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Police target leftist group for rail cable arson

The Local · 24 May 2011, 11:44

Published: 24 May 2011 11:44 GMT+02:00

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The leftists claimed in a note posted on the internet that they had set fire to an important rail cable on Monday in opposition to Germany's use of nuclear power, militarism and restrictive asylum policies.

The probable political background to the attack at the Ostkreuz station, means that domestic intelligence officers are now in charge of the investigation.

Tens of thousands of people were affected by the incident, which caused serious transport problems running into Tuesday.

Spokesman for rail operator Deutsche Bahn Burkhard Alhert told public broadcaster RBB on Monday night that three S-Bahn signal boxes had been made unusable by the attack. Crucial information cables for safety, navigation and loud-speaker communications were also wrecked, he said. Workers had been at the scene all night to make as many repairs as possible.

Vodaphone customers were also badly hit, with many connections knocked out for the whole of Monday as an important connection ran through the same site, a spokesman said.

The head of the Green party in Berlin, Volker Ratzmann, slammed the leftist action as entirely unjustified.

“We condemn this attack. Violence has no place of the political debate. It is unspeakable to paralyse half the city,” he said.

Crucial clues to the fire being arson rather than an accident included traces of a flammable liquid found at the scene – as well as graffito painted onto a bridge above the site which said, in English, “Look Down.”

Story continues below…

Germany's railways have been targeted in the past, including an attack last November in Berlin by a militant anti-nuclear group calling itself Kommando Sébastien Briat. Damage caused by an explosion at the time led to rail disruptions in the capital.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:41 May 24, 2011 by JDee
These evil leftist communist green scum! I hope all the angry disrupted commuters remembers to vote against them in Berlin at the upcoming elections in September, otherwise there is a real danger of Germany slipping out of imperialist control which would be a disaster for US foreign policy, which is exactly what... who wants?
17:30 May 24, 2011 by neunElf
I hope the newly Green majority in Germany accelerate their withdrawal from the great evil of nuclear power and begin to enjoy their life of energy freedom under the benevolent control of Vladimir Putin!
17:40 May 24, 2011 by wood artist
I'm always intrigued by attacks like this, primarily because they absolutely NEVER accomplish what the troublemakers want.

In the short term they probably feel good...because they "did something" and showed everybody else that they can. However, in the long term, and usually almost immediately, the results turn the public against them, and whatever ideas they wished to advance were lost amongst the noise and anger.

I suspect that among all those passengers stuck without trains, and all those users who couldn't connect were some who might sympathize on the issues these people claim. Some probably are less so today, and others who might have listened certainly won't now.

Beyond per selfish satisfaction, what do these people really expect to accomplish? It seems strange to watch people behave in such self-destructive ways. Reminds me of the RAF and Osama, neither of whom rallied the people to their viewpoint.

18:25 May 24, 2011 by Talonx
@ Wood Artist

I mostly agree. But, for two points.

1.) This is, by definition, not violence. It may be metaphorically violent. But actual violence is committed directly against a person to injure them physically. To be fair you have not explicitly agreed that it is violence, however you did compare it to actions taken by Osama and the RAF.

and, 2.) I would hardly include the RAF on a list with Osama. The RAF was active in a time period in which Nazis were actually still in power in post-WWII west Germany. Even with this clearer understood it would be difficult to say that Bahn sabotage is equivalent to political assasination or mass murder of civilians.

But, still, I mostly agree with you.
23:48 May 24, 2011 by wood artist

Your first point states something I never said, and never intended to say. What these people did is an illegal act. I never said, nor intimated, that it was "violent." I would, however, observe that it's quite possible someone could be injured dealing with it, specifically a firefighter or perhaps someone on a train that suddenly loses control. The comparison is valid, because, within the limits of what I said, the act is something illegal done to create attention and (I assume) rally people to their cause.

Your second point is only proves the whole idea.

The Nazis party was outlawed at the end of the war. Now, I know full well that many with histories in the party during the Third Reich found their way back into government in the post war years. However, in reading your words, it seems you see that government as being a direct continuation of the party, which it certainly was not. It was freely elected, in true multi-party elections, minus all of the voter intimidation and other acts that marked the 1933 election.

Now, it's possible you were speaking metaphorically, believing the government of that time didn't represent the will of the people or that it acted in some fashion by supporting certain policies or other countries. If so, that's fine. You may see those years and those policies in whatever light you wish, but that does not make it a "Nazi" government any more than George W Bush's administration was "Nazi."

By the same token, selective assassination (or non-selective murder) based purely upon the views of a small group of people can not be justified on the basis that they "believe" the people aren't doing things the way the small group wishes. I lived through the Vietnam era in the US, and know well exactly how that sort of action went.

In short, I will stand by my original comments. Not once has this type of action resulted in the masses moving to support the cause being espoused. In the end, it remains counter-productive and illegal, unrelated to whether someone is injured or dies as a result of it.

10:05 May 25, 2011 by Twiceshy
I think they are anarchists, I don't think they are communists, communists are vanguard who wait for revolution and many of them work for political police, communist groups are under control of government. This type of anarchists want to destroy the state and capitalist civilization, so, they achieve what they want with their actions (burning of luxury cars, attacks on houses of politicians, burning of military vehicles, attacks on railway). They believe that they can't wait for revolution because the state and capitalists make repression against people everyday, therefore they make actions now and not later. In any case, I found their statement, comment accept 3000 letters, for continuation you can use google to find it:

"Wir streiken!

Deshalb haben wir heute einen Teil der Bahninfrastruktur am Ostkreuz, einem zentralen Verkehrsknotenpunkt der deutschen Hauptstadt, sabotiert: An einer Kabelbrücke haben wir die Schutzgitter unterhalb der Türen durchtrennt und Feuer gelegt, um damit etwa einhundert Signal-, Telekommunikations- und Stromkabel kurz zu schließen. Dabei haben wir die Gefährdung von Menschen nach bestem Wissen ausgeschlossen. Die für den Fahrbetrieb relevanten Sicherheitssysteme der Deutschen Bahn sind mehrfach ausgelegt.

Unsere Aktion ist ein Haltesignal. Wir haben die Schnauze voll!

Berlin ist Hauptstadt eines der führenden Waffenexporteure, Berlin ist Hauptstadt des mächtigsten EU-Staates. In Berlin wurde ein ¦quot;Ausstieg¦quot; aus der Atomenergienutzung mit langen Restlaufzeiten beschlossen, aus dem dann ausgestiegen wurde, um nun erneut in einen ¦quot;schnellst möglichen¦quot; Pseudo-Ausstieg einzusteigen.

Alle haben Verantwortung für das, was geschieht. Alle haben die Möglichkeit, zu sagen: Stopp! Nicht mit uns. Wir bestreiken die quälende und mörderische Normalität. Es muss sich was ändern. Grundlegend.

Mobilität garantiert das reibungslose Funktionieren zur Aufrechterhaltung eben jener Normalität. Diese zu unterbrechen, wenn auch nur in bescheidenem Umfang, ist unsere Absicht. Diese Art von Mobilität hat nichts mit Freiheit oder Bewegungsfreiheit zu tun.

Die Bewegungsfreiheit existiert nicht für alle Menschen dieser Erde. Flüchtlingen an den EU-Außengrenzen wird diese nicht zugestanden.

Nach all den Katastrophen haben wir die Schnauze voll. Über den sofortigen Ausstieg aus der Atomtechnologie gibt es nichts mehr zu verhandeln. Wir spielen nicht mehr mit.

Die Bilder von Fukushima, die hilflosen Ingenieure, die vertuschte Kernschmelze, die Zwangsumsiedlung der Strahlenopfer und das Verheizen der Leiharbeiter in den Atomruinen sind eindeutig. Diese Technologie ist abzuschalten. Durch alle, die nicht mehr bereit sind, sich den Profitinteressen der Energiekonzerne zu opfern. Sofort.

Expertenrat, Ethikkommission, Reaktorsicherheitskommission ­ alles Augenwischerei: Atomausstieg sofort! Niemand sollte sein Leben den wirtschaftsdienenden PolitikerInnen anvertrauen.....
10:58 May 25, 2011 by Angry Ami
You know, it's always the same. just a new generation, and as usual they are in a collective state of denial, i.e., we can succeed unlike our predecessors"

nonsense, this notion that you can somehow bring about an egalitarian utopia by:

burning luxury cars

smashing upscale shop windows

telling tourists not to come to your "alterna-left" neighborhood

attacking cops on May 1st

firebombing police stations

wearing black hoodies and marching in the streets

paint bombing luxury apartments in your "alterna-left" neighborhood

and the latest, burning the DB cable installation at Ostkreuz

So how actually, is this supposed to bring about an egalitarian utopia?

It won't, but what it will do is turn people (who may partly agree with some of your political agenda) against you.
20:16 May 25, 2011 by wood artist

I suspect you may be correct, but I think the same rules apply.

The truly odd thing is that I really wonder if anarchists would be happy in a world of complete anarchy. If there were no structures in place, no organized government, no effective legal system, whatever would they do?

If they couldn't take train to their next rally, because there is no Bahn system, if they couldn't publish their claims, because there is no internet or service providers, if there is no..., well you get the idea. In short, anarchy is an evolutionary dead end.

Oddly, during a visit to Germany a year ago, I happened to be challenged in front of the Köln Hauptbahnhof by a young Communist attending some sort or rally. His mistake! I first tried to let him off the hook, both by pleading non-citizenship, and then by demanding he speak English. He didn't take the hint...so I answered him...in front of his friends.

I asked if he was going to bring back the wall, the STASI, the low wages and controlled society that were features of the previous Communist regime. I asked if he was going to re-open Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald...like the last time. After a few more of those, I just smiled and left...and his friends pretty much laughed at him for being stupid. I think I heard him called that a number of times as I walked away. Sigh!

10:03 May 26, 2011 by b-c
@wood artist:

I'm wondering if you are serious when you write that anarchists want a society of "anarchy" (no legal system, no structures)? Anarchism is not chaos nor a society with no rules - far from it.

How can you comment on anarchists if you don't even know the simple basics of their ideology and what kind of society they want to build?

As a side note, I am a communist and I do not want any of those things you mention from your "debate" in Köln (maybe the guy couldn't speak English, why expect a German to speak English?). Why would I (or any freedom seeking person) want that? I bet you believe those are natural parts of communism and I bet you even believe that DDR was indeed a communist society? :)

With all due respect, I recommend you to read a little about politics in general and communism/anarchism in particular.
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