Joint call of the Red Aid Leipzig & the Investigation Committee Dresden for the TagX demonstration to mark the end of the Antifa Ost trial
The Antifa East trial is coming to an end. So far so good, because politically there, at the Hammerweg in Dresden, is only little to achieve. The whole trial has shown in an exhaustive way how tough and tedious the fight against the mills of justice can be. The absurd length and detailed nature of the evidence also helped to depoliticize what the defendants were accused of. In essence, it is not about proving that one or the other was involved in one or the other assault. In essence, it is about applying the construct of a criminal organization to organized antifascism and thus being able to criminalize a political stance.
The Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow of § 129 StGB
For many years, at least since 2009, the Saxon investigative authorities investigated anti-fascist groups and individuals. The accusation was always the same: Formation of a criminal organization. However, this accusation never made it to court. The result of many years of breaking their own basic rights and intimidation attempts of the copslegal were always the termination of the legal procedures. For a long time, even in Saxony, a commitment to consistent anti-fascism did not end in court and certainly not with a conviction. The § 129 StGB was a snooping paragraph that allowed the police to investigate anti-fascists and other political opponents marked as enemies.
The verdict in the Antifa East trial will – with the highest probability – change this. This is because a 2017 amendment to the law removed most of the criteria necessary for concrete evidence of the crime from §§ 129 a/b. It no longer requires proof of the duration or nature of a group’s cooperation to qualify it as an association. The distinction between so-called petty offenses and more serious offenses according to the law was also abolished. In the Dresden proceedings, the accusation of „criminal association“ always serves as a stopgap when other evidence and circumstantial evidence could not be found. In this way, the BAW tries to establish involvement in the crime simply on the basis of the knowledge that people know each other and talk about their political stance.
This is where the special problem with §§ 129 a/b StGB crystallizes: These are public-spirited paragraphs that are primarily aimed at investigating networks of relationships and making political attitudes a punishable offense. It is about opinions, relationships, relations. These are marked as hostile, made into criminal offenses and prosecuted. Only in this point of view is it at all conceivable that people who are accused of nothing more than a relationship with others are dragged into the proceedings. In court, there is then talk of „psychological aid“ as an „act of support“ for the criminal association.
These convictions would have far-reaching consequences for all of us, individually and as a movement. If it is enough to know someone in order to be convicted, then any roommate, friend, or co-worker could be accused of „psychic aid“ in the future – instead of being called as a witness as before. Accused people would be isolated out of fear of this contact guilt, repression would no longer be talked about out of fear, further divisions would follow. Many people would either withdraw from political practice or descend into complete clandestinity, with negative consequences for necessary debate and critique.
Solidarity (and encryption) instead of fear
Even more urgently than before, it is now necessary to build a poitical movement that opposes this and catches us. Repression must no longer be individualized. „We are all meant“ must finally become practical! Prison work must no longer be dumped only on caregivers; supporters also need support! Instead of distancing oneself after every militant act, it is necessary to take this ongoing attack on our ideas seriously, to talk about one’s own fears, to organize with reliable and caring people, to be in solidarity and to finally secure one’s own contacts and data carriers, because only encrypted cell phones and laptops could not be used in the current trial to implicate other people.
A fair trial
When the militant group (mg) was to be sentenced in 2009, the defense of the three defendants refused to enter a plea. The trial had demonstrated by all means that there could be no justice for the defendants in this court. Why give it a nice appearance?¹
The criticism of that time is the same that we have today: An absurd police presence at the court, intimidation of the participants in the proceedings and the public, parallel files and investigations by the prosecution, and the demonstrative refusal of the Senate to take note of all this. As already said, we do not expect much from the organs of this state. Their task is to secure the rule of the state and capital.
But we demand of all those who think that things are always decently democratic here to open their eyes and oppose it. Refuse the hypocrisies that leftist misanthropes are persecuted here, the whispering about criminal connections, violence and terror. What we have had to listen to in the last two years of investigation and trial – whether from parts of the press or police spokespeople – is a massive shift to the right. One can be of the opinion that violence in the fight against Nazis produces more harm than good, or criticize the connection between militancy and violence in personal relationships. That can be argued politically, and we can and should discuss it again. But it’s also important to keep in mind: There are Nazis and fascists. If they can do what they want undisturbed, this world will only consist of barbed wire, violence and the corpses of their victims. And there are people who have decided that they will not stand idly by and watch the fascist activities or rely on the fact that someone else will do something at some point. Even if the trial showed that some people didn’t realize that: Antifa means more than chasing Nazis, Antifa means questioning the whole thing. So there are reasons to show solidarity even if you don’t agree with the chosen means in detail.
That is why we are going to Leipzig on day X. We are going there because this procedure threatens and unsettles us. Because we want to practice cohesion instead of division and strengthen each other. Because we are in solidarity with the convicted antifascists and will be with the next!
We say it again and in all clarity: To be a Nazi means to get problems. For more militant antifascism!
From Dresden there will be a joint train journey to the TagX demonstration in Leipzig. More info will follow.