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Old 11-14-2010, 07:51 PM   #16
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^ Yep, and IIRC with regard there was also evidence from Genoa a few years back.

Having said that, in Ireland, I don't think this type of infiltration is so much of a feature. Because of our history, the police are very careful and proportionate with regard to exercising force and generally don't wish to exercise it. The last time the police shot someone in Ireland, there was a massive tribunal and investigation which went on for years - similar incidents happen in the US all the time, and it's just treated as another day's work.

About the Neo-nazis, though, I am not sure if banning their marches achieves the desired result. There is the danger that it wins them more converts.
If police shoots someone in Germany it makes national news because it's such a rare occurrence. And there'll be a thorough investigation.
If they break someone's nose or more during a demonstration, it'll be denied until videos appear online. The force employed has been growing. Demonstrating becomes more and more of a risk, even though you just want to march.
Now politicians even suggest demonstrators pay for the police action, like with the recent Castor transports of radioactive waste. And they want to send you to prison for up to five years if during a demonstration you "attack" a police officer. Attack here means, you resist being carried away. Basically, every move you do, if you touch a police officer you could be charged then.
At the most recent Castor transports police from other countries, such as Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine and also France have also been present, as observers. One French riot police officer then even got involved dragging one demonstrator away. Now they are arguing if he was allowed to get actively involved. When it first became public, officials turned it down saying "No international police was there". Obviously wrong. Only when pictures appeared did they admit that police from other countries has been on-location.

Banning demonstrations of neo-Nazis is, obviously, a delicate issue here in Germany. In general, if they register a march and the route doesn't lead past any "sensitive" places, it is legal under freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. And police has to protect these freedoms alongside checking that none of the demonstrators says or otherwise does anything against the speech restrictions or displays unconstitutional symbols.
What happens is that unions, leftists, politicians, antifa etc. are then organising either counter-demonstrations, if they can be registered, or at least get people to turn out in masses and block the route the Nazis want to take. The right usually is outnumbered by far and it's gotten very effective in really preventing them from marching and often times they cannot hold their speeches. It's pretty much seen as a civic duty to do everything in one's power to prevent them from speaking and marching.

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wow. i didn't really doubt it, but i was kinda hoping it wasn't true.
Before I moved to Berlin and became more involved, and even got to participate, I also hoped it was more propaganda than anything. But truth is, the police has done a great job to disenchant anyone who tries to participate. But that's even more reason to go out into the streets, peacefully.
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Old 11-14-2010, 07:56 PM   #17
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From the article about rave culture in the Guardian I linked to in the other thread:

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There was no conspiracy to bring down the government, which I think they were looking for. In the end everything was thrown back in their face, and the jury saw that. It was painful, laborious - luckily, there was a good team of lawyers, everyone had to go in every day and have their chance on the stand. Everyone was just as honest as they could be. There was nothing to hide." All 13 were acquitted. According to one witness, a superintendent approached a group of Spiral members on the steps outside the court and said: "I just want you to know that I don't agree with what is happening to you here. This is a political stitch-up."
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The French techno scene has moved towards live-performance techno. "Some live sets have gone up to 22 hours of live playing," says Sebastian. "We're mostly based in France now." These events in the French countryside attract up to 50,000 people. There the Tribe members remain, continuing to promote the cause of gathering under the banner of music, outside the commercialised system of pop. "Britain is very good at presenting music in certain ways," says Sebastian. "Ever since the Beatles, we discovered it made money. But music's a much bigger thing. It can really bring people together
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Nonetheless, in Britain, legislation continues to eat into our freedom to gather and party. New security regulations for live performances include a long list of prohibitive restrictions, including the need for police checks on performers. It's hard to see what motivates such control on the part of the state, except for fear. What is it about young people gathering together that provokes such a severe, sometimes brutal, response? Villages can have fetes, children can have fairs, but something about so much youth in one place scares someone. As Simone told me, "What was it that was so bad about what we were doing? We didn't leave much damage. Castlemorton is still as beautiful as it ever was."
Tim Guest tells the story of how the state crushed the early 90s free party scene | Music | The Observer
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:30 AM   #18
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Don't know about that case, but in general there've been numerous cases throughout Europe where plainclothes police officers were found to be instigators. But without evidence, it cannot be told here.
Here in Berlin, if it's too boring riot police sometimes start beating people up themselves. Even in times where they can be sure to be filmed. Luckily, the last incidences could be filmed and officials didn't have a choice but prosecuting the identified officers.
When it comes to demonstrations, police is less and less your friend here, and that's quite a shame.
But at least in Germany, next to the so-called 'black block', a group of extreme leftists whose main concern is a good beating, and civil police seeking to spice things up a little, there's also the movement of the so-called 'national autonomous'. These are neo-Nazis who clothe indistinguishable to leftists and also act as instigators, so that the blame falls upon the left.
In the end, when a demonstration turns violent here you cannot say who in fact started it in the end.
Most demonstrations, save for the May 1 demonstrations, are very peacefully though. But every blockade or other form of civil disobedience is being answered with growing use of force, which involves tear gas, watercannons, batons etc. On the other hand, especially in the case of Nazi demonstrations, politicians etc. tell you to do anything in your power to stop these marches and show that you do not tolerate them, but don't you think for a second that police will support you in that.
That's horribly depressing to hear such things . I guess I shouldn't be surprised by that, but...wow.

No surprise the neo-Nazi situation is touchy in Germany-I don't think you'll find too many places where people aren't hesitant about issues related to that. I do feel, though, that as long as no violent acts are committed, as long as the demonstrations are peaceful, any group should be allowed to gather in a public place and make their statements, regardless of who they are. I think banning them and silencing them will only make the problems worse, and it signals to me we're just sweeping all the problems under the rug and pretending they don't exist. Silencing people won't make the issues go away.

Same goes with those free parties. If nobody was bothering anyone else, and they were gathering in places that were empty anyway and not being used for anything else, who really cares if they throw a big party? Certainly any problems that do arise should be dealt with, but it does sound like the authorities went on a wee bit of an overkill, too.

I did like the point about the young people gathering together. Seriously, I've seen groups of adults act like complete morons when they're in a big gathering, but you never hear about crackdowns on all adults going anywhere as a result. Young people, however, a few kids do something stupid and all of a sudden we have to initiate curfews for everybody and everything.

Angela
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:24 AM   #19
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^ Yep, and IIRC with regard there was also evidence from Genoa a few years back.

Having said that, in Ireland, I don't think this type of infiltration is so much of a feature. Because of our history, the police are very careful and proportionate with regard to exercising force and generally don't wish to exercise it. The last time the police shot someone in Ireland, there was a massive tribunal and investigation which went on for years - similar incidents happen in the US all the time, and it's just treated as another day's work.

About the Neo-nazis, though, I am not sure if banning their marches achieves the desired result. There is the danger that it wins them more converts.
That is because the criminals have guns too. Thanks to "the right to bare arms." Whenever the police shoot someone it is still investigated in the States.
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Old 11-15-2010, 01:37 PM   #20
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If they break someone's nose or more during a demonstration, it'll be denied until videos appear online. The force employed has been growing.

Demonstrating becomes more and more of a risk, even though you just want to march.

Now politicians even suggest demonstrators pay for the police action, like with the recent Castor transports of radioactive waste. And they want to send you to prison for up to five years if during a demonstration you "attack" a police officer. Attack here means, you resist being carried away. Basically, every move you do, if you touch a police officer you could be charged then.


Before I moved to Berlin and became more involved, and even got to participate, I also hoped it was more propaganda than anything. But truth is, the police has done a great job to disenchant anyone who tries to participate. But that's even more reason to go out into the streets, peacefully.
That´s very true, and exactly the same thing happens in Austria. Castor is a good example. In Vienna, when there are peaceful protests, it might just be 50 people - if state doesn´t "like" the cause, after 10 minutes a massive police force of 100 armed policemen will be there, who will surround the protestors and protestors can only leave after showing their ID, and then they´ll get an administrative penalty.

That´s the kind of democracy the EU and the politicians of its member states want. They want to actively discourage peaceful protests. They don´t want peaceful people to take part, they better stay at home. This development has been evident for say, the last five or ten years. One could safely say some European countries are on the way to become a police state, or call it a dictatorship. Oh yes, people will be allowed to vote, but every participation of civil society except of voting will be crushed.

The police is the executive force, and they´re taking their orders from the police presidents who ally with the politicians. Some people (and mass media portray it like that) think that massive police force and intimidation of peaceful protests or a little teargas are an exception reserved for violent anarchists. The ones who take part in protests realize that of course all this violence - be it verbally, administrative or force - is ordered.

The brilliant German comedian Georg Schramm said: Economic growth is religion. And economic growth needs idiots, otherwise no one will be eating scruffy meat.

That´s the main reason why politicians cut university and education budgets. Shift a civil society from being critical towards plain idiot consumers, without any resistance, that´s what their goal is.
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:49 PM   #21
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I'm going to see Georg Schramm in less than a month live.

It's quite apparent what tactic they follow with that. On the one hand, they make it increasingly harder for you to demonstrate peacefully, and they actively encourage violence. Then they say, "Look, how violent and dangerous demonstrations have become. We need to do more and contain those demonstrators before more harm is done." At the same time they say, "We are better than China, because we allow our citizens to demonstrate and take to the streets."
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:39 PM   #22
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That´s very true, and exactly the same thing happens in Austria. Castor is a good example. In Vienna, when there are peaceful protests, it might just be 50 people - if state doesn´t "like" the cause, after 10 minutes a massive police force of 100 armed policemen will be there, who will surround the protestors and protestors can only leave after showing their ID, and then they´ll get an administrative penalty.

That´s the kind of democracy the EU and the politicians of its member states want. They want to actively discourage peaceful protests. They don´t want peaceful people to take part, they better stay at home. This development has been evident for say, the last five or ten years. One could safely say some European countries are on the way to become a police state, or call it a dictatorship. Oh yes, people will be allowed to vote, but every participation of civil society except of voting will be crushed.

The police is the executive force, and they´re taking their orders from the police presidents who ally with the politicians. Some people (and mass media portray it like that) think that massive police force and intimidation of peaceful protests or a little teargas are an exception reserved for violent anarchists. The ones who take part in protests realize that of course all this violence - be it verbally, administrative or force - is ordered.

The brilliant German comedian Georg Schramm said: Economic growth is religion. And economic growth needs idiots, otherwise no one will be eating scruffy meat.

That´s the main reason why politicians cut university and education budgets. Shift a civil society from being critical towards plain idiot consumers, without any resistance, that´s what their goal is.
Largely agree and I'm also pretty sure that there is an unofficial but organised policy across many European polices forces that when policing demonstrations some do not wear badges and hence cannot be identified in the event of future legal action against them. There is so much anecdotal evidence of police at demonstrations observed, and caught on camera in some cases, not wearing their badges that it can't just be a few rogue elements.
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:46 PM   #23
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That is common practice here. There is a ban on coverings for protestors, so any mask etc. is not allowed when gathering under the freedom of assembly. You can be prosecuted for that.
Yet, police officers are covered head to toe, no name badge and no number displayed or anything else they could be identified by. If you ask them for their number, which you are legally entitled to and they are mandated to reveal, a punch in the face is all you will get.
The police president of Berlin and the senate announced they now will apply every officer with name tags, but I won't believe it until I see it.
Last year they promised us they won't film demonstrators anymore, and at the next demonstration you could be sure to be caught on camera if you marched.
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