Solidarity is Indivisible!

In the first 25 days of the trial since it first being in September 2009, the court has been hearing evidence against the three accused, Axel, Florian, and Oliver. Specifically, that they had, supposedly as members of the “militant group”,  set out to destroy vehicles of the Germany Federal Armed Forces in Brandenburg an der Havel (70 km outside of Berlin).  Since February 2009, the focus of the court proceedings has shifted: they now are being accused of “membership in the militant group”, under the auspices of §129 of the German Criminal Code.  Federal Prosecutors are now doing all they can to paint these men with this brush. This prompts us to include the militant group and the militant politics into solidarity work.

After the arrests in Summer 2007, many called for the release of the accused.  Aside from a broad public outcry against the widely reported surveillance measures taken and the investigations accusations, some activists, in demos and discussion forums, expressed their solidarity for the militant group.  Others digitized the collected texts of the militant group (here).and engaged in online discussion openly referencing the group.  Such references are rare, despite the large number of militant and headline grabbing activities.  Although the entire radical Left is attacked with the state protection apparatus, it remains as a cryptic point of reference in political praxis.  In our numerous events, we have broached the topic of the militant group. For us, it’s a question of solidarity.

The militant group appeared in 2001.  Describing their actions, they argue that their steady militant politics is part of non-parliamentary protest. Their actions, according to the group, lie not within legal and normative boundaries, rather they are fighting in the initial stages of a social and anti-imperial struggle, which calls for a class- and border free Communist society. With its texts and actions, it has sparked a debate on militancy and organizational strategy.

When the militant group first emerged in Summer 2001, the debate over the so-called compensation for former forced labourers during the Nazi era was in full swing.  In this heated debate over Nazi crimes and its reletivization, the militant group attacked the offices of Mercedes-Benz in Berlin and sent live ammunition rounds to the circle of people connected to the German Economic Foundation’s project “Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft”, (Remembrance, Responsibility, and the Future).  With that, it succeeded in bringing to the public’s attention criticism to the German Economic Foundation.  In the following years, the “Militant Group” has positioned itself in many pressing and contentious debates in the Left.  For example, the nighttime arson and vandalism targeting institutions of the “social technocracy”—offices of state aid and pilot project “Job Centers”—or those authorities responsible for deportations (e.g. Border Police connected to Federal Police Forces).  Another example can found in the militant group’s sabotage of Jeeps belonging to the German Federal Armed Forces. Protesting what they called “starvation wages, oppression of union organizing, and internal harassment of company employees”, they attacked a new building of [discount grocer chain] LIDL affiliate in Berlin.   Responding to the violent death of Oury Jalloh in a police holding cell in Dessau, the personal homes of the responsible police and medical authorities were subject to arson attacks.

In total, the militant group has taken responsibility for 24 actions in written statements, thus situating the actions in concrete political contexts and making them discussable. The continued appearance of the militant group over the years has piqued the interest of the Secret Services. They want to know who is behind this group. Thus came along the numerous §129a proceedings, surveillance spanning years of quite a few activists,  not to mention the raiding of houses and remand without bail.

In order to dismantle the dominant order, paint and arson attacks alone are not enough.  For this reason we engage and organize ourselves in political groups in our work places and in our schools. We protested in Rostock and Heiligendamm against the G8-conferencem. We go to the streets regularly on the May 1st against the dominant order. We fight against war, militarism, the German Federal Armed Forces, and NATO—like the April 2009 in Baden-Baden and Strasbourg. We write and work political around themes, which are also themes of the Militant Group.

In this respect, we connect ourselves to the Militant Group. As much as we describe the sabotage of vehicles belonging to Armed Forces as a legitimate act of disarmament, we see the militant group and its theories and praxis as an immanent part of left politics. We do not have to agree with every statement and every act of arson in order to be in solidarity with those who are accused of being part of the militant group.  That is: Solidarity is indivisible.

Einstellungsbündnis, March 2009