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Sketches of the last few years anti-militarist praxis in Germany


This article has been written for the Italian anarchist monthly “Invece” (“Instead of”) in April 2011, aiming to offer a view about some episodes – despite the vast nature of the theme – which happened during the last years which have contributed to the revival of the debate concerning the funeral march of the German military machine and not only. Episodes which are linked together through a red (and black) thread: that show that today like yesterday it remains possible to be sand in the cogs of militarism.

On how a repressive coup can be transformed into counter-attack…

In July 2007 three comrades have been arrested. Oliver, Axel and Florian are brutally stopped by police special forces units in Brandenburg/Havel, near Berlin, just after they left some incendiary devices under some trucks which belonged to the German army. Since a long time there had been an investigation mounting against them – and four other comrades, from which one is going to get arrested on the same day – conducted by the federal criminal police (BKA) : all of them have been accused of membership within the “Militant Group” (MG), a clandestine formation which had been active since 2001 mostly in Berlin and which has carried out a couple of dozen incendiary attacks against symbols of repression (courts and police) and capitalist exploitation (different kind of enterprises).

Source: http://325.nostate.net/library/9-325-net.pdf weiter...

2 Years later

…and still no end of the repression

2 years after the protests against the NATO summit in Strasbourg a new trial against a former arrested person is going to begin. After 4 months in jail, Jan was acquitted by the appeal court in Colmar. Shortly after the verdict, the chief prosecutor appealed. After this was accepted by the Paris court of appeal, the process will be reopened.

The charges made by the french state still remain: carrying a weapon of the 6th category and being part of an unlawful assembly. Also the prosecutors are going to try to construct a membership of the so called “Black Bloc”. Jan threaten up to three years detention without probation again.

Also Matthias got his verdict of his civil process not long ago. Because of his entry ban he couldn´t personally appear to his trial. The amount of the required sum is 6000 euro. With this verdict the court clearly differs from the first claims of the plaintiff. At the beginning of the trial, the plaintiff wanted to have around 30000 euro. Given that the concerned police officer fell during the detention without the assistance of Matthias, this verdict is a cheek.

Source: email weiter...

NATO summit in Strasbourg/France

Pic: NATO-Gipfel 2009 Satellitenaufklärung

On April 4 2009, the leaders of the 26 NATO countries met in Kehl and Strasbourg. Extensive security measures were being implemented in both cities. In the course of the ARGOS project, satellite images of both cities on that day were taken to provide examples for the possibilities and limitations of satellitebased analyses of large-scale events.

Source: http://www.zki.dlr.de/applications/2009/germany/170_en.html weiter...


Welcome to the website of the NATO Welcoming Committee. The committee is linked to the Anti-Militarist Network.

In November the NATO Parliamentary Assembly will meet in Edinburgh. As anti-militarists we aim to shut it down.

We are calling for a mass demo to try and shut down NATO on Friday the 13th of November, the first day of the assembly.

Source: http://natowc.noflag.org.uk weiter...

We're not the only ones to stifle dissent

Bild: Strasbourg

Police tactics at the G20 demonstrations reflect an Europe–wide trend to conflate terrorism and protest as equal threats to security

Tony Bunyan

The death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protest adds another name to the sad list of those who have died as a result of police tactics at protests. In 1974, Kevin Gateley died in Red Lion Square, during a protest at a National Front meeting. Blair Peach was killed in April 1979, by members of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Patrol Group (SPG). Peach was protesting the National Front’s decision to march through Southall. One SPG officer told a judicial inquiry led by Lord Scarman that his unit had cut through the demonstrators “like knife through butter”. In Italy, Carlo Giuliani was shot dead by police at the G8 protest in Genoa on 20 July 2001. Fifteen-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos was shot in Athens in December 2008. The deaths of protestors at the hands of the police are still rare but worryingly they are occuring more frequently and the number of injuries protestors suffer is also on the rise.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/may/08/civil-liberties-protest weiter...

Riot police fire tear gas at prison guards

Riot police have fired tear gas at guards blocking France's biggest prisons in a dispute relating to overcrowding

By Henry Samuel in Paris

Warders blocked the exits of several jails in a bid to stop prisoners being transferred to law courts.

The guards are furious with Rachida Dati, the outgoing justice minister, who they accuse of failing to take their grievances seriously over the past year.

Miss Dati is expected to leave the government next month to become a MEP, and unions fear she no longer has sufficient clout to make any firm commitments.

Under French law, guards have no right to strike, but those on days off have set up barricades to demand more staff and better working conditions in prisons that have reached bursting point.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/5279677/Riot-police-fire-tear-gas-at-prison-guards.html weiter...

Call for a picnic to support the political prisoners of the NATO summit:

May 5, 2009 at 12am the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Strasbourg

The "Legal Team" of Strasbourg invites everyone to gather for a picnic (remember to bring your food) in front of the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Strasbourg to support the accused of the NATO summit.
That day the stakes are high: at 2pm there will be the trials of some of the arrested.

Source: email weiter...

"Press Special Forces"

Pic: Europa-Brücke

BERLIN/BADEN-BADEN (GFP report) - The reporting on the NATO summit at the beginning of April was controlled centrally, and coordinated by arrangement with the agencies of repression of the state, as evidenced by statements by staff of the Südwestfunk (SWR) [the state broadcasting corporation in Baden-Württemberg]. According to this, the declared objective was to make the "official images" the "dominant images". The journalists accredited with NATO were prepared for their job by a trained war reporter, in close collaboration with the Baden-Württemberg police. The man in charge runs a private "security" company which trains the managers of German firms for secondment to war zones, and, he himself says, includes members of "police and military special units" among his trainers. He recently proposed that a "Special Forces Command" of government-paid press spokesmen be deployed in "cases of crises", such as terrorist attacks, which the authorities did not preclude on the occasion of the NATO summit.

Source: http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/de/fulltext/57514 weiter...

After Strasbourg: On dealing with violence in one's own ranks

Pic: Europa-Brücke

“The more violence, the less revolution,” Bart de Ligt wrote in The Conquest of Violence in 1936. If we accept this, then there was very little revolution in Strasbourg, despite all the romantic revolutionary rhetoric from certain groupings. I put this first in order to make it clear that this is a critique from a revolutionary perspective, and not a criticism of violence from a Green or Left-Party state-reformist point of view which accepts the state's monopoly on the use of force.

But as grass-roots revolutionaries, as nonviolent anarchists, we must also deal with violence from the ranks of social movements, for this violence is counterproductive from our perspective on revolution.

Source: http://wri-irg.org/node/7270 weiter...

Discussion following my report "NATO Demo in Strasbourg ends in disarray..."

Bild: Logo

Dear Friends,

I am forwarding some of the comments I received following the eye-witness report that I wrote on April 5th, the day after the demonstration in Strasbourg. (“NATO Demo in Strasbourg ends in disarray following attacks by ‘hooligans’ and police”

The comments I received suggest that we ought to consider analyzing what happened in Strasbourg within an international and historical framework. For a more detailed and reflective report on Strasbourg that raises some of the same issues, see “Ingredients for a Disaster: NATO, Strasbourg and the Black Block” by Diana Johnstone (http://www.counterpunch.org/johnstone04072009.html). Maybe she, also, has received some interesting comments?

Source: email weiter...

Strasbourg protests: down the memory hole?

Bild: Camp Strasbourg

For reasons that perhaps are not entirely inexplicable, the demonstration against NATO last Saturday has been all but ignored by the bourgeois press. Over 30,000 activists demonstrating on the city of Strasbourg has been reduced to the activities of tens of Black Block supporters. Unfortunately it has also somewhat slipped through the lefty-media as well, (barring Socialist Worker). This is a shame as throughout the weekend there were clearly considerable steps forward to building international solidarity with other anti-capitalist/socialist organisations throughout Europe, but there were a lot of hard lessons learnt as well.

Source: http://leninology.blogspot.com/2009/04/strasbourg-protests-down-memory-hole.html weiter...

Soldiers as street fighters

France’s urban war games more frequent and realistic

When war became urban (Berlin in 1945, or more recently Chechnya) cities and people were ravaged. Now, given the rise in population of towns and cities, the French army must familiarise itself with more subtle warfare where all-out destruction is not an option

by Philippe Leymarie


No peace with NATO!

Bild: Strasbourg

On the 4th of April in Strasbourg there was an uprising against the NATO-summit, against its foreign wars and their homeland war on resistance. Anarchists had already revolted last December after the murder in Athens and during the G20 protests in London. At these protests a man was beaten by the police resulting in his death. In Strasbourg the riots were initiated by Autonomists and the youths of the Banlieue. The authorities intentionally pushed the riots into the poorer parts of the city, here the population demonstrated a large level of support and solidarity with the violence towards the police force.

Source: Gipfelsoli Presseverteiler | Autonome Antifa Freiburg weiter...

Strasbourg - north blockade

As part of the anti-NATO summit protests, several blockades were organised to stop, or hinder, access to the red zone - the part of Strasbourg that was completely closed off and where the summit took place.

These blockades were done under the "Block-NATO" umbrella ; one of those, the north blockade organized by "NATO-ZU", was strictly nonviolent.

Source: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/04/426974.html weiter...

French policeman denounces superiors' NATO summit strategy

Bild: Strasbourg

France's police force has landed in hot water for its actions during the Strasbourg NATO summit over the weekend. In an email to unions leaked to AFP, a policeman blames his superiors for putting his life in danger.

A police officer who was trapped inside the Strasbourg hotel that was burnt by protesters during the NATO summit last weekend has blamed his superiors for putting his and his colleagues’ lives in danger.

Source: http://www.france24.com/en/20090408-policeman-denounces-french-police-strategy-during-nato-summit-strassbourg weiter...

State will pay for Strasbourg damage

Bild: Strasbourg

STRASBOURG will receive compensation for the damage caused by rioters during a Nato summit.

The Interior Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie has announced that the government will foot the bill after questions were raised about the effectiveness of policing during the summit.

The minister said the state would help all those who had suffered losses to property or business as a result of the riots.

Ms Alliot-Marie defended the police and said they had “acted with professionalism” against “the real threat of extremist violent gangs”.

Source: http://www.connexionfrance.com/news_articles.php?id=747 weiter...

French court condemns anti-Nato rioters

A French court gave out sentences ranging from three to six months jail for eleven people involved in an anti-Nato riot in Strasbourg on Saturday. At least 300 people were arrested and 49, among them 15 police officers, suffered minor injuries.

AFP – A French court on Monday handed out sentences of up to six months in jail to youths who took part in weekend riots that saw a hotel set on fire during the NATO summit.

Seven French, three Germans and a Hungarian were sentenced at a rowdy hearing in the eastern city of Strasbourg during which the judge cleared the courtroom after protestors began chanting “fascists”.

Source: http://www.france24.com/en/20090406-france-strasbourg-french-court-condemns-anti-nato-rioters weiter...

Ingredients for a Disaster: NATO, Strasbourg and the Black Block

Bild: Strasbourg


NATO creates threats wherever it goes. That is its business. Whether in Afghanistan or in Strasbourg, the foreign military presence provokes violent rebellion, especially from young men who feel challenged. Their violent rebellion is cited to justify an increase in repressive violence. And so it goes…

This cycle of violence was played out last Saturday, April 4, in Strasbourg, where thousands of police and a small number of Black Block street fighters stole the show from what should have been the launching of a new European mass movement against NATO war policy. The peace demonstration was squashed and disintegrated by armed police as black-hooded youths threw stones and set fires.

Source: http://www.counterpunch.org/johnstone04072009.html weiter...

French court sentences 3 Germans for NATO protests

STRASBOURG, France (AP) - A judicial official says a court in Strasbourg has sentenced three Germans detained during last week's violent protests at a NATO summit to short prison terms.
The official says the three, aged 23-25, were handed prison terms Monday ranging from three months to six months. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in accordance with judicial policy.
The three were convicted of throwing stones at police officers and carrying weapons including a metal bar and a hatchet. Only one of the three denied the charges.

Source: http://www.pr-inside.com/french-court-sentences-3-germans-for-r1166992.htm weiter...

Police arrest 300 at Nato summit

Bild: G8 2007

Paris - French police arrested 300 anti-Nato protesters during a summit in Strasbourg marking the 60th anniversary of the alliance, Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said on Sunday.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets on Saturday - police said they numbered 10 000 but organisers put turnout at 30 000 - with radicals setting fire to a hotel, a pharmacy and a disused customs office.

Alliot-Marie said police had been tracking hardcore protesters for several days and "prevented them from committing a certain number of acts of violence" during the two-day summit attended by 28 leaders.

"We carried out 300 arrests," she told RTL radio. "We weren't able to catch all of them because this is a type of urban guerrilla where they commit offenses and then disappear."

Source: http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?from=rss_Europe&set_id=1&click_id=24&art_id=nw20090405154835899C596807 weiter...