Germany: State tries to block university anarchist groups

Federal security agency the BfV was caught recently making a bizarre intervention at Leipzig University to demand anarcho-syndicalist union branch FAU Leipzig be banned from holding an introductory meeting during freshers week.

The university was targeted during the approval period for events at the its winter semester 2018/19, which anarchist groups have been involved in before without issue.

This time however the “Critical Introductory Weeks” which are joint-organised by a number of different groups including FAU, Anarcho-Syndicalist Youth and Prisma Leipzig got a mention in the BfV’s annual report and, according to information received by students, BfV made a visit to rector Beate Schücking, followed by the announcement of a ban.

Students responded by confronting the university administrators, and had the ban withdrawn by vice-rector Thomas Hofsäss, however they fear the precedent being set by interventions from the security services. Event organiser Frank Aurich says BfV has interfered before and warned the initial ban “gave up free critical discourse in favour of State-directed bans on thought and debate.”

Anarchists have been raised on the agenda of State security forces ever since the 2017 Hamburg Summit, which wrong-footed police and sparked a moral panic which saw radical news outlets and spaces targeted for shutdowns and raids.