Gideon Levy Speaks in Gasteig on BDS- 24mmjournalism is Prohibited Entry

Return of Jüdisch-Palästinensische Dialoggruppe to Gasteig

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BDS talk 2015 in Gasteig, with Christopher Ben Kushka

Almost two years after the event of the ‘Jüdisch-Palästinensische Dialoggruppe‘ ending in trouble the group is allowed to return to the munipicial center. According to reports of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the city checked possibilities to cancel the event but saw no option as the group only rented the rooms. 24mmjournalism’s photographer Michi was again on site to report on the event and counter-protest.

Entry Denied after Critical Report 2015

At the entrance of the Black-box 24mmjournalism was denied entry. One of the organizers greated with: “Look who is there, our thief friend” – referring to an absurde accusation made in 2015 to have stolen all informaton material. Trying to clear tthis with the organizers led to no goal. They advised to buy a ticket, but told 24mmjournalism right away, that taking photos inside would not be allowed. So even though we wanted to report about the sucseeding event to 2015 – and also changes and other approaches – we were denied. This is almost hillarious as Ben Kushka the speaker from the last talk eventhough we reported quite critical on his talk, stole a photo published on this blog (including the watermark) to mobilize for another talk on BDS by him.

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Screenshot of picture by 24mmjournalism, stolen by Christopher Ben Kushka.

Counter-protest

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24mmjournalism

On Saturday November 7th the association „Jüdisch-Palästinensiche Dialoggruppe München“ held an event in the Gasteig in Munich. The city handed over the room for this talk without demanding any rent. In a statement before the talk the chief of the city library stated that in a democratic pluralistic society the option has to be given for all parties to speak out their opinion. Someone in the audience therefore shouted: “Why don’t you give it to the NPD” (NPD = National Democratic Party / far right/neonazi party). This free of rent handover caused a reaction by Charlotte Knobloch and the event was mentioned in international newspapers. „BDS“ – boycott, divestment & sanctions – is a internationally controversial idea of boycotting products from Israel as a reaction to settlements and “the mistreatement of Palestina”.

How BDS works


The barcode on products tells the costumer the origin of the good. Every country has its own…

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Forced Journey – MUC to KBL Nonstop [Multimedia]

Video-report

15 Afghan refugees were deported on March 27th at Munich airport. It was the fourth mass-
deportation conducted at the airport. Currently the deportation practice is discussed highly
controversially in society. Many people criticize the German asylum policy because Afghanistan is no safe place for anybody.

Protests against deportations to Afghanistan

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On the evening of March 27th an aircraft took off at Munich airport. Inside the plane there were 15 Afghan refugees who got deported to Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. While the refugees were taken to the airplane people gathered and rallied on the airport’s grounds. The demonstrators criticized German asylum policy and claimed to stop the deportations immediately.

Those mass deportations are taking place because of the German government’s assessment: the islamic republic is partially secure. People working with refugees or coming from Afghanistan think differently about the situation there:

„ … For refugee-people, for german- people, for the whole world Afghanistan is not safe. This is not a situation [that will be lasting] for one or two years. Afghanistan will be unsafe and at war for 4 or 45 years. And all the people [should] know [that]….“

… commented a protester in front of the deportation jail in Mühldorf.

Afghanistan – a safe country?

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A day before the deportation the demonstrators also took a stand against the current asylum policy in Mühldorf. 400 or 500 people surrounded the jail forming a human chain. The purpose of their protest was to support the deportation prisoners. On sunday night two detainees hurt themselves and had to be taken care of. They were probably commited to the psychiatric ward.

The fear of being deported bribes refugees into desperate deeds. That is, because in Afghanistan they are exposed to far greater danger. Coming back most of them don’t have any chances to earn money or find shelter. Also terror attacks can happen at any time in the islamic republic and civilian victims sadly are no exception. The number of civilians killed reached a record high in early 2016 for the first time since 2009. According to the most recent UNHCR report the situation worsened compared to 2016.
Despite those facts the German government doesn’t stop deporting people into the state, it even raises the number of deportations: While in 2015 78%% of the applications for asylum were granted, in 2016 only 60% of the Afghan refugees were granted asylum.

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Thomas Nowotny, Pediatrician & Activist

„It is against human rights, german, international and bavarian law to deport people to war- and crisis-areas. We do no tolerate this and stand up for the refugees.“

Thomas Nowotny, initiator of the protests in Mühldorf, states. Maybe his and other people’s protest will move people to think about the justness of deportations to Afghanistan.

 

PEGIDA Munich March 6th – Spraypainted Swastika & Thirteen Arrests

On March 6th the Munich branch of the racist PEGIDA movement gathered for a rally on Karlsplatz, Status in the city-center of Munich. Only 40 participants had come to join the protest. PEGIDA Munich has already shown in the past that they have no problem with confessing neo-nazis amongst them. A swastika was freshly spray-painted only a few meters off the demonstration. Opponents were arrested for approaching a group of neo-nazis standing a little off the rally.

Thirteen Arrests

Minutes after the PEGIDA rally began a group of neo-nazis that attend the demonstrations on a very regular basis showed up. Instead of joining the rally surrounded by a cage the group stood a little off. Soon the neo-nazis were discovered by counter-protestors. Those then approached with banners and shouted slogans. As the groups got into contact three of the neo-nazis pushed into the banners. Police forces intervened. Thirteen opponents were arrested and charged with breach of the peace. The neo-nazis were accompanied to the PEGIDA rally. This is especially precarious because members of exact this group have run into counter-protests of PEGIDA with banners several time. This led to clashes.

Freshly Spraypainted Swastika

Just minutes later two journalists discovered a freshly spray-painted swastika near were the neo-nazi group stood earlier. The paint was still wet. After reporting this to police officers standing by the two journalists were searched for spray cans. In a later given statement by press officer Markus Da Gloria Martins this lead to a discharge of the two. The swastika was later-on removed. During the same time the group of neo-nazis participated in the rally. Only one hour later two of them were controlled. If this search and interrogation is in connection to the clash or the spray-painting is unknown.

Short reportage about March 6th at PEGIDA Munich

All in all a freshly spray-painted symbol of hatred close to a PEGIDA rally seems very revealing.

Stonewall against Refugees – Residents Force City of Munich

Munich citizens and refugees cheer as the hard journey finds an end.
Refugees arriving at Munich Central Station.

More then one year ago the city of Munich presented itself to the world as a harbor for stranded refugees. Angela Merkel asked Hungarian and Austrian politicians to let through asylum seekers desperately looking forward to a better future. Those who fled were warmly welcomed by Munich citizens. One year later though in November Munich citizen’s once again show how they like refugees to be treated. Six neighboring parties filed a law suit against the city of Munich forcing a ‚noise-protection-wall‘ to be built to protect themselves from refugees that are supposed to move in next door.

Wall against refugee shelter in Munich
Construction worker looks through one of the holes in the wall.

The first snow has fallen in Munich. Refugee Struggle for Freedom activists were evicted on November 5th. A picture shows up on Munich regional newspapers: A wall. Snow is falling in front of it. Angry neighbors have forced the city to build a wall between them and a future refugee shelter. The neighbors pretend that this is just a ‘noise protection wall’. The wall is four meters of height, built out of metal cages with filled with small stones. The last pieces still have to be put together. Small holes are left to look through. Between the next houses and future refugee shelter there is an old train track covered up by bushes und trees. Whilst documenting the wall two camera teams showed up. Their interview partner: One of the six neighbors filing the law suit. Stefan Reich, judge at the  Landesgericht – state’s supreme court. Explaining widely that this has nothing to do with racism and that he just wants that it stays as peaceful as it is when ‚they‘ arrive. 

The housing units are almost finished. First unaccompanied minor refugees are supposed to move in this week. The wall has been hit by spraypainting. One can hardly read what it says. Construction workers have covered it with euro-pallets. 

Eviction of hunger strike refugee camp at Sendlinger Tor in Munich
The wall was hit by spraypainters. The Graffito was hidden by the construction workers.

 According to pictures published by newspaper Abendzeitung the Graffito says: ‘RASSISMUS PUR’. In the area around the future wall racist and far-right stickers of the Identitarian movement can be found. They start at the bus stop and lead into the neighborhood. 

Civil courage is needed to prevent that the already worldwide in newspapers reported about racist incident stays unanswered. Munich activists have filed an online petition against the wall.

Eviction of Hunger Strike Refugee Camp at Sendlinger Tor in Munich

After one month of protest camp, a protest march to Nuremberg and five days of hunger strike refugees announced to start a dry hunger strike on Saturday November 5th. After several activists collapsing due to weakness, the city of Munich decided to evict the protestors at Sendlinger Tor. The refugees tried to draw attention to their miserable situation and refugees dying at the European borders with their protest in the city center of Munich. A prospect for the evicted activists can not be seen. After the eviction they will be returned to their camps.

Peaceful eviction of camp
Eviction of hunger strike refugee camp at Sendlinger Tor in Munich
Police evicts camp at Sendlinger Tor. Non-citizens peacefully tare down camp and leave Sendlinger-Tor-Platz. Several collapsed due to weakness after hunger striking for five days.

At 5:15 PM massive police forces appeared around the Hunger striking activists. Police surrounded the camp on Sendlinger-Tor-Platz. After three announcements and with the last one letting people know force will be used to clear everybody off the camp’s grounds according to Refugee Struggle the group decided to peacefully end their strike. Several persons had to be brought to the hospital. Activists and supporters cleaned up tents, mattresses, sleeping-bags and all other goods on site. Approximately 50 refugees then left Sendlinger-Tor-Platz and went to get food and warm up after more then six weeks of protest. The group was accompanied by riot police forces. Some activists could barely walk.

Picture gallery of the eviction

Tree occupation and eviction
Eviction of hunger strike refugee camp at Sendlinger Tor in Munich
Special forces remove refugees from trees.

Similar to the events in 2014, when Refugee Struggle for Freedom also held a hunger strike at the exact same spot, about 20 activists managed to occupy two trees. Munich police first completely ignored the occupation. Only at 9 PM a first group of officers surrounded the new protest site, but soon left. It can only be guessed that Munich police officials hoped that after 5 days of hunger striking people will climb off the trees themselves. At 11 PM the eviction of those trees started. First off riot forces surrounded the rally. Some activists left the tree by themselves. Soon later more forces arrived and set up blocks to keep off more supporters. After three announcements police and Munich fire department started setting up so called “jump pillows”, straw and mattrasses to prevent injuries in case activists fell off the tree. Soon later the supporters forming a chain around one tree were cleared and arrested. A special forces climbing unit arrived. Those then rappeled and under screams and the threat to commit suicide by the refugees, removed activists from the trees.Some could barely walk, but were taken in custody by riot police officers. The operations were finished at 4:34 PM with the last activist torn off the tree.

Picture gallery of tree eviction
Prospect for refugee protest in Munich

After six weeks of protest ending today in the early morning hours of November 5th a prospect can hardly be seen for refugees in Germany. Asylum cases from so called “safe-third-countries” are dropped even though people fear their death after deportation. Politicians have completely ignored the prostest and neglect the peoples’ wish to work, integrate and become part of a “normal” social life in Germany. With several activists brought to the hospital and an eviction made reasonable due to health risks for the activists one can only hope that none of the refugees have permanent injuries. This will for sure not be the last refugee protest in Munich. To finish with a quote often said by activists and supporters: “The struggle continues”.

Video Reportage by the colleagues SPICY

PEGIDA Munich marches & deposits wreath

Yesterday – once again – the Munich branch of the racist PEGIDA movement marched. In the beginning a politician of the AfD mobilized for a demonstration this Saturday in Geretsried against migrants. Also Heinz Meyer PEGIDA-Munich leader explained how a 75 year old lady according to him tried to destroy the pa system last week, which he tried to prevent and pushed the old lady over. After that Munich newspapers reported about the incident completely wrong in his opinion. He said he believes that the old lady was planning this attack to boycott PEGIDA. After some more short speaches and videos PEGIDA started marching. As a special event the mob stopped at a memorial site depositing a wreath for fallen soldiers in the war against Russia under Napoleon 1812. The connection to the rise of Islam and problems with migration – which are the usual topics at PEGIDA marches – is hard to tell. Shortly after this event antifascist activists tried to block the route and got evicted even though PEGIDA was able to pass by the roadblock.

Picture Gallery:

 

One year PEGIDA Munich – look back and prospect

Almost one year ago the Munich branch of the racist PEGIDA movement – at that time called BAGIDA – marched for the first time.
From the first rallies on, neo-nazis and hooligans were amongst the crowd and repeatedly threatened counter-nazi activists and journalists. One year of PEGIDA is a look back on weekly racists marches through Munich with one guiding thread:
Local neo-nazis were always amongst the PEGIDA crowd and after early attempts by the -then- BAGIDA organization-board to dissociate  from thus, by now they are fully integrated and warmly welcomed at PEGIDA Munich.
With leader Heinz Meyer being suspect in an investigation by the federal attorney’s office for participating in a terror group, PEGIDA Munich e.V. is drifting more and more in the direction of openly displaying their far right beliefs.

A Look Back

The numbers of PEGIDA during the past year were almost constant. In the beginning the racist movement was able to mobilize approximately up to 1500 people. Hooligans and neo-nazis from all over Bavaria travelled to Munich almost a year ago to join the rally under the cover to “criticize Islam”. Back then the movement was mostly led by Michael Stürzenberger – known for standing in the city center of Munich day by day, shouting at people and preaching hatred against islam. After a little while PEGIDA split up and soon reached numbers varying from 150 to 200 on a weekly basis. Only for special events the movement was able to mobilize bigger masses – such as the visit of Lutz Bachmann or the anniversary yesterday.
The usually low numbers have to be taken seriously though. At neo-nazi rallies that were formerly reserved for openly displaying facists, suddenly activists from the “anti-islam” party Die Freiheit and other members of PEGIDA showed up. Under the cover of fighting against -so called- islamization they joined some of the most militant neo-nazi groups in the region.

Examples:

Left picture: Militant neon-nazi rally in Wunsiedel – amongst the nazi crowd a Munich tram driver that took pictures for PEGIDA in the beginning

Right  picture: Long known Die Freiheit activist Maria W. joining a rally against arriving refugees by the neo-nazi party Die Rechte at Munich central station.

Police loving PEGIDA marshalls?

A phenomenon spotted more often during recent weeks: PEGIDA marshalls behave as if police officers on site were their colleagues.
A question arousing is: Is this political tactic to achieve that e.g. press officials are held out, is this admiration for the duty of being a police officer or is this just an exaggerated opinion of oneself?
Observations of the behavior of Stefan S. – PEGIDA marshall, security force in Munich bars and affiliated with motorcycle gangs: During the last months Stefan S. that seems to be leading the PEGIDA marshal team showed a constant behaviour. Arriving at PEGIDA he shook hands with police forces on site often talked to them and – more then once- tried to command them.
The question is – do police forces know that they are talking to an affiliate of the United Tribuns motorcycle gang ? At least on his Facebook profile Stefan S. poses with members of the gang. Also Stefan S. has publicly posted pictures stating: “A.C.A.B” – commonly known abbreviation for “All Cops are Bastards”.
As written above the question arouses what his aims are through this specific conduct. Yesterday he and colleagues tried to hold back journalists once again and police officers did not react after being asked for help on site. Only the press official of the Munich police department stepped in and prevented a further escalation by Rolf H. and the PEGIDA marshall team.

Screenshots taken from Stefan S. public Facebook profile showing his affiliation with the United Tribuns, postings showing his hatred on policeand pictures of the PEGIDA marshall having no fear of contact with hooligans that arrive with convicted neo-nazi terrorists:

Counter protest forces PEGIDA on shortened route
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Antifacist demonstration against PEGIDA on Munich Marienplatz

On the PEGIDA anniversary approximately 3500 counter protestors gathered to show their mischief with the racist movement. An antifacist demonstration was held from Sendlinger Tor – where the PEGIDA movement gathered for the first time one year ago – to the historically charged Odeonsplatz. At least 400 people took part in the demonstration that joined forces under applause with counter protestors already standing at the PEGIDA rally site. Shortly before PEGIDA wanted to start marching , Munich citizen’s showed civil unrest and sat down on the route to block the street.

Even though police announced on Facebook to go with full force against any disturbance of the PEGIDA demonstration, PEGIDA was guided on a alternative, way shorter route. Reports on Twitter state, that after PEGIDA was guided on an alternative route. Counter-nazi activists were halted on site by the Munich Police Departement. According to reports on Twitter force was used against them as people tried to remove themselves .

Neo-nazi party functionaries amongst PEGIDA Munich on it’s anniversary
A Prospect

As of today PEGIDA wants to rally daily against the city council of Munich for their politics and against the chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel. The movement wants to gather in the Munich city center to hold three hour rallies. This clearly displays new tendencies. Heinz Meyer stated in his talk at PEGIDA yesterday that he finds it absolutely reasonable if people would decide to form a militia to show force against the government of Germany. On the floor after the PEGIDA rally “Rapefugees not Welcome”stickers were spotted. The public prosecution department of Leipzig recently opened investigations against Lutz Bachmann for wearing a shirt with this exact motive.

All these tendencies show that PEGIDA Munich members are becoming more and more radical and now seem to want to take more action then just marching on a weekly basis.
Is the foundation of a PEGIDA party the next step?

Gallery of the anniversary: