Back in the old days, I used to worry sometimes, when doing a talk, that
there were cops present, and I might be breaking this or that law by,
you know, inciting to riot or whatever, until one days a cops walked up
to a friend of mine and asked: Hey, how long is that guy gonna stay
speaking…and what the hell is he talking about? Ha, cops, us, different
worlds, don’t even hear what we are saying. Add to that that today, we
are apparently no more important than three Moroccan kids hanging out:
only one sad cop car showed up.
Anyway, thanks for hanging out here on this wind torn island of relative
political awareness, I hope to send you back to reality and its many
joys and horrors in a few moments after dousing you in some big words
and hollow phrases. It will be up to you to make them a reality.
So I think we can conclude we don’t want our particular G20 arrestant in
jail. But is there perhaps more we want? Will we ever be satisfied? No.
We are insatiable. Does Peike deserve to be free because he is a fellow
anarchist, or because of what he did or did not do in the streets of
Hamburg? Does he deserve freedom because we may feel solidarity with the
participants of the demo he was at, that was attacked by water cannon,
baton and pepper spray? Does he deserve freedom because he is such a
friendly guy, such a joy of a person to hang out with?
All of that may be true, but it isn’t quite the point here, I think. He
deserves to be free because living creatures do not belong in cages. And
why is it that we still have to debate that? Why do we still have to
protest this shit? What do we want, what is an attractive vision for us
to live together? Let’s see…Freedom, or Repression? Jails or grassy
fields? Laws and prisons and police, or dealing with our problems as
real human beings? How is that even a debate? How is it not self-evident
that being against repression is the right thing and the fun thing,
while being for repression is fucking pathetic?
The point is not to ask for such a grotesque thing as a more
‘proportional’ punishment. Freedom is the point. Talk, debate, argue,
break fences, break Laws, of the mind and of the State. Come to the demo
in your most decent outfit. Come to the demo dressed in black. Come in a
clowns costume for all I care. Come peaceful. Come militant. Come funny.
Come filled with love. Come filled with anger. Or you know what, don’t
come to the demo at all but go out there and spray paint the walls,
organize a prisoner support group, write a beautiful and personal letter
to Peike or someone else the assholes are trying to crush. Be kind, be
courteous, share stuff, bake cookies, squat houses, get real about
direct action and decide what is in your power to do.
The bottom line has to be and has always been, as we say it in Dutch.
“Alle arrestanten onmiddelijk vrij!” All prisoners need to be released,
yesterday. Also, do not limit yourself to prison abolition. I think,
just assuming, that Peike would be happy if you fight racism, borders,
sexism, heteropatriarchy, your boss or the Grey Blanket and the Boredom
of Business as Usual.
Now let’s see that we organize in such a way as to make these hollow
phrases a lived reality. So that we can see face to face with those
people we miss and that are locked up for a thousand bullshit reasons.
So that we can go bake apple pie or lie around in the grass or read a
book instead of hanging out on political meetings where some idiot was
dragged onto the stage to talk Utopia without actually doing anything.
But achieving something real will not prove very difficult if everyone
does a bit of the work. If the, shall we say ten percent of the people
who have any affinity with radical freedom had done just a word here and
there, a little bit of breaking a fence, a little bit of de-arresting, a
little bit of being very clear in stating that the threat of putting
people in cages is a perverted basis for living together, if we all
would have just kept on ruggedly sprinkling sand into the machine, Peike
and the others would not have to be freed, because jails would have
already been an absurdity from the Dark Ages.
The judge who sentenced Peike had an interesting word of warning for all
of us. He specified police officers are no free game, free shooting
material for the Spassgesellschaft. I thing in my limited understanding
of German that this would translate roughly to the Society of Joy,
although he may have meant it to sound less appealing. Now I don’t know
what herr Krieke wants instead of a Society built in Joy, but it cannot
be much good. So let’s give him what he accuses us of. Let’s lay the
First Stone in this monument to human empathy and pleasure tonight and
let’s continue building the Monument until it stands solid and vital
enough to wipe away the joyless and sterile Knastgesellschaft: the
prison society. So let’s infuse these hollow words with enough love for
each other and hate for the system. Let’s go out and build the
How the G20 caused so much repression and how we experience the repression now in Hamburg
The escalation of the protests were intended. Already in May increasing penalties were legally confirmed, border -and tracking controls were made precautiously. The medias were talking about which police unit was coming when and which equipment they would bring along. To make the G20 Summit happen in a city like Hamburg, the authorities used these given circumstances for a counterinsurgency on trial.
Andy Grote, minister of the interior in Hamburg already claimed before the summit : „The G20 summit will also be an example for police work in a modern way.“ We all then experiencend what that modern police work was like – 31 000 Cops in total, with appropriate equipment for counterinsurgency among them EU- special units like Cobra from Austria and the german special unit SEK. Their formal tasks were bordercontrols, travel bans, protection of the delegates and their venue, gathering bans – everything for safety. Their informal tasks were harassments of demonstrants in the streets and in detention.
Not for nothing the position in charge for the police operations was passed to Hartmut Dudde, a police officer in charge, who already has been presented himself as merciless against the alt-left, who is acting against the law on purpose and who perkily tell his critics : „Sue me!“ Further, a prediction of incredible danger for the G20participants was lanced in the media and driven forth by utterings of police and politicians. Special concerns had been about the demonized „black bloc“, who will gather and destroy all Hamburg. Accordingly the police got a blank ticket from both politicians and judiciary to proceed with the G20 demonstrants how they pleased. So the protestcamps were declared illegal from the police, as it was sleeping in tents in general and they finally brutally attempted to evict the camp at Entenwerder, although it has been approved by court before. With that strategy though, they didn’t do themselves any favour. Critics were risen, people reacted with huge solidarity. Both private people and institutions opened their houses to provide sleeping places, among them there had been the FC St Pauli, theatres and churches. The following days the critique and the incomprehension concerning the police’s operations, increased a lot. This found its climax in the brutal attack on the WTH demonstration July 6th, which only by luck ended without any deads.
That was the last straw on the camel’s back. It was pay-back-time. People were now in deep anger, so the appropriate answer on this coup follwed quick already in Thursday night.
Friday morning then, the announcend actions to block the red zone started, but also other actions took place where people took revenge for the police’s harassments in the days before. Naturally the cops maintain their hard line and harmed people intentionally really bad, among them 11 activists on Rondenbarg, who had to attend the emergency room immadiately. Several of them suffered even compound fractures from the beating of the cops. Friday night then at the Schanzenviertel people succeeded to keep the police out of the quarter over several hours. Maybe it was not so much our actions and more the fact, that the police was rather busy with protecting the route of the G20 delegations. Anyhow, in these hours free of any authorities many things happened – both beautiful and less beautiful ones. Politicians, media and police reacted by claiming a dystopic picture about an uprising and assumed that activists had been prepared ambushs for the police. That picture was supported by sending the german SEK in to the quarter armed with machine guns and the order to shoot. These news were spreaded in the media, so the whole setting at Schanzenviertel was put on stage as a very dangerous situation. Unfortunately that worked, all of the sudden the reasonable citique on the police’s operation was gone and they became the heroes instead.
So whats now left after G20? The G20 prisoners are the scape goats in this dirty game. For the court, the media and the politics they are to blame for both the happenings of July 7th and the failed safety plan of the police. We get assured of that in every single trial. In the court’s eyes every single one of them is to blame and every single sentence is justified by general prevention. Before the trial started, the politicians demanded a very strict punishment, the courts are following up on that, although they claim not to do that.
Peike was the unluckiest one. The judge, Johann Krieten, who sentencend him, is known as demagogue, alt-left hater plus beeing greedy for the media’s attention. So it was clear, the sentence will be out of everything, we’ve experiencend so far. Peike though, had been the only one so far, who decided to use his right to say nothing in front of the court, who did not show any regrets or distanced himself from his political attitude. Why should he? The protests against the G20 summit in all their forms had been right and successful. Successful, because we all made it repeatedly to the streets to show resistance against the summit and its bystanders. We were successful, because it is not the pictures of the politicians nonsense chit-chat at the summit, which is dominating the media, but the growing resistance against their politics
However the most of the prisoners are uncertain, the most of them only want to get out of custidy and get home. And they think the only way is to say sorry, to show remorse and to distance themselves from their political intentions. Because after Peikes trial there had been two more hearings with pleading to the charges, which ended with sentences on probation. So every one else choose this strategy in spite of their laywers advices and in spite of they are political thinking persons. The newest clou at the court is to take some DNA as a condition of probation. At the moment, we have about 3-4 trials a week.
On Wednesday morning the cops raided 16 different houses and appartments of mainly not political organized teenagers in Hamburg and surrounding, because of the lootings in Schanzenviertel on July 7th. Additional there are investigations against 3-4- spokepersons from both WTH – alliance and the BlockG20-alliance in accusation of apealing of violation of the public peace. We don’t know yet what else will come, but we have to be prepared for everything.
In spite of all these tribulations and no matter what– we don’t let us criminalize.
Free Peike and the other G20 Prisoners!! We remain strong!
United We Stand!