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Berlin and Hamburg attacks an anarchist 'declaration of war'

Kristen Allen · 4 Dec 2009, 17:03

Published: 04 Dec 2009 17:03 GMT+01:00

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Unknown perpetrators, assumed to be left-wing extremists, threw Molotov cocktails, paint bombs and cobblestones at Berlin’s Treptow district Federal Criminal Police (BKA) office overnight. Meanwhile local offices for the centre-left Social Democrats and the conservative Christian Democrats were also vandalised with anti-war graffiti.

Around the same time in Hamburg, about 10 masked perpetrators attacked a police precinct in the Schanzenviertel neighbourhood, setting a police cruiser alight, damaging other police cars and breaking windows with stones.

On Friday afternoon the Berliner Morgenpost also reported that a southern wing of the Chancellory had also been vandalised with three Christmas tree decoration bulbs full of paint.

Though no one was injured in either of the attacks they are a sign of a “new escalation in the spiral of violence,” DPoIG leader Rainer Wendt told The Local.

According to his assessment, the attacks were coordinated between a growing network of anarchists between the two big cities.

“The attacks were anything but spontaneous, and executed in an almost professional manner,” he said.

The Police Union took the incidents so seriously on Friday that they encouraged the conference of state interior ministers, currently underway in Bremen, to take immediate action, hardening criminal prison sentences for attacks on officers and increasing police personnel.

But Wendt reported that police demands have so far gone unheeded.

“They've done nothing," he said. "We don’t have enough police to conduct a good surveillance of these groups. We need to take them very seriously. They are prepared to kill people. It’s pure coincidence that no officers were killed last night, but we fear that this could still be ahead of us.”

Anarchist violence has been increasing in Berlin and Hamburg for several years, with more reported clashes during demonstrations with police and against neo-Nazi groups, in addition to property damage associated with anti-gentrification sentiments.

An 84-page study presented by Berlin Interior Minister Ehrhart Körting this November detailed left-wing violence in the German capital, describing the anarchists as “willing to hazard the consequences of major property damage and severe injury to people.”

In 2009, some 125 cars – many of them luxury status-symbol models – were purposely burned by so-called Autonomen in Berlin. The number has more than doubled since last year, when 72 cars were targeted. Police in Hamburg reported 150 burned cars – 16 of which were proven to be politically motivated. This number was up from a number insignificant enough not to have been reported the year before, news magazine Der Spiegel reported on Friday.

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“There is lots of talk when it comes to their alleged goals. Gentrification, for example, is a catch word in Berlin,” Wendt told The Local. “Allegedly they don’t want the rich to move into their city districts. I think that’s all wrong. They don’t have any goals at all aside from blind hate against the state and order.”

According to daily Berliner Morgenpost on Friday, left-wing extremists issued a statement of admission for the Thursday night attacks on the Berlin political offices in Berlin’s Charlottenburg and Zehlendorf districts. The statement, sent to a CDU parliamentary group email address, explained that the attacks were an answer to the Bundestag’s Thursday vote to extend their mandate to provide troops for the NATO operation in Afghanistan. The email accused the politicians of being “warmongers,” and ended with the threat, “There is no safe place!”, the paper reported.

Police are investigating a possible connection between these attacks and those on the police and customs property in Hamburg and Berlin, but Wendt said without government support, such incidents will continue to occur.

“The investigation goes on, but I have little hope it will be successful,” he said. “This is a declaration of the war on the police and on the state.”

Kristen Allen (kristen.allen@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:31 December 4, 2009 by crunchy2k
Bad cops not liked in the neighborhood? Or will the story come out with the twists of a drama?
11:37 December 4, 2009 by berlinski
No, not bad cops in the neighbourhood. Just idiots (probably rich parents) who like to be anti-everything because it is the "scene" they are into. Too much attention and time/money wasted on these ass****'s. Find them and sentence them to 100 hours of community service, like cleaning graffiti from houses etc. The police show more than enough patience when dealing with these anti social morons.
18:04 December 4, 2009 by Eugene_ac
Reminds of 1968, when the later RAF members around Baader wanted to burn down Kaufhof and another department store in FFM.
20:14 December 4, 2009 by pepsionice
A couple of observations. First, these are all punk kids....age 15 to 24. Second, you've got a couple of folks pushing this strategy down to the lesser intelligent guys. This is very similar to RAF strategy in the 1960s. Third, the intended target so far....has been the cops....but we should expect this to shift in the months ahead.

If the cops want to have an effect.....arrest these punks one by one.....and move them to the far parts of Germany.....to a remote jail in some rural town. Give them a couple of weeks to chill....and make the parents responsible for what the kids under 18 did
22:42 December 4, 2009 by bugger
anarchists have always been at war with the state, and will be until the state is destroyed. No compromises, no mediations, no concessions.
23:01 December 4, 2009 by duckys
Good job... Publicly annouce that you declaring war on a bunch of idoits... Hmmm.... I wonder what is next...

Dealing with idoits is one thing... but provoking them in words of "Declaring War" is about stupid as it gets....

I wonder how many women and children will get hurt over those words....!!!!
08:38 December 5, 2009 by Volatile Barry
I agree with alorik. There is far too much intrusive and authoritarian government right across the EU with supression of civil liberties and free speech, anti democratic tendencies from governments and a general tightening of the screws as they seek to interfere ever more in our lives. I too find it heartening that the youth of Germany are prepared to stand up and protest, let's hope they inspire others and the protests spread.
13:34 December 5, 2009 by berlinski
@Volatile Barry

That is true, but I think a lot of what you said is above the heads of the morons who carry out these attacks. One should ask if they know a better way? I think their answers are a lot less appealing to me than what the current situation is in Germany and Europe.
17:24 December 5, 2009 by stopsurfing
If we did have anarchy in Germany, these left-wing extremists would soon be killed off by angry luxury car owners. The police are actually protecting these 'protesters' from society. Take away the restrictions most of us accept for the sake of a peaceful, orderly society and see what happens...
18:33 December 6, 2009 by Johnny Cash
At last some good news. I don't agree that they go after the police, they are just the visible face of the control freaks. The anger should be directed at the politicians and their puppeteers who send young people to their deaths in a country that has never attacked Germany. Let this be the wake up call that they are the employees of the German people and must do THEIR bidding not the bidding of the new world order.

All very encouraging to see some political activism from the new generation. Let's hope these political mediocre egos on legs , who never send their kids to these conflicts, are having second thoughts about their decisions and now the consequences.
11:29 December 7, 2009 by William Thirteen
it's an optimal moment to commit insurance fraud if you are a luxury car owner hoping to pluck some value from the ashes of the capitalist system!
17:35 December 9, 2009 by berlinski
@Johnny Cash. Like you would know all about that whilst hidden behind your cloud of ganja smoke. We can all sit around and condemn those who fight for us. Easy answer for those who don't have a clue.
01:58 December 10, 2009 by Johnny Cash
@ Berlinski The soldiers are not fighting for me or you. They may think they are and that is commendable. They signed up to go and do whatever their government tells them to do , right or wrong, they have no choice. They are hired killers The reality is they are fighting to enrich a small group of superrich, powerful control freaks who start these wars and profit by selling arms to both sides. Do a little research. It has always been that way. I say again, the Afganistans have never attacked Germany so ask yourself,why are Germans occupying their country? I just read a book on the taliban called Reaping the Whirlwind. You should get a copy and aquaint yourself with the situation. The Americans and their toadies have no business there, oh except for oil and the currency of the CIA , Dope. Read the book.
17:55 December 10, 2009 by Frenemy
Johnny, don't believe everything you read.

Every side has extremists, LEFT and right...so put down your book about conspiracy theories and take your high ass to Kandahar (you might learn a thing or two....before u get blown the hell up that is....)
16:00 December 13, 2009 by notesfromberlin
I'm not sure that this article / or the quoted Berliner Morgen post are correct in linking these incidents to Afghanistan - I think they were related to anarchist riots in Greece over the death of a 15 year old boy, who was shot and killed by police - I've just written a short piece on the whole anarchist subject if you're interested...

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