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 Xref: oneb alt.society.revolution:522 alt.activism:11764 Newsgroups: alt.society.revolution,alt.activism Path: oneb!cs.ubc.ca!destroyer!uunet!emba-news.uvm.edu!moose.uvm.edu!aforum From: email@example.com (Autonome Forum) Subject: AF/ATS: neo-nazi violence in Germany Message-ID: <1992Oct12.firstname.lastname@example.org> Sender: email@example.com Organization: University of Vermont -- Division of EMBA Computer Facility Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1992 00:44:12 GMT Lines: 145 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: firstname.lastname@example.org +++
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