Dresden. Germany. 08 September. 2021. We look back on a long and exhausting day. As early as 5:30 a.m., a bus from Leipzig left for the trial in Dresden, and by 7:30 a.m., about 80 people were already at the rally in front of the Dresden Higher Regional Court (OLG). Later, a bicycle demo joined them. In the course of the day, the rally grew to about 200 people. Many moving speeches were held, including a very moving one by Lina’s mother.
By 9:00 a.m., it was already clear what image the security authorities wanted to create at the start of the trial. During Lina‘s arrival, a helicopter circled over the rally and hundreds of police officers were deployed in front of the court. A convoy of several police vehicles transported her to the back entrance of the OLG.
Around the rally, the police presence also increased during the day. The fascists present staged journalists. Under police protection, they began to film the rally. Among others, the former Berlin NPD leader Sebastian Schmidtke and Nele Schier, who is active under the pseudonym “Emma Stabel” for the NPD press outlet “Deutsche Stimme”. Also present were the relevant lawyers for the incidental action, Frank Hannig and Martin Kohlmann. Hannig represented, among others, the far-right terrorist Stephan Ernst, who murdered the CDU politician Walter Lübke. In the current proceedings he represents the Wurzner neo-Nazi Cedric Scholz. He has been active as a lawyer and central figure in the far-right scene for some time. He is currently running as a non-party direct candidate for the Bundestag elections.
The trial began directly with a scandal: In the courtroom, Martin Kohlmann, a fascist from Chemnitz and representative of the incidental action, took a photo of the defendants and published it on social media via his comrade Sebastian Schmidtke, despite a clear ban on videos and pictures. The defense did not want to accept this and requested a visual protection for their clients.
Immediately after the trial began, the presiding judge, Hans Schlüter-Staats, showed how he thought the trial should proceed. He tried to block the submissions of the defense and to start directly with the reading of the indictment. According to lawyer Ulrich von Klinggräff, the defense was to be “obstructed by the court come hell or high water”. For this reason, the trial was interrupted for 30 minutes even before the actual start. Further details on the course of the first day of the trial as well as the statements of the defense will follow in the coming days.
In the hours that followed, the Dresden police were still very much on the move around the OLG and especially around the rally. Meanwhile, we received countless expressions of solidarity from all over Europe, many of them via social media. At times, #FreeLina was number two in the German Twitter charts.
After a long day, the court hearing ended around 6:00 pm.
We want to thank all people who were on the ground today and showed solidarity in various ways.
Anti-fascism remains necessary and legitimate!
Soli Antifa Ost, 08. September, 2021
More Information und Updates (in German): https://www.soli-antifa-ost.org/