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From cs.ubc.ca!destroyer!uunet!emba-news.uvm.edu!moose.uvm.edu!aforum Sun Oct 11 20:52:59 PDT 1992
Article: 11764 of alt.activism
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From: aforum@moose.uvm.edu (Autonome Forum)
Subject: AF/ATS: neo-nazi violence in Germany
Message-ID: <1992Oct12.004412.7793@uvm.edu>
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subject: Rostock and It's Aftermath: Neo-Nazi Violence in Germany
posted by: AF/ATS
--

Pogrom in Rostock

     On October 3, Germany 'celebrated' the second-anniversary of
its reunification - or rather the annexation of the former DDR by
West Germany. Also on October 3, both the far-right and the far-
left in Germany took to the streets in protest, the former to
call for the explulsion of all foreigners and refugees from the
country, and the latter to denounce neo-nazi violence and to
demand open borders for all asylum-seekers. 
     Germany's domestic political order has been greatly upset
for the past two months, particularly after a series of racist
pogroms in the former East German town of Rostock unleashed an
unprecedented wave of organized, militant attacks by neo-nazi
youth gangs throughout all of Germany. The attacks in Rostock
began on August 22 at an anti-foreigner rally in front of a
refugee home, after at least five weeks of pre-planning by neo-
nazi groups. Despite a tip-off to police, only 20 officers were
on hand when the violence began. At least 100 neo-nazi youths
smashed the windows of building, and even though 100 extra police
soon showed up, they did not intervene and the attacks on the
refugee center continued until deep into the night. TV images of
the pogrom showed countless neighborhod residents standing
nearby, applauding and cheering.
     On Sunday night, a line of riot police could not prevent a
second night of attacks, this time by nazi youths armed with
molotov cocktails. It seemed the nazis were very well organized.
Christian Worch of the far-right "National List" party from
Hamburg was on hand to provide leadership, and neo-nazi cadres
with walky-talkies (and even police radios!) helped provide
organization. The obvious lack of police intervention made it
clear that at least some elements within the police force either
were quietly sympathetic, or may even have aided in preparations
for the neo-nazi attacks. This became further evident when 100
anti-fascists were brutally dispersed when they arrived on the
scene. At least 60 anti-fascists were arrested in Rostock on
Sunday night, and many were placed in prison cells full of neo-
nazis; obviously the cops wanted to see them get the shit kicked
out of them. 
     By Monday, attacks on the refugee hostel in Rostock - just
like one year before in the town of Hoyerswerda - had become a
nightly event. The refugees were evacuated, in a sense meaning
that the neo-nazis had been 'successful'. Moreover, inspired by
the events in Rostock, neo-nazis in at least 10 other German
cities rioted and attacked refugee centers on several consecutive
evenings after the inital pogroms in Rostock. And for weeks after
the events in Rostock, there were countless molotov attacks and
stabbings by neo-nazis in cities all across Germany. On September
2, a refugee center in Ketzin was burned to the ground. The same
thing happened in Leverkusen just two days later. In Halle,
roving gangs of neo-nazis sent a dozen Vietnamese refugees,
including children, to the hospital with serious injuries.

"Attack the Nazis Wherever They Are!"

     The fact that neo-nazi gans were on an organized offensive
does not, however, mean that there was no resistance. Church
groups, citizens, and Greens organized vigils in front of refugee
centers - although it usually took just a few skinheads with
steel-toed boots and rocks and bottles to chase these folks away.
In contrast to this approach, autonomist ANTIFA (anti-fascist
action) groups expanded their approach of street-level
confrontation with neo-nazis. 
     One week after the outbreak of violence in Rostock, a large
anti-fascist demonstration was held in that city. Whereas only a
handful of police were deployed to deal with the neo-nazis during
their week of attacks, upon the arrival of the ANTIFA
demonstrators, at least 2000 police were bussed into Rostock in
order to "keep the peace". In other cities as well, ANTIFA
marches were held, often resulting in confrontations with police
and gangs of neo-nazis.
     Apart from their open, mass activities, autonomes in German
cities also responded with clandestine attacks on nazi scene
structures like right-wing bars, youth centers, and far-right
political party offices. A group calling itself the 'Red
Antifascist Fraction' burned down a fascist organizing center in
Ahrensfelde. In Rostock itself, just down the block from the
burned-out refugee center, the 'Amadeu Antonio Commando' trashed
the far-right "MAX" youth center. Such attacks on nazi
political/cultural structures have been commonplace in Germany
for years, but the recent pogroms in Rostock have given the
actions a renewed sense of urgency, particualrly since the neo-
nazi movement seems to be gaining in numbers and organization,
while the autonome-scene seems to be stagnant. Alarmed by the
recent rise of Germany's far-right, one autonomist group
published a editorial in the illegal left-radical paper "Radikal"
calling on the Red Army Fraction (RAF) to alter its praxis, and
instead of only shooting bankers and NATO generals, to start
offing neo-nazi political leaders instead. An interesting
concept...

"Open Borders For All!"

     What was most frightening about the series of racist attacks
in Rostock and throughout Germany in August and September was the
degree of public support which the attacks commanded, and the
political results which the attacks had. The fact that violence
by neo-nazis was 'successful' in having refugees removed from
neighborhoods where they were 'not wanted' is alarming. And
rather than lashing out at the far-right and calling for
solidarity with the oppressed peoples' of the world, Germany's
political leaders from all of Germany's major political parties
instead said there was indeed a refugee "problem" and that
Germany's constitutional guarantee to a refugee's right to asylum
needed to be restricted.
     As ever, the recent events in Germany have showed the
urgency for militant anti-racist/anti-fascist organizing. And
this organiziation needs to be two-fold: first, there needs to be
theoretical/ideological organizing, so as to be able to analyze,
for example, the reasons why global capitalism leads to large
numbers of refugees heading form the impoverished lands of the
South to the wealthy nations of the North, and why we should
support the call for "Open Borders For All!"; and second, we need
to provide both concrete solidarity with refugees, support their
own organizational efforts, and organize our own militant street-
level resistance so as to attack neo-nazis and their
organizational structures wherever they arise. Nazis should not
be allowed to walk the streets unmolested. They are like a
cancer. If left unopposed, they can appeal to disenfranchised
members of the white working class and get support. Nazis are
good at carrying out direct action, and so they get respect.
Anti-racists and anti-fascists need to be just as effective at
the street-level. 
     Organize anti-fascist self-help! 
     Attack the centers and meeting-points of nazis!

--
                     Autonome Forum: aforum@moose.uvm.edu





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