Switzerland: Solidarity calls for young people that were arrested in July due to May Day actions

We demand freedom for the May 1st prisoners | July 21st, 2012
On Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 the police raided the homes of comrades. The majority of them are between 18 and 20 years old. It is obvious that repression is aiming at young people to show them that their existence might be at stake, to humiliate and to scare them while they are either still in school, in training or in a job. They were arrested and taken into custody. One of them is free again since Friday, July 13th. All of them have been taken in because of activities on May 1st, either at the demonstration in the morning as well as during the afternoon around the revolutionary fest on and around the Kanzlei area, in Zurich.

The State, represented by police, district attorneys and the justice system, is displaying their power politics insistently, by exhibiting that they want total control of all public spaces. They want to scare-off anyone who wants to be in a public space and display their own politics and ideas. This does not only become clear on May 1st, but also in an obvious increase of control and surveillance of public spaces, the chasing away of “undesired groups” under the pretext of up-boosting the value of the city (as it is daily done by police patrols at the Bäcker Park) or by persecuting participants of illegal parties. In all of these cases the attacks of the State aim at exhibiting power politics and to demonstrate that nothing and no one is tolerated in public spaces when used outside of state control.

We will not be intimidated and scared-off by these attacks. We know that public spaces are ours and we will use and defend them. That is why we have to work together to fight and defend our spaces.

You are invited to sign this solidarity call. If you or your organization wants to sign this manifesto write an email to jugend[at]aufbau.org and send it on to others.

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Arrests because of May 1st
On Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 the police raided the homes of comrades. They were arrested and taken into custody. They have been accused of having taken part in illegal actions on May 1st.

These arrests seamlessly fit into other repressive actions of the police in the past months. State authorities have made it clear that activities in public places that are outside of official control are regarded as illegal and will be stopped or even raided by police forces. Whether it was one of the parties on a public square in Zurich in the summer of 2011, or an illegal party in an abandoned industrial complex in Basle in 2012, soccer fans that marched the streets towards the stadium, or now, people in the streets on May 1st, 2012: When people take to the streets without official permission, the State (represented by police, district attorneys and the justice system) reacts in a tough way. There are long term custodies for the people they arrest; a huge amount of work is put into finding culprits (by police spending hours looking at films and photographs). Additionally, there is an immense number of police in riot gear and lots of police in civil clothing or in disguise on days like May 1st; all this to try to prove an offence that the law calls “breach of the country’s peace” (Landfriedensbruch).

We will use public spaces – they will not stop us!

Public space is vital for us; we need it to communicate, to work out ideas and to get into contact with others. It is the place where political, social and cultural ideas can be shared with others. We need space that cannot be controlled by police, where we can party without the pressure to spend money. We need and use it for solidarity events and demonstrations. No one will stop us from using public spaces.

This also means that we have to be aware of the significance that using public spaces has for us. We have to occupy these spaces and defend them. In other words, let’s not just talk about what we want to do, but actually do it. Public space is there to be used by us; it is not there to be controlled by repressive police. Let’s defend our public space when they try to suppress resistance the way they did with these arrests. Let’s not be fooled when the State tries to control our activities by handing out “party-permissions” in Zurich for (illegal) parties that were formerly beyond the State’s control.

The initiative must remain in our hands.

Our arrested comrades are in good condition. One of them is free again since Friday, July 13th. All of them have been accused of disturbing the “public peace”. They are trying to prosecute some for burning fireworks and also for injuring a policeman in civil clothing. Our comrades refuse to testify. They have good lawyers. Solidarity is strong; we are setting off fireworks regularly in front of the prisons where our comrades are held captive to let them know they are not alone. If you are interested in solidarity work write to rotehilfe[at]aufbau.org. Mail for the captives can be sent via Rote Hilfe, Postfach 1121, CH-8026 Zürich.

Experience shows that it makes sense to stay active after being arrested. A person under arrest that strictly refuses to testify and has a lawyer has a better chance to not be convicted. These are legal rights that every person who is arrested has and which should be used. Quite a few of the people that were arrested last summer at the illegal parties have meanwhile – with the help of lawyers – been acquitted. Other comrades that were arrested on May 1st have not been convicted since they refused to testify and did not accept any penal orders. We are sure that our comrades that have been arrested will fight collectively, stay militant and not be affected by scary threats.

Let’s turn the tables – take capitalism to trial!

Rote Hilfe Schweiz, July 2012
aufbau.org | rjz.ch

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