A Little Review to 24mmjournalism’s Year 2016

A lot has happened in the past year. International politics, with Donald Trump being president-elect in the United States, are shifting towards a so called post-factual approach. All over Germany the amount of hate-crimes related to the right-extremist scene rose as newspaper ZEIT reports in this article. Neo-nazis rally against refugees and riot. Barracks and buildings supposed to give shelter to people newly arriving in Germany are lit. The far-right party ‘AfD’ is able to collect votes in the first elections since being founded in 2013. Europe fortifies itself. Just off Europe’s borders desperate people from e.g. Syria needing shelter sit and wait. Erdogan keeps installing an autocracy in Turkey. Freedom of press is not granted anymore in the country shaken by an attempted coup this summer that led to mass arrests. The 24mmjournalism team covering social issues, protests and general news, documented incidents during the past year displaying anger, mischief, despair and pure hate. The following small excerpts of our work do not raise the claim of completeness at all. We tried to sort kind of chronologically.

PEGIDA Munich

PEGIDA Munich marches - neonazis hold speeches

To sum up everything that happened at the Munich local PEGIDA branch in some sentences is hardly possible. The Munich branch of the racist movement has slowly revealed to the broad public its open acceptance and friendship with Neo-nazi terrorists. All-in-all PEGIDA Munich rallies almost everyday and marches once a week. Neo-nazis now openly speaking at the microphone at the demonstrations were warmly welcomed participants during the past years.Openly positive referring to historical national-socialism is new – and finally leads in subsequence to PEGIDA Munich being undoubtely a Neo-nazi march. Some Munich newspapers have long drawn a picture of only some Neo-nazis participating and the rest being ‘normal citizens’.

Turkish Fascists

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With Erdogan installing an autocracy in Turkey, bombing Kurdish autonomous regions, plenty suicide bomb attacks and an attempted coup Turkish fascists held several rallies over the past year. In Munich this lead to violence several times. Also the followers of the so called Grey Wolves gathered together with other conservatives from the Turkish community after the attempted coup in Turkey.

AfD Bundesparteitag
Protests against meeting of AfD in Stuttgart
Roadblock gets sorrounded by police

As an answer to a shift in politics further to far-right antifascists mobilized to demonstrate against far-right AfD’s federal party congress in Stuttgart. More than four hundred people were arrested during the protest.

Neo-nazis riot on Mayday in Plauen, Saxonia
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Police uses water-cannons, peppersray and teargas to push back neo-nazis attacking counter protesting citizens and police forces.

The Neo-nazi party Der III. Weg held their yearly mayday rally 2016 in the town of Plauen in Saxonia. After half of the demonstration route Neo-nazis declared there demonstration to be ended and attacked police violently. After a short riot the situation calmed down and the Neo-nazis were allowed to march back to the train-station of the small town.

NOBORDERS demonstration at Brenner
Heavy clashes at 'Over the Fortress Europe' demonstration at Brenner
Clashes erupt between activists and police.

Austria announced to reintroduce border controls at the Brenner passage to Italy one of the main routes connecting Germany to Italy. To prevent this from being built activists from Italy, Austria and Germany gathered in front of the train-station at Brenner. After lighting pyro-technics and putting on gas-masks and helmets activists started marching towards the Italian-Austrian border. Riot police prevented this. Heavy riots on the train-tracks and also highway followed.

Situation for refugees in Athens and Greece
Refugee and supporters demonstrate through Athens
3000 people participated in a demonstration through inner-city Athens on June 16th demanding a borderless world and a better overall situation for refugees in Greece. City Plaza Hotel, self-organized refugee shelter, was leading the demonstration with a banner. Protest was very peaceful.

The whole year of 2016 the horrible situation for refugees fleeing war to Europe being stuck at the Greek-Macedonian border has been a topic in media. In June 24mmjournalism travelled to Greece to document the situation for refugees living in Greece and especially in the capital of Athens. After shooting some aerial footage and a photo-reportage about City Plaza Hotel, 24mmjournalism met people living in the port of Athens, people supporting refugees, refugees living in squats in Exarchia. Together with the Reflektierter Bengel media collective 24mmjournalism witnessed the eviction of the last leftovers of the refugee camp Idomeni in Northern Greece.

Shooting spree at OEZ shopping mall in Munich
Shooting OEZ Munich
Shooting OEZ Munich

On June 23rd Ali David S. went on a shooting spree at shopping mall OEZ in Munich. Hell broke lose. Rumors about shootings and killings all over Munich were spread via social media. At OEZ special forces took on a manhunt to find the shooter that executed himself some blocks off the mall complexe. The city of Munich was in a state of shock. Chancellor Angela Merkel attended the condolence ceremony.

Violence breaks out at an AfD election party
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Chris Ares trying to pull away banners.

In September 2016 the far-right party AfD managed for the first time to become part of a state government. Members of the party met in a restaurant. Antifascists gathered to protest. Neo-nazi rapper ‘Chris Ares’ attending the elections celebrations took on the counter protestors. After trying to kick a photographer of 24mmjournalism a fight started in front of the restaurant near Munich East. After several minutes antifascists left the site seeming shocked of the violence.Colleague Anne Wild documented the incident as the photographer was attacked:

TdDE 2016 – German Unification Day in Dresden
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Street blocked with banner.

On October 3rd the celebrations for the German Unification Day were held in Dresden. Neonazis disturbed the festivities and cussed at politicians attending. Antifascists rallied against the festivities and drew attention to situation at the European borders where thousands have drowned.

Refugee struggle protests

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Desperate refugees from across the country gathered in Munich to hold a protest camp. After being ignored by politicians they did a protest march to the center of migration and refugees in Nuremberg. As a reaction was still missing they decided to return to the protest camp and hold a hunger strike. The strike was evicted on November. Some managed to flee police and climb on trees. Special police arrested the activists in the tree.

Safe Aleppo

SOS-Aleppo demonstration in front of Reichstag in Berlin

The crimes against humanity have come to a sad new point in the end of 2016. Bombed and killed civilians could be seen in media across the world. To support those people and ask the german government to intervene people all over German gathered. In front of the german federal government’s building -Reichstag- in Berlin a rally was held under the motto ‘Safe Aleppo’

BerlinAttack
Armed police guard world’s largest christmas market in Nurnberg
Policemen stand at entrance of Hauptmarkt in Nuremberg equipped with machine pistol.

Even though not being in Berlin the terror attack probably conducted by an ISIS follower in the capital of Germany left 24mmjournalism shocked. All over Germany security forces were strengthened after the attacks. 24mmjournalism witnessed this in the end of December in Nuremberg. At the Christmas market police forces set up street blocks with cars and were stationed around the Hauptmarkt with machine pistols.

This little look back on the year past of course only reflects the year for the 24mmjournalism team. In hope our followers savor our work.

Michi
 -24mmjournalism administrator

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Non-Citizen Protest at Sendlinger Tor in Munich

Following protests in the years of 2013 at Rindermarkt and 2014 at Sendlinger Tor (24mmjournalim reported), [and many other actions] non-citizens have gathered once again at Sendlinger Tor to protest against the situation for people asking for asylum in Germany. Approximately  70 refugees are protesting in downtown Munich right now. Munich’s far-right has shown up several times at the protest camp, held rallies and pegida has marched past the camp.

Protest Camp and Goals
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“We are human beeings!”

Six pavillions, pallettes, an info-table, food, water, sleeping mats and bags. As one gets off the Tramway at Sendlinger Tor in the city center of Munich the protest camp can easily be spotted. Right next to the fountain, non-citizens try to deliver a message. “We are human beeings!” – as Adeel (one of movement’s speakers) also loudly stated at the spontaneous demonstration on Tuesday September 13th – gallery below. The camp  emerged out of a demonstration on September 7th – Thomas Bergmann reported. On the 7th day at Sendlinger Tor, Refugee Struggle for Freedom published a statement:

“Wir sind hier um Bleiberecht zu erlangen, in der öffentlichen Wahrnehmung zu sein, um mit Politiker*innen zu sprechen, Verbündete zu bekommen, sodass wir als große Masse auftreten können, um so die Asylgesetze zu verändern. …”

“We are here to gain the right to stay, to be in public perception, to talk to politicians, gain supporters, so we can rise to change asylum laws …” [roughly translated]

-Refugee Struggle for Freedom

Life at Sendlinger Tor
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Pavillions are set up in the middle of the night.

Non-citizens and supporters of the movement work together to make Sendlinger Tor a place to hold a camp. Pavillions were set up in the middle of the first night. Food is delivered on a regular basis – cooked close to the camp. Supporters stay over night to help in case help is needed.  The – right now – turned off fountain has evolved to a place where people hang out, make music and hold meetings to discuss how protest should go on. “In general the situation is ok”, Adeel told me. Still goods are needed. Even on Saturday night – 24mmjournalism stayed to watch the situation and understand what spending the night at Sendlinger Tor means – there were still people without sleeping bags and mats. Some protestors sleep on the bare ground – only wrapped in banners and clothing. In case you want to support and find out what goods are needed right now – ask at the info-table in front of the camp. As there were heavy rainfalls during the time of the protest the camp has been made safe against bad weather. Further impressions from the camp at  night:

Munich’s far-right scene reacts
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Michael Stürzenberger with ‘cameraman’ / DieFreiheit activist.

As expected Munich’s far-right and neonazi scene has reacted. On Saturday September 10th Michael Stürzenberger (failed local politician, Die Freiheit, pi-news) showed up and started filming in the middle of the camp with his “cameraman”. In a video published to his YouTube channel Stürzenberger states that he wanted to report as an unbiased journalist and got attacked by left-extremists as he wandered through the camp. Non-citizens and supporters seem to have reacted and expelled him from the demonstration. Also an article by him showed up on PI-News. The comments section of the article makes one shudder. Openly some users ask to do a “drive by and warmly remove the camp” – following words about molotov-cocktails. Those words seem especially dangerous, as refugee housings have been set on fire through the past year all over Germany. Below a collection of the worst, most racist and filled with hatred comments:

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Lukas Bals that has been in media reports recently for causing trouble at the AfD election party, as well as Robert Andreasch’s talk at the Eine-Welt-Haus, was also spotted close to the camp according to eyewhitnesses. A gardener watering the plants poured water over sleeping bags as reported by Refugee Struggle for Freedom on Twitter:

 On Monday night after the local PEGIDA branch marched 13 well-known participants of the racist rally showed up a Sendlinger Tor. Amongst them: Rolf H. known for violent attacks on journalists and Heinz Meyer, leader of the regional PEGIDA movement. On the next day convicted neonazi terrorist Karl-Heinz Statzberger and hooligan Petra K. showed up and handed out flyers with the headline “Asylflut Stoppen!”. The flyers are printed by neonazi-party “Der III. Weg”- Statzberger and K. are both affiliated with the party.

After all it can be mentioned: Racist resentments can be noticed on site – people walking by shake their heads and cuss at refugees. Neonazis show up at the rally and hand out flyers and far-right “journalists” walk through the camp to write articles which are later commented with call-ups for acts of violence and murder.

UPDATE

By now neo-nazis have gathered close to the camp  at Sendlinger Tor during heavy rainfalls. Local PEGIDA leader Heinz Meyer joined their protest. Gallery:

One day later PEGIDA marched passed the camp and will again on September 26.

The Struggle Continues

Although this all does not look like a good prospect, activists of Refugee Struggle for Freedom say they will not stop to fight until they gain the rights of basic human beings in Germany. Until their voices will be heard. This could clearly be felt at the spontaneous demonstration that was held on Tuesday night, as well as the demonstration through inner city Munich held some days later. Picture gallery:

The protest will continue – at least until Semptember 30th. The city has permitted the camp until that day. 24mmjournalism will continue to report about the protest and update this article

Day Seven in Athens – little retrospective view on the past week

After not ‘travel-blogging’ for five days I am back with a normal daily report.

Evicted camp Ekostation
On one of the tents refugees left a message.

The past days have been quite full of beautiful impressions, as well as shocking ones and fun moments. As we were driving to Thessaloniki we got the message from on-site that police started evicting the leftovers of self-established and -organized refugee camp ‘Ekostation’. We arrived on site when the eviction had basically been finished by police. We whitnessed the empty camp. Colleagues from reflektierter-bengel.de and me released a multimedia article: Camp Eviction at Macedonian Border

As we returned to Athens we had a small problem with a place to sleep. Chaotic as usual we forgot to book an AirBnB, but found one last shot. Back in Exarchia I have been told by an activist I interviewed on his work here (Article will follow)  that the district had faced several raids by police against squads during the past days. The people we had food with in their squad are also very worried about what police will do in the next days. We will follow the situation and will try to catch police as they are raiding.

Attacks by Anarchists out of Polytechniko University
Policeman standing in front of burning busses.

On Wednesday night anarchists conducted a militant action against two busses in front of the occupied university. As we were around the corner and could here the tear-gas grenades being fired and Molotow-cocktails being thrown we dropped by and took some pictures. My gallery from that night can be found here:

 Police in fight with anarchists at Polytechniko

Yesterday colleagues and I first visited City Plaza Hotel to hand out at the bar there and talk to some staff of their media team. We want to interview either refugee or supporter on the situation in the hotel right now. This will follow today hopefully. The City Plaza Hotel was holding a demonstration in the afternoon (Article following – four pictures below).

At night we hung out a little at Exarchia Square always checking if there were maybe once again fights between anarchists and police.

One thing I have to say after seven days in the wonderful city of Athens, you never know where the day leads. Planning does hardly ever work.

Stay tuned for a lot more to come -even though I am flying home tommorow.

 

Neonazis march through Hesse town of Büdingen lead by Melanie Dittmer

Yesterday approximately 100 neonazis marched through the small Hesse town of Büdingen near Frankfurt. Melanie Dittmer – neonazi multifunctionary – called for the demonstration to supposively help the town against the ‘uncontrolled influx of asylum seekers‘. Heavy rain was kicking in as the nazis started their march through the city. At least 800 counter protestors showed their mischief about the march. Alongside of the route antifacist activists trying to prevent the nazis from marching ended up in smaller clashes with Hesse riot police forces. The self claimed ‚nationalist front‘ marched through the small town preaching antisemistism, racism and neonazism. Speakers were Dan Eising (Die Rechte Nuremberg) and regional Hesse as well as NRW NPD functionaries.

Photoreportage:

Munich’s first refugee soccer team ESV Neuaubing plays SV Tuerkspor

The sports club ESV Neuaubing started a refugee soccer team as a pilot project recently. Today the team played SV Tuerkspor Allach. The game ended up with a score draw. ESV Neuaubing is now rank two in Munich C-class.

Impressions from the game: