Freedom News

Germany: Rounding up the Munich Raids

Bavarian comrades round up details on what happened at the end of last month, when police raids against anarchist-linked apartments and spaces, including the Frevel library, took place in Munich.

On Tuesday April 26 coordinated raids were carried out against anarchists from Munich, on charges of forming a criminal organisation (§129). Four apartments were searched (two had no suspects living there), as well as several basement rooms (in some cases including those of neighbours), a printing shop and the anarchist library Frevel.

Coordinated by state security service K43 (Criminal Department 43, dealing with left-wing political crime), a bunch of hooded USK cops (the bash squad) came with battering rams, some weapons drawn and even in chain mail (yes, whether this cop lost a bet or whether it was just a knight-themed week hasn’t been determined so far) stormed into the apartments at 6am. The notorious bundles of testosterone even rammed a door which had its key in the lock. In some cases, they or their colleagues from K123 (digital forensics/telecommunications surveillance) must have logged into the local WLAN network beforehand, at least they seemed to know exactly which devices were currently logged into the local network. The USK were swiftly followed by K43 investigators who disclosed the search warrants to those affected and presented any pseudo-witnesses they had brought with them from local city authorities. 

Then it started. For around six-and-a-half hours the pigs rummaged around looking for the usual things like computers, storage media, mobile phones, but also printers, anarchist publications, “documents and/or files that provide information about the occupants’ left-wing extremist anarchist ideas,” personal notes, financial data, “documents and/or files that provide information about any attack plans,” as well as “plans, tools and/or raw materials for the production of bombs, incendiary devices or other objects suitable for perpetrating a terrorist attack” – everything. Above all, they confiscated storage media, computers (including from people subject to no accusations), printers, personal notes, correspondence, and several hundred anarchist publications in various languages. They also searched intensively for contracts for rented premises and likely also demanded these from the landlords of the basement rooms.

At the same time, the searches in a printing works, several basement rooms and the Frevel library must have taken place, but search warrants and seizure reports are missing. Here, too, the cops broke in and then swapped out the locks or left the rooms open.

At Frevel the cops only took individual publications, posters, stickers and the like, and also stole the space’s printer.

Things looked different in the fully-equipped print shop. Here the cops had a truck and crane approach and simply confiscated everything: from the risograph printer and its drums to the cutting machine, from the sorting machine to the gluing machine, even a historic letterpress and its lead type all went to the evidence room. But that’s not all. The cops also took thousands of books, brochures and newspapers, from the words of Malatesta and Kropotkin to those of Bonanno, alongside many current brochures and newspapers, as well as around 50,000 sheets of blank paper, ink and much more. Finally, as a sign of respect, they dumped the coffee in the sink and made off with their loot in a 40-ton truck.

But why?

Three people are being cited as suspects to justify the raid, on the ground they have forming a criminal organisation. Two were arrested and have since been released. The justification of this is twofold. First, that they are “members of the left-wing extremist anarchist scene … [who reject] the existence and value system of the Federal Republic of Germany and any form of state order … [and use] violence, especially such against things and/or police officers as a legitimate means of enforcing their views.” Second, and more specifically, they are said to have produced, published and distributed the anarchist weekly publication Zündragen. This is followed by a list of a total of 15 quotes from various out of a total of 85 editions of Zündrag, each of which is said to be “criminal content”. Here are a few quotes from the search warrant:

“On April 10, 2020, the accused published the short message “Brenn, E-Scooter, burn!” on the Zündlumpen website at https://zuendlumpen.noblogs.org/post/2020/04/10. They reported on the fire in two such vehicles on April 4th, 2020 in the Munich district of Freimann and on April 6th, 2020 at the edge of the English Garden in Munich. They described the companions as a “plague” that must be sabotaged. With the headline, the accused approved the arson attacks by unknown perpetrators on April 4th, 2020 and April 6th, 2020.”

***

“In issue 61 of April 13, 2020, the accused in the comic article “Rebellion against the curfew” called for stabbing the tires of police vehicles, setting police vehicles on fire and setting up road blockades from burning garbage containers. The drawings act as precise instructions. The accused thus called for anti-constitutional sabotage, property damage, destruction of important work equipment, arson and breach of the peace.”

***

“In issue 62 of April 21, 2020, the accused published a threatening message to the Bavarian Minister of the Interior, Dr. Joachim Herrmann as follows: “Dear Joachim, … I for my part have learned from the experiences of other subversives with people like you. Arguing with a tyrant? You have to know that historically I am on the side of those – purely intellectually, of course 😉 – who would rather let tyrants bite the dust before their time. And one thing should be clear to you, police chiefs have always been held in high esteem – even higher than emperors, tsars and kings.” The accused at least accepted that the injured party took this threat seriously.”

A DNA sample was ordered against the three suspects.

Broader context

Since the constructed crap on the Bavarian Central Office for Combating Extremism and Terrorism (ZET) at the Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office, and information for the underlying investigation, is said to have come from the Bavarian LKA (Ministry cops) and the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, its clear that there is more at stake here than a few quotes from an anarchist newspaper that had closed down six months prior to the raids.

Of course, one might wonder if the State’s security forces and attorney general (ZET) are just bored or feel they need to prove to themselves that they are still useful for something, if only annoying anarchists, but possibly that would fall a little short.

After all, proceedings based on §129 and 129a (aimed at breaking up mafia-type groups) have recently experienced a real renaissance. In more and more cities, cops have been initiating 129 proceedings against anarchists or anti-fascists, but only rarely are any charges actually made. Rather, these methods are a popular pretext for snooping extensively in the respective scenes and environments. Raids, which are also being directed against people accused of no crimes, are only one element of the structural police investigations. Observation, surveillance of telecommunications, the installation of bugs, cameras and other equipment for spying on and monitoring people are commonplace in such procedures. It is therefore reasonable to suspect that in this case, too, a specific environment is being spied on.

And then there is the brazen and long-planned robbery of an entire printing plant and thousands of publications! An obvious attempt to smash an infrastructure for the public dissemination of anarchist ideas. If it is supposed to be about a certain newspaper, the Zündragen, why have other newspapers and publications been confiscated in large numbers? Why is blank paper, ink, and all the equipment used to make books, brochures, and newspapers being taken away?

Obviously, the cops and the ZET have more in mind. They are trying to prevent the spread of anarchist ideas and stir up paranoia, for example when they confiscate entire archives of anarchist texts and possession of (single copies!) of a newspaper. They take the opportunity to rob them as well as all sorts of technical equipment, and all sorts of other anarchist publications.

We are not surprised. Anarchist ideas have always been beyond as well as against all law, and consequently there is a long history of anarchist ideas being persecuted. The recent raids in Munich will certainly not quench the flame in our hearts! Just as they will not prevent others from grabbing a printer and reprinting whatever the cops have confiscated.

If fighting for freedom is a crime, innocence is the worst!

Freshly razed and still there,
~ a few anarchos from Bavaria


This is an edited machine translation of an article that first appeared on Indymedia Germany. Any problems with it, let us know!

Pic: A flare is set off at Munich’s May Day rally a few days after the raid, from Anti-Capitalist Left Munich.