From this Monday, August 28, almost two months since the end of the G20, the trials began against the accused persons, all of whom are being held on remand in Hamburg.
Two trials are already over and further court appearances are expected in the coming days.
1st trial (28/08/2017): 2 years and 7 months’ imprisonment for one alleged rioter.
Dutch, 21 years old, he is accused of throwing two bottles at a cop during the “Welcome to Hell” demo of July 6. The charges are “serious assault and battery of a policeman”, “violent disorder” and “rebellion”. The judge hit hard and inflicted a prison sentence of 2 years and 7 months. This sentence goes way beyond the request of the prosecutor, who had asked for one year and nine months.
The judge justified their decision with the new law aimed at strengthening the protection of agents of the State on duty *, which came into force on 30 May 2017.
Many people (families, people close to him and those in solidarity) were present in the courtroom in support of the accused. On another note, the accused chose to remain silent right through the trial, and to cover his face completely in order to avoid the scavengers of the press present in number in the court.
During the deliberations, some reaction from the supporters broke the silence of the courtroom. The father of the accused let go: « they want our son to pay for what happened these four days in Hamburg ».
The height of ridicule was reached when the “wounded” riot policeman, 30-years-old from Berlin, came to testify stating that, despite the fact that the bottles had touched his leg and head, having felt a shock at the level of his helmet, he had managed to catch up with the alleged launcher and arrested him. He went on to say that, at the time of the arrest, the accused adopted a fetal position, which constitutes an act of resistance.
During his speech for the defence, the defense lawyer requested that his client be acquitted, stating that there were considerable uncertainties concerning the identity of the launcher, who was one of a group of about fifteen protesters. She also argued that the fetal position was a protective reaction to police violence.
In total, the public prosecutor launched 109 investigative procedures against “known” persons and 64 others against “persons unknown”. The charges generally concern “breach of the peace”, “violence causing injury”, “resisting the police” and “destruction”. In some cases, the accused risk prison sentences of up to 10 years. Other procedures could be added to those already underway (mentioned above], as the investigations continue. Till today, 189 “presumed guilty” persons have been arrested in connection with the G20 summit and 51 arrest warrants have been issued. 32 people are still being held on remand for the anti-G20 riots.
Finally, the politicians are still traumatized by this counter-summit in Hamburg. Thus various political parties (SPD, CDU, Greens and FDP) are going to meet every two to three weeks, probably until the summer of 2018 in a commission on the G20. Various points will be addressed, including preparations for the G20, the development of the days of the G20 and its consequences.
Moreover, let us recall that an unprecedented repressive blow has struck the autonomous media in Germany, almost two months after the counter-summit. Friday, August 24, the free publication platform Indymedia Linksunten was shut down by the Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maizière, declaring it prohibited by the use of the law on associations. The following day, several searches were carried out by the LKA (German GIGN) on persons suspected of moderating the site, in Freiburg. In addition to 4 apartments, the KTS autonomous centre was also searched and the entire IT infrastructure has been seized.
It is clear that the autonomous and anarchist agitation of recent times in Germany, with countless direct actions and sabotage against the infrastructure of capital and the State, is one of the reasons for the prohibition of this site, which largely contributed to the disorder, both during the days of the G20 but also especially before and after. Linksunten is one of the few German-speaking sites on which are published a good number of press releases of attacks and direct actions, which are obviously a danger to power and its henchmen.
Let us not forget that if this counter-summit was so devastating, it is linked to the fact that the many anarchist calls to sabotage the G20 had a real echo across the country. Putting this platform out of use is one of the many ways that power disposes of to put an end to the offensive and insurrectional dynamic on the other side of the Rhine.
More than ever, active and offensive solidarity with the comrades of Germany!
A large (international) demo is scheduled in Freiburg on 9 September at 7 pm, departure expected at Bertoldsbrunnen.
[Reformulated from an article in the German press: translator’s note, 29. August 2017]
* “Gesetzesverschärfung zum Schutz von Amtsträgern bei Diensthandlungen”.
New law providing for increased penalties for attack against cops and agents of the State (firemen, bailiffs for example).
These increase according to the degree of wounds inflicted on the minions of the State.
2nd trial: 6 months suspended sentence
On Tuesday, 29 August, a 24-year-old Polish man was sentenced by the court in Hamburg to a suspended six-month prison sentence. On 8 July, during a search near a demonstration, the cops found backpack containing seven crackers, a lacrymo bomb, diving glasses, a rope and black clothes. The judge explained his decision by stating: “It is clear to the court that the accused was on his way to a demonstration “.