28 March 2012
On 9 May German police raided about 40 private homes of activists and social centres in Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen as well as the alternative web provider so36.net, confiscating a server and private computers, amongst others.
Police are using paragraph 129a of the German Criminal Code (formation of a terrorist organisation) as a legal basis for this large-scale raid, which is traditionally used to criminalise the left-wing movement in Germany. The anti-terrorist legislation allows for far-reaching interception powers, extendable remand imprisonment (in some cases for up to two years) and curtails defence rights.
Paragraph 129a further allows for high sentences without the prosecution having to prove participation in criminal acts - being a "member" of an organisation deemed terrorist is sufficient. In the majority of cases, however, 129a is used to "spy on" the left-wing movement and its organisational structures, as police raid a large number of homes, workplaces and cultural centres during the course of a criminal investigation, confiscating computers and personal belongings, whilst proceedings are thrown out of court several years later for lack of evidence. (see e.g. http://database.statewatch.org/protected/article.asp?aid=25716)
Social centres affected in this recent raid include the "Rote Flora" in Hamburg as well as parts of the "Bethanien" and the "Mehringhof" in Berlin, the former two places are planned to be convergence centres for international and national activists to gather before the G8 protest.
1. More on the G8 protests and the criminalisation of the mobilisation to block the G8 summit: http://dissentnetzwerk.org/node/2315
2. German Indymedia on the recent house searches: http://de.indymedia.org/2007/05/176032.shtml#artikel
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