On 31 August over 200 police officers from Germany’s special and state protections units raided 26 individual apartments in the Hamburg and North Rhine-Westphalia radius and targeted 22 comrades of Roter Aufbau. Upon being raided, members of the group reported that they were awoken by police with machine guns pointing directly at their faces. The raids involved a confiscation of technology, clothes and other items that the police deemed to have links to the supposed crimes.
Roter Aufbau are a German communist organisation based in Hamburg explicitly dedicated to the antifascist struggle. Originally formed in 2015, Roter Aufbau have had a hostile relationship with the police from the beginning of their formation.
The raid was issued under section 129 of the German Criminal Code’s under the heading Organised Crime Convention. The 1998 legislation states that even if “the commission of offences is of a merely minor significance for the objectives or activities“, a multi-year prison sentence can be handed out to the prosecuted individuals. The accused have been arrested under suspicion of committing crimes such as ‘breaking the peace’ and ‘damaging property’ whilst apparently also accusing others of doing so.
This is not the first time that Roter Aufbau have faced house raids from the police. After a demonstration outside the 2017 G20 summit in Hamburg, the same happened, with police accusing the group of instigating riots.
Roter Aufbau are not the only German communist group to have received house raids from the police. On 26th June 2019, the German group Jugendwiderstand (Youth Resistance) similarly felt the brunt of anti-communist police oppression when house raids were undergone in the Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia area. In total, nine apartments belonging to members or the group were searched, with the police confiscating hard drives, phones and even clothing of the individuals.
In addition, 10 members of the Turkish group, the Communist Party of Turkey Marxist–Leninist, were given prison sentences of over 40 years from Munich’s Higher Regional Court in July in many ways attributable to the harshness of the Section 129 sentencing.
For revolutionary groups in Germany, Section 129 serves to essentially ban any political activity through the intimidatory force of the police and the potential for long-term judicial sentences to those affiliated to groups under intense state oppression. The legislation has shown how the German state is able to paralyse political freedoms from those it deems too radical on the left.
Roter Aufbau is defying such state pressures and continues to remain intact as a revolutionary Marxist group. Since last week’s raids, demonstrations have occurred across Germany in solidarity with the group and attracted an estimated 700 protesters in Hamburg alone. The Hamburg protest itself was emblazoned with banners berrating the anti-communist Section 129 legislation.
In a Facebook statement, Roter Aufbau has said, “Through a construct of lies and wild assertions, they assume we have set fire to the private cars by the police director of the task force drugs This accusation weighs heavy because it assumes the formation of a terrorist organisation and thus gives the police even more far-reaching powers than they already have. We’re throwing the bulls in front of violent offenders while they’re paid to put black drivers in jail, throwing people out of their apartments, beating children protesting against racist police violence or just riding an e-scooter on the sidewalk.”
“We stand for political work that does not want to integrate people’s anger into this system. Our interests are irreconcilable against theirs. We will neither be integrated nor will we clear the field without a fight. The desire for another world drives us and will always be stronger than its repression, if we as a leftist movement manage to understand despite all our differences that not only one group is currently the focus, but the entire leftist practice and wide parts of movement.”
“It’s time to break out of your specific left bubble and realize we’re the first, but if we don’t fight back together, it will probably not be the last to criminalise them with such accusations. Our solidarity will withstand their wave of repression. Struggle of their class justice system!”
Since the incident, Marxist and Antifascist groups in Germany such as Kommunistische Organisation and Proletarischejugend Hamburg have expressed solidarity to the group in their continued fight against police oppression.
It is essential that all communists express solidarity with one another in the fights against capitalism, imperialism, fascism and all the other fronts that need to be stamped out for us to liberate the planet from the many forms of exploitation and oppression. Socialists, democrats and trade unionists in Britain must stand in solidarity with Roter Aufbau and other left groups who are in the firing line of the German police force’s greatly oppressive powers under the Section 129 legislation.
Challenge News Desk