Here is an article from the anarchist newssheet “Wut im Bauch” (distributed only in paper form) about recent events in Hamburg. Additionally, there is a short report-back from a further “wild stroll” against control, which occurred recently. The texts in German here.
Out of Control
For the last few months, in Hamburg, there has been a broad based campaign of state repression and control. Some of these events deserve a closer examination. The few examples provided here are only a small selection of everyday repression, but they provide a precise picture of recent developments, and should be understood as experiments by the guardians of order. They want to create an environment of permanent fear and unbroken respect for their order, so as to assure its smooth functioning.
Unmasking and compromising the “danger zones”
What is for a long time already the reality in St. Georg around the Hansaplatz, and in St. Pauli (around the Reeperbahn, the red light district of Hamburg) has, since the first of June 2013, reached the Schanzenviertel. A “permanent danger zone” has been established, and the cops have been authorized to carry out controls at any time at any place. The related scenarios and their effects can be clearly seen in the St. Georg district. Large groups of cops are specifically controlling and harassing those who are undesirables, for example those not able to pay for things or those who are excluded on the basis of racist thinking. What is taking place here, under the guise of security, is easy to reveal.
In St. Georg the sex workers should be disposed of, and socially, which is to say financially weaker people should be displaced in order to develop the area and make it more profitable. In the case of the Schanzenviertel the goals are the same, however the “danger zone” here is primarily directed at the drug scene, and against those who are “migrant looking” and therefore, on racist grounds, automatically associated with it. Let us be clear: the cops do not need any special justification for controls. If there is any doubt, their law is on their side. Danger zones are auxiliary to larger demonstrations of power and targeted campaigns of repression through permanent bullying and control.
Don’t put up with anything
On the 11th of July in the evening, on Holstenstraße, a confrontation between police and younger inhabitants took place. Once again, the cops had controlled a small group of young people, and along clear racist criteria people who do not fit into the picture of the police were harassed. On that late evening they defended themselves and clashed with the police, resulting in injuries and arrests. Residents expressed solidarity, and therefore brought law enforcements image of acceptability into doubt. In the following days there was an atmosphere of tension around the Holstenstraße. During the following evenings, groups of hundreds gathered in large groups, in part to show solidarity. The cops occupied the surrounding area, and drove up and down the same street in minute-long intervals, with backup ready and undercover cops deployed as well. Outbursts of rage would follow.
A few cars were torched, and there were attacks on the police. The following weekend, on the 20th of July, there was a demonstration in solidarity with the victims of repression and against control. This demo emerged out of a neighbourhood assembly. A participant in the demo summed things up well: “Don’t put up with anything…”
The self-organized resistance, and broad solidarity, despite the media propaganda that tried to make the problem one of religion and migration, is a sign that the incidents in Altona were not an exception or an unfortunate accident. They are a reality which many have long been aware of. The confrontation with the cops, and the willingness to resist, did not come from thin air, and the Holstenstraße isn’t located in some isolated suburb that would likely be referred to as a “problem area.” The persons who met each other on the streets during those evenings exchanged ideas and understood that they share a world, even if they are affected to differing degrees by its excesses. The events of July are something that can flare up again anywhere and at any time.
Hand and hand in the name of security and control
On Friday evening, the 26th of July, over 200(!) pigs from the local police, the federal police, the Deutsche Bahn security (cops of the national railway system, who also provide security at local commuter train stations) and the transit security authority launched a large coordinated offensive in the name of “objective and subjective security.” Around 6,000 people were controlled in the commuter train and subway stations. There were hundreds of fines and charges pressed against individuals, and once again coins rattled in the pockets of the Hamburg transit system, not to mention the courts.
Uniforms of every colour and armed guards in every corner; this is how security and freedom taste!? The cooperation between the ministry of the interior, the transportation authorities, the cops, the local transit security and the Deutsche Bahn isn’t any surprise; rather a quite logical coalition of those who have an interest in a climate of fear, surveillance and monitoring to help the uninterrupted functioning of their businesses. This is felt clearly by those who cannot, or will not, play along. Meanwhile, for example, large-scale control operations in coordination with cops are the reality at the S-Bahn (high-speed commuter rail) station Veddel. The only fair conclusion that can be drawn from such an attack on all who wish to live free and uncontrolled is: We are defiant and refuse to pay at all.
Let’s become uncontrollable!
All of these examples make it clear that the city isn’t a neutral space. Instead it is defined by the collaboration and interplay between mechanisms of Domination. It begs the question how we oppose this totality, when repressive attacks have advanced so far into our everyday life. The resistance to such a reality, against this situation, must start from everyday subversion. We come together, and unmask oppression and exploitation where we encounter them, both in their smallest forms and at the root.
We confront them and attack them. It requires a new uncontrolled way to oppose these outgrowths of repressive conditions. For example, on the 24th of August, there was the “uncontrolled stroll” against monitoring through the Karolinenviertel to the nearby jail. Posters and flyers against “danger zones”, cops, prisons, repression and their world were distributed and wheat-pasted, and slogans were sprayed without the cops being able to intervene. For such a stroll nothing more is needed than flyers, posters, wheat paste, spray cans, a bit of knowledge of the area, and a group of comrades.
People came into contact, conversations and discussions with each other, became aware of conflict, and before the cops came, were all gone or disappeared into the passing crowd. Let’s create many dangerous moments and places for every control mechanism.
For an uncontrollable life, free of Domination!
Article from the anarchist newssheet “Wut im Bauch” Nr. 6, September 2013
Unregistered demo against “danger zones” and racist police controls through the Schanzenviertel in Hamburg
On the evening of the 13th of September 2013, nearly 60 people marched, loud and masked, through Hamburg’s newest “danger zone,” the Schanzenviertel.
Since the first of June this area has been declared a so-called danger zone, and there have been stronger, regular, and in large part racist controls put into place. Meanwhile, over 200 restraining orders from certain locations have been put into place, too. We no longer wish to accept these conditions without resistance. Therefore we find it important, on many different levels, to become active and begin to resist all of this shit.
During the march, posters were wheat-pasted, hundreds of flyers were distributed and slogans sprayed. To attract attention fireworks were set off. After the protest march took its planned route through the neighbourhood, it dissolved itself at the S-Bahn station Sternschanze. The alarmed, but too late to arrive, anti-riot squad and countless undercover cops drifted aimlessly for a time after the march through the streets.
For diverse actions against a city of authority and control!