Violence against the police in Stuttgart, Frankfurt and other places

Thoughts on underlying and related issues

by Ewald Wetekamp, Stockach am Bodensee

News on the riots and violent assaults in Stuttgart spread very quickly. Video clips about this night were uploaded on the net. Eyewitnesses went public. They reported to be completely puzzled because they had never seen anything like this before. Their state of bewilderment seemed genuine. The videos were commented on by the state media but never dominated the news flow. Exculpatory comments were aired instead, claiming that these criminal acts – damage to property and bodily harm, fulfilling the criteria of violation of the public peace – were due to the perpetrators being “frustrated by the corona lockdown”. Another talking point was the so-called “party scene” who for unknown reasons had actively indulged in horrendous violence.

How come we are expected to even listen to such systematic downplay? Where is the united public outcry against violence? Instead, some professor of criminology offers apologies as if those thugs were just nice lads we should have sympathy for, because they had become criminals due to the “societal circumstances” yet again.

Stuttgart is no singularity

Those who fool themselves into believing that Stuttgart was a singular phenomenon should be reminded that the same things have happened year in, year out in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and other places in Germany. One of the main organizers of the Rote Flora riots during the G20 summit in Hamburg took pride in announcing that “next time” Blankenese, a wealthy Hamburg suburb would be targeted rather than the city center. Nobody bothered to prosecute this felony of an invocation to commit a crime – and the invocation is in itself a felony for sure. The invocation was even broadcasted in the news, at prime time. No branch of the judiciary raised an eyebrow. They should have! Neither did anybody get active when notorious thugs from all over Europe had made their way to Hamburg. This was well documented.
    Encouraged by the exculpatory statements in the mainstream media and the overall lack of consequences more riots were staged in Stuttgart at the third weekend after the first incident. Only thanks to an overwhelming police presence no looting occured this time. The bizarre statement of a police spokesperson who called it “just a normal Saturday night in Stuttgart” is food for thought on the question, to what degree one severely injured and eleven arrests should be normal. This second round of riots went almost unnoticed beyond the regional press. Unlike the jobs police officers had been doing during the riots and violent assaults. Since many of the perpetrators refused to reveal their identities police had started to investigate their family backgrounds. This prompted rage about alleged “genealogy research”. It goes without saying what the motivation behind these outcries was.
    Social democrats, Greens and even Free democrats denounced this kind of investigation as “in no way acceptable”, “irritating” and “dangerous” and that people were “profoundly distressed” by it. Irritating and distressing indeed are these statements of politicians since they pave the way for more riots and undermine the work of the police. Sure enough, in the night from 18 to 19 July another riot broke out on opera square in Frankfurt with five police officers injured and 39 arrests. Police had come to the rescue of a man who was lying on the ground in a brawl. All the thugs immediately joined forces and turned against the officers. They hurled bottles at them. Each hit was celebrated.

No-go areas

Who doesn´t know such areas in German cities and even small towns? Ever since the books “Deutschland im Blaulicht” (Germany – a police report) and “Das Ende der Geduld” (The end of patience) we all got some insight into these phenomenons. Why is this situation neither widely discussed nor actively prevented? Recent example is a query to the regional government of North-Rhine-Westfalia (NRW). The initiators posed the question where in NRW the hotspots of criminality or so-called no-go areas were located, which police enter as full units only, if at all. It took the government three years to answer this question. And they had to have their arms twisted to answer it at all. Only after the initiators had appealed to the consitutional court of NRW who got active, the ministry of the interior of NRW provided the information. According to this answer, Cologne was classified as the main hotspot of violent crime, although their mayor keeps claiming the city was safer than ever before. Several neighbourhoods are avoided by the police unless as whole units in full combat gear. Even firefighters are routinely attacked in these places. And this is not only condoned, but word about the real situation is prevented from getting out, a situation which is euphemized and put up with.
     Another current example of the erosion of state responsibility was provided by the minister of the interior himself who had sued a commentator of the left-wing journal “taz” but immediately withdrew the lawsuit. She had referred to police officers as “human waste”. Why on earth would the minister withdraw the charge? Ever since the “Black Lives Matter”-campaign has been staged word-wide police officers report they find it increasingly difficult to arrest perpetrators since accusations of racism are voiced immediately. Should that not work, the accusation of sexism serves as plan B.

What are “unregulated areas”?

This is supposedly how “unregulated areas” come into being. The term has been used so often now that one might be inclined to think there was in fact such a thing. Scrutinizing it further though, we find a different principle taking hold in these so-called “unregulated areas”, dedicated to different “values”, a principle which is claimed to be either more just or more practicable. Just look at the internet. It had been claimed to withstand regulation for a long time. Supposedly it was impossible to prevent criminal activities in the internet. Therefore that man who had bought a destillation apparatus online for his wife was quite surprised when customs officers knocked at his door – he and his wife wanted to distill essences from herbs and leaves but a legal license is needed in Germany for the destillation of alcohol. Suddenly the internet was not only very much regulated but swift action was taken, too. What about all those child pornography rings and hardcore pornography pictures even small children are exposed to all the time? Those are too hard to regulate?

Those so-called “unregulated
areas” are the real no-go’s!

Ever since the “network enforcement act” was issued by the German government, all difficulties to comb through the internet for illegal content miraculously disappeared – “hate speech” and “fake news” are deleted immediately. Youtube has deleted thousands of accounts with millions of video clips already, twitter has joined in. As it turns out the “Lords of the nets” had been capable to do this all the time, now they go ahead and pull it off. These cancel activities are beyond “legally questionable” because no court has ever defined these contents which are so bad that they no longer are protected by the constitutional right to free speech. “Hate speech” and “fake news” have suddenly become state enemy number one. Everything else just pales in comparison.
     The network enforcement act and the position of the big tech monopolists have developed an unheard-of censorship machine. The published opinion is getting enforced as a new cultural hegemony, by means of network enforcement act and the arbitrary censorship function of the big tech monopolists, and declared to be the touchstone of all things. In the not so distant past we had an Italian strategists who developed the theory of cultural hegemony into a political concept which was greeted with enthusiasm by his neo-marxist followers. Today we have-to face the situation that topics like gender, family, tradition, nation, the state, society, the economy, values, virtues and also historiography are dominated by a “collective emperor” who rules in this cultural hegemony.

The state’s monopoly on violence

Since there is no equivalent of the second amendment in most European constitutions, the state fulfils the obligation and mandatory duty here to guarantee the interior and exterior security of the citizens. Mandatory because only the representatives of the state are permitted to carry guns and use them to punish criminal acts. The judiciary framework is designed to fit to this state of affairs. Using guns to protect oneself is verboten. This is supposed to be delegated to the state. The civil society still understands it as their legal right that the state provides an environment for them to thrive and develop.

What does it mean that ANTIFA
is getting sponsored by the state?

This understanding of state duties is still widespread and regarded as very important especially in the Federal Republic of Germany. It only makes sense as long as police is there to protect the citizens according to the rule of law in the democratically legitimised state. Forces who aim to de-legitimise the police in general and portray them as brutal, brainless mercenaries “for the interests of the ruling class” do this because they follow political-ideological schemes and motivations which are incompatible with the European concept of democracy. Modern militia-like organisations like ANTIFA follow their own agenda.
     Still there are debates in the parliament that ANTIFA should be granted a fixed budget of taxpayer’s money because they shouldn’t be bothered to write new grant applications every year. These payments are already made in substantial amounts by some regional governments who argue that ANTIFA was essential to democracy. At that point the members of those regional parliaments need to answer the question what their opinion about the state’s monopoly on violence is. The question: who is it who receives this state sponsoring? can be asked, too.
     While this support of ANTIFA by state insitutions clearly undermines the work of the police already, the regional Anti-Discrimination Law (LADG) passed by the parliament of Berlin on 11 June 2020 moves it to the next level. With this law the Social democrat/ Green/ Leftist Senate of Berlin targets not only the work of the police but the whole public service. All its employees are forced into defense mode by a highly debatable definition of anti-descrimination, resulting in a situation that one only needs to utter the accusation to be discriminated against either ethnically, religiously or gender-related, in-order to drag any public servant to court. All the calimant is required to do according to this new law is to make it plausible that discrimination might have happened – enough to open legal proceedings in which the officer must prove his or her innocence (see excerpts of the LADG below). All public servants have-to deal with this principle of reversed burden of proof now. This is especially true of the schools where it will be all too easy to dismiss a lower mark or failed test as an act of discrimination by the teacher.
     Even worse, the new law has established the possibility of “antidiscriminatory class actions” to obtain reimbursements for the claimant. If no material damage to the claimant can be proven, a “psychological damage” is billed. That way the officers get caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. If they do get active they are threatened by class action suits but they are, too, if the don’t. See paragraph “§ 4 (1): Refraining from measures to end discriminatory behaviour is equivalent to an act …”

Back then the Frankfurt school – and today?

Several decades ago the Frankfurt school and their representatives became very influential thanks to support from both the state and civil institutions. A supposed aim of German education to produce authoritarian characters was diagnosed as the primordial evil by their followers who had found out in their analyses that this had led to national socialism. In their view the state pursued the same goal at the societal level and in the families the bad actor had also been debunked by them: the father. From this theoretical foundation they proceeded to radically cure the disease by re-education. The strategic concept was that the young generation of the late 1960s would be the agents of this process in the families, the institutions of the state and as “activists” in the streets. The pictures of youths protesting against their fathers at home and against representatives of the state in the streets have only been too familiar ever since. The level of destructiveness, with self-destructive aspects, can be seen in slogans such as “Destroy what destroys you” or “Smash the cops to bits”. There is a common theme running from there via Hamburg and Stuttgart to Berlin (LADG). Many of those who took to the streets back then certainly had genuinely well-meaning intentions. There were plenty of good reasons for protest. But in the crucial question of violence they failed badly, convinced as they were that there could be justification not only for violence but also vigilantism or even murder. Violence was aimed against things at first and later against human beings. An unexcusable transgression.
    There is certainly a need to constantly develop the rules of living together in a community, a reform process which should be backed by democratic majorities. There may have been examples in the education system after the war where a black pedagogy was implemented but the question arises why a democratic society such as West Germany should have been unable to propose and discuss a new ideal more adequate to the nature and essence of man and, most importantly, of the pupils. That way the foundations for a lively citizenry could have been laid aiming to promote the common good. However, what we saw was that in many instances, at all levels of society, the child was poured out with the bath. The programme seems to be to rid human organisations of their state elements. In any case, a different kind of state is aimed for. What are we up for then?

Not only in major German cities

Stuttgart is no singularity. Such things don’t just happen co-incidentally. Police reports that violent thugs in masks and combat gear had coordinated themselves via mobile phones. Equipment, clubs and stones had been piled up in advance and stored in shopping carts. Don’t fool yourself into believing this was spontaneous. Question remains: who benefits? And a follow-up question: who has the means and financial resources to stage such a mayhem in several states simultaneously? If we look across the Atlantic we see civil war looming there as well. The judiciary in many states is actively hindered to perform their basic tasks. Should that be replaced by “might makes right”?

What is to be done

It is quite clear that there is no way such an development would be backed by a democratic majority. Police is still highly respected in the population. Now is the point in time when we as responsible citizens should voice our support, since the jobs police officers are doing, as well as firefighters and paramedics, are in our own interest. This can be done in various ways. Let’s write letters to the editor about Stuttgart, Frankfurt and most importantly about the anti-discrimination law of the Berlin regional government and the network enforcement act. Let’s start the discussion about our rights as citizens and the duties of the state. Let’s use every chance to pay our respect and thanks to the police officers. Everybody can do this in his or her own way. The officers will appreciate that a majority of citizens values their work. This is what needs to be done – committed statements, honest field research about what really happened in the incidents and also a profound discussion about the essence of the state and the rule of law!      •

Excerpts from the Berlin state Anti-Discrimination Law LADG

State Anti-Discrimination Law of the Federal State of Berlin, passed in the Senate on 11 June 2020, announced on 20 June 2020 in the Berlin Gazette of Laws and Ordinances.

§ 2 Prohibition of discrimination
n the context of public activities no person may be discriminated on the basis of gender, ethnic origin, racist and anti-Semitic attribution of religion and ideologie, disability, chronic illness, age, language, sexual and gender identity as well as social status.

§ 3 Scope
1    This law applies to the Berlin administration, to public bodies, institutions and foundations directly under state control, to the Berlin Court of Auditors and to the Berlin Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, as well as to the courts and the authorities of the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Constitutional Court and the Berlin House of Representatives [...].

§ 4 Forms of discrimination
1    Direct discrimination shall be taken to occur when one person [...] is treated less favourably than another person is treated, has been treated or would be treated in a comparable situation and when the difference in treatment [...] is not justified. […] Omission to take measures and to act in a way which would put an end to discrimination is tantamount to doing so, [...].

§ 7 Presumption provision
If facts are established which make the existence of a violation of § 2 or § 6 predominantly probable, it is the responsibility of the public body to refute the violation.

§ 8 Liability for damages; legal action
1    In the event of a violation [...], the public body in whose area of responsibility the discrimination has taken place shall be obliged to compensate the discriminated person for the resulting damage [...].
2    The victim of discrimination may demand appropriate monetary compensation for damage other than financial loss.

§ 9 regulates the “The Anti-Discrimination Law Class Action”.

Translation: Current Concerns

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