Freedom for Axel, Florian, and Oliver!

The farce is over, and although we didnt really want to believe it that which was expected happened. The three comrades have been found guilty and sentenced to jail terms of three and a half years for two comrades, and three years for the third.

Tonight at 19:00 there are demonstrations in both Hamburg (S-Bahnhof Sternschanze) and Berlin (U-Bahn Kottbusser Tor).

At this point, here is a (very rushed!) translation of todays press release from the „Einstellung“ working group/coalition (the defense campaign for the accused). You can find the german version here

„The trial of Axel, Florian, and Oliver as alleged members of the „militant group“ began over one year ago. All three of them were, together with Andrej, arrested in Summer of 2007. The investigation in Andrejs case is still continuing.

Today, Axel, Oliver, and Florian were condemned of attempted arson as members of the „militant group“ and sentenced to three and a half years (in two cases), and three years (in one case) in prison. They leave the courtroom after over 60 trial dates having refused all acts of compromise, and are now to be punished for their committed resistance against German war policies.

Since the arrests in 2007, the coalition for the „Einstellung“ (Discontinuation) of the 129a investigation has been acting as a political accompaniment to the developments related to the trial. Since the beginning of this trial, our priority has been not only to draw attention to the issues of state surveillance and persecution of political activists, but also to the issue of antimilitarism.

For this reason, we will not at this point discuss the ridiculous line of argumentation and logic used by „BAW“ and the court to justify this verdict. We will also not make reference to the harassment of those who attended the trial. Only this much: In our opinion, the defense lawyers decision to renounce making closing arguments was correct and consistent.

Despite the repressive scenario of a „special“ court, antimilitarist resistance has during this trial gained a more widespread presence. In the last years, resistance against military operations and the civil-military cooperation has increased. Protests against war have taken a clearer and more engaged character, withouth peaceful protest and militant resistance being played against one another. This has also been noticeable in the solidarity which has been expressed from very different political poles.

Despite this, during the trial it has not been possible to pose the question of legitimate resistance to military operations. Few media outlets took up the subject of „political evidence,“ or made the connection between that, and what is daily practice in this country as well as internationally. Neither the war operations of the German military, nor their presence in schools, universities, and on the streets such as in 2007 during the G8 summit in Heiligendamm have been made an issue in the media, or associated with the increasing protests against them. In other countries, such as for example Ireland, individuals have been freed after trials because of sabotage against tools of war, with the explicit argument that these acts prevented worse crimes. This is a debate which is still to be had here. Regardless, we look forward to the continuation of the antimilitaristic struggle.“

Complete background infos on the case (only in German) can be found on the website of the „Einstellung“ coalition.