 10, 2020. Similar argumentation models have recently been used in court proceedings concerning squats.
Within the framework of the “Collective Resistance ” campaign, decentralized actions in various cities are called for on the Saturday before the first day of the trial – so far day X. For example, a demonstration in Berlin and a rally in Braunschweig have already been announced. All further decentralized actions throughout Germany will also be collected here: https://gemeinschaftlich.noblogs.org/aktionen/ Posters, flyers and stickers are also in circulation. Among other things, the Rote Hilfe (Red Aid) is intensifying the G20 donation campaign, see the Members’ Newsletter and the back of issue 02/2020 or: https://www.rote-hilfe.de/aktiv-werden/spenden. The networking of those affected and solidarity structures is also progressing. In this context, work is also being carried out to provide political support for the processes in the public sphere. Only with practical solidarity we can turn the proceedings, combined with consistent refusal to testify, into a disaster for the police and the public prosecutor’s office.
Rondenbarg” became known through the trial against the then 18-year-old Fabio V., who was held in pre-trial detention for almost 5 months as a result. At that time, the main issue was the application of the “hooligan verdict” of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) issued in 2017, according to which the defendants can be co-judged for all incidents solely on the basis of their presence – even though the BGH explicitly excluded the application on political assemblies. The discussion in court was also characterised by original Nazi paragraphs and phrases such as “harmful tendencies” and “educational deficiencies”, since 1953 §17 of the Juvenile Courts Act. It is quite possible that Fabio’s trial will also be restarted in the upcoming mass trials. A summary of his trial that broke down in February 2018 can be found here (German): https://unitedwestand.blackblogs.org/zusammenfassung-prozess-gegen-fabio/#more-2912
With the Rondenbarg procedures, the repressive organs not only build up a massive fear scenario to intimidate those affected and to deter other activists from future participation in protests. This would also establish a “collective guilt principle” so that if convictions are imposed, these precedents can be referred to in future demonstrations. This would again massively curtail the fundamental right to the freedom of assembly. The recently launched public investigation by the police in the ZDF programme “Aktenzeichen XY … ungelöst” (File Number XY … unsolved) of June 2020, in which confusing connections are constructed between the burning cars of the police chief and Enno Treumann, who was entrusted with “operational tasks” for the G20 in 2016, and the demonstration at Rondenbarg, once again shows the will to persecute and the struggle for interpretation by state authorities in order to justify the use of violence on their part and to create an atmosphere against demonstrators who opposed a summit aimed at securing murderous capitalist interests.
The upcoming politically motivated proceedings are part of the ongoing repression against G20 opponents since the summit. For example, it was only on April 29th that there was another house search in Hamburg with G20 as a pretext. The appeal process of Toto also took place in April 2020. He was arrested after the police violently smashed the registered “Welcome to Hell” demo. The verdict was one year and two months on four years probation, plus a 1000€ fine and payment of 50% of the costs of the trial: Trial Report & Statement (German): https://kiel.rote-hilfe.de/2020/04/17/prozessbericht-und-statement-zu-totos-verurteilung-und-solidaritaetskundgebung-am-16-04-2020/ Due to the corona, the number of solidarians is very limited in the current trials and is associated with personal data transfer – as is currently the case with the Elbchaussee trial.
Let us remain resistant together. Let’s not leave the outcome of the G20 protests to the ruling class who want to defend their exploitative system.
Write the campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org (PGP-key can be found on the website: https://gemeinschaftlich.noblogs.org/kontakt) or the Rote Hilfe (Red Aid) , if you plan actions, want to network, have ideas or information!
Together we are strong!
„Gemeinschaftlicher Widerstand“ (Collective Resistance) Campaign, July 2020
Day X – Collective Resistance
Decentralised day of action against repression on the Saturday before the start of the G20 Rondenbarg Trial
Originally published by Gemeinschaftlicher Widerstand.
In July 2017, tens of thousands of us set off for Hamburg, internationally and across all spectrums, to protest loudly and decisively against the summit meeting of the twenty economically and politically most powerful states in the world. As at other gatherings of bourgeois governments, authoritarian regimes and warring military blocs, we did not accept that they negotiate their economic and geopolitical interests undisturbed. We have taken to the streets against the capitalist system based on oppression and exploitation and which is responsible for the deaths of millions of people.
We took a firm stand against the G20 meeting. We were not deterred by prohibition zones or massive police violence. We have and will continue to take together our struggles to the streets – for a classless, anti-capitalist society without patriarchy, racism, fascism and climate crisis.
As it turned out already beforehand, the state once again relied on repression: dozens of house searches, withdrawal of journalists’ accreditation, bans on camps, break-up of the Welcome-to-Hell demo, prohibition of Indymedia Linksunten, six public searches with over 400 pictures of people and criminalization of protests, which has led to numerous criminal proceedings and convictions. Since December 2018 the Elbchaussee trial against five activists is running. Loïc, one of those affected, was released from custody (under reporting requirements) only recently, in December 2019, after 17 months. The trial against all defendants continues.
The public prosecutor’s office of Hamburg has now brought charges against 77 activists involved in the protests at Rondenbarg – at least seven political mass trials are imminent. In the morning of the first day of the summit, hundreds of people set out to block the access roads to the venue. At the industrial park “Rondenbarg”, police units attacked a demonstration without warning. During this attack, 14 demonstrators were seriously injured and had to be treated in hospital. Some have sustained permanent injuries and are still undergoing treatment. 59 activists were arrested. Fabio spent almost five months in custody. For 19 of the accused acitivists, the trial is to take place in camera because of their age at the time. All are accused of grievous breach of the peace, dangerous bodily harm, resisting and assaulting law enforcement officers, criminal property damage and formation of armed groups. As in the trial of “Elbchaussee”, the activists are not accused of individual actions. The subject of the indictment is the participation in a collective action. In this case, a common plan of action is invoked in connection with the blockades of various “fingers” on Friday morning. A conviction would mean a massive attack on the right of assembly.
Immediately before the G20 summit, criminal laws were tightened, including paragraphs 113 “Resistance against executing officers” and 114 “Assault on executing officers”. One and a half years later, the demand for a ban on “Rote Hilfe” (Red Aid) followed. Attacks on self-governing centres, the extension of police powers and the repression during the G7 in Biarritz last summer line up in this. The non-profit status of globalisation-critical and anti-fascist groups, such as Attac and the VVN-BdA, is denied. The Kurdish movement is also affected by massive repression. Numerous Kurdish comrades are criminalized and imprisoned on the basis of paragraph 129b “membership in a terrorist organization abroad”. Bans on flags and symbols, such as the YPG and YPJ, repeatedly lead to criminal proceedings nationwide.
We do not accept these developments. Let us remain collectively resistant and let’s confront united the massive repression.
Let us show through decentralized actions on Saturday before the start of the Rondenbarg trial that we will not be attacked in isolation, nor divided, nor criminalized. We respond to this system and its repression with practical resistance.
- Solidarity with all emancipatory struggles!
- Freedom for the prisoners! Stop all proceedings!
- Our solidarity against their repression!
- United We Stand!
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