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Strike while the iron is hot and strengthen the forces in the struggle against the rightward development of the government

After the failed attack of the state apparatus on the MLPD and the Rebellious Music Festival.
Strike while the iron is hot and strengthen the forces in the struggle against the rightward development of the government

Dear friends and comrades,

It is a bit unusual that we send you information on the repression against the Rebellious Music Festival for the third time now. The reason for still doing so is on one hand that there are a lot of interest and international reactions and on the other hand that it provides a good insight in the situation and our work in Germany. We are distributing this flyer with a circulation of 100,000 which is generating a mass discussion. Meanwhile the main actor on the part of the police, Dirk Löther, has been suspended; it is not clear if he has been promoted or punished.

Have fun with this crime thriller,

Yours Monika Gärtner-Engel, Responsible Person for Internationalism

 

1,500 participants together made the Third Rebellious Music Festival in Truckenthal (South Thuringia) a success on Whitsun. This is a unique self-organized youth festival that knows no rival. A festival without drugs and sexism, with a rebellious culture, lived international solidarity, exciting bands. It fosters courage, cohesion and confidence among the participants for the struggle against the capitalist conditions, for a livable future. In 2018 the festival revolved particularly around the struggle for world peace. Some 50 bands performed, most of them without asking a fee; everything was organized on a volunteer basis.

 

Integrating and orientation-providing factor of the festival was the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD) in close collaboration with its Youth League Rebell. During the last federal elections, in a tactical offensive for genuine socialism and against modern anticommunism the party gained much recognition and a political profile among a growing mass of people. Hundreds of thousands of people saw its posters or read its program. A clear anti-capitalist and socialist alternative became visible in its inspiring election campaign. In its concentration area Thuringia, together with Rebell the party has made a name for itself in the anti-fascist struggle, in the fight for every job at Opel in Eisenach, in its internationalist youth work and in other fields. It became especially clear around Whitsun time that those in power dislike this.

 

What happened?

The Thuringia State Security Office prevented the issue of a permit for the festival on the specious grounds that the band Grup Yorum, which was scheduled to appear at the festival, supposedly is banned. This is a blatant lie. On 15 May 2018, Stefan Engel received a police “letter to dangerous persons” containing threats of arrest and detention and other massive repressive measures against him if the festival were to take place in the planned form. Stefan Engel is neither festival organizer nor the person applying for the festival permit – for 37 years he was chairman of the MLPD, and most recently top candidate of the Internationalist List/MLPD in Thuringia. He was merely one of the many sponsors of the festival. Evidently he was regarded as a “wire-puller”. Here it became clear who the attack was aimed at in essence – at the MLPD. During the following days four more activists received “letters to dangerous persons”. A “suspicion of terrorism” purposely was voiced in the letters in order to suspend democratic rights. In the run-up to the festival, in Stasi manner the domestic intelligence agency, Verfassungsschutz, in Thuringia already had demanded that the names of the band members and the band’s texts be handed over to it by the festival organizers. Against all this, supporters of the Rebellious Music Festival held a protest rally on 17 May in the town of Saalfeld. It was “escorted” by around 30 well-equipped police officers. The democratic right to distribute leaflets was abrogated and the leaflets were confiscated because the officer-in-charge didn’t like what he read. In addition, criminal complaints were filed and demonstrators officially were told to leave the area.

 

On 18 May the festival grounds were completely surrounded by 200 police. They began making identity checks among the population and setting up barriers in the surrounding villages and demanded a disaster plan. If these forces had prevailed, a brutal police assault would have taken place!

 

There is evidence that this line of action came “from the very top” and originated in the Federal Ministry of the Interior under Horst Seehofer (CSU). One reason more why this hard-liner in the new government must step down: he in particular stands for the rightward development of the government – but he is also a chief object of protests: tens of thousands protested in Bavaria against the proto-fascist new Police Duties Act; more and more people reject his reactionary refugee policy; no other German state wants his “anchor centers” for refugees.

 

Double standards

Let us compare: the “Advisory Office Against Rightwing Extremism” counted fully 59 fascist music events in Thuringia in 2017, culminating in the big event co-organized by Tommy Frenck in Themar in summer 2017. Under the eyes of the police, 6,000 or so fascists from all over Europe, roaring to the music of Nazi bands, were allowed to show the Hitler salute hundreds of times – and the concert was not stopped! The responsible people in the Thuringia state apparatus and the Federal Ministry of the Interior obviously apply double standards!

 

The responsible head of the police operation was Dirk Löther, chief of the Saalfeld police department. No unknown by any means! In his previous function as head of the Thuringia State Office of Criminal Investigation he was cited to appear before the committee of inquiry on the National-Socialist Underground (NSU) murders, where he suffered from a sudden loss of memory. The Thuringian Verfassungsschutz had provably played a part in the building of fascist structures in Thuringia. On May Day 2015 the police, led by Löther, stood idly by and watched as fascists attacked young leftists. For the federal government, which is shifting further to the right, Löther evidently was the right attack dog to use to move against the music festival and the MLPD.

 

These occurrences give rise to certain questions:

Are serious efforts being made to solve the NSU murders?

Have all ties between reactionary forces of the state apparatus and fascists really been severed?

What is the role played by the State Security Office and the Verfassungsschutz in Thuringia and nationwide as well as by the Federal Ministry of the Interior?

 

And these events give rise to contradictions in broad parts of the population. Numerous declarations of solidarity addressed to the MLPD and the festival from Thuringia, from Germany and worldwide were received – what happened in South Thuringia was discussed in Australia, the USA, Syria, Norway, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka and other countries. When, in addition to that, the press reported on a broad scale about what was going on, the performance of the band Grup Yorum, and thus the festival, was allowed by the court at the last minute. But not even the court decision seemed to be binding for the police. Only after some resistance and consultation with their ministries were the already deployed two hundred-strong police contingents withdrawn.

 

Nip it in the bud: Fight against the government’s and the bourgeois parties’ development to the right!

It is quite strange that the Left Party did not take an official position on these occurrences; nor did Minister President Ramelow publicly stand up for the festival although he is the employer of the responsible police officers. In such a situation, solidarity against the fascistization of the state apparatus must have top priority; one must not be guided by any small-minded competitive thinking. A laudable exception is the member of the state parliament Johanna Scheringer-Wright from the Left Party, who expressed her solidarity with the festival, was present and said in her message of greetings: “This must have consequences.”

 

This whole affair was no mere slip. Through various state measures like the Police Duties Act in Bavaria as a blueprint for North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and nationwide, the state apparatus is enabled to apply emergency and preventive measures like preventive detention, elimination of democratic rights or collaboration between police and secret service. In Bavaria tens of thousands have already demonstrated against this and hundreds of thousands have voiced their protest. The people increasingly notice that this fascistization of the state apparatus is directed against themselves. The resistance movement, as it is developing in Bavaria, in the protests of the refugees in Ellwangen or against the attacks on the MLPD, is an expression of a now increasing progressive change of mood. The MLPD demands the investigation of the occurrences by the Thuringia state parliament, the punishment of those responsible, and compensation for damages. Police inspector Löther and the responsible Minister of the Interior, Seehofer, must resign!

 

Strengthen the MLPD and the Internationalist Alliance

The MLPD will stand for election of the state parliament in Thuringia together with many partners in the “Internationalist Alliance” in autumn of 2019. We will forge a strong force against the federal government’s development to the right (and of parts of the Thuringia state government). We call on all internationalists, young people, workers, antifascists, environmental fighters, militant women and revolutionaries: become part of this alliance, which holds great promise for the future!

 

Event:

How and why I was turned into a “dangerous person” –

Discussion meeting with Stefan Engel on 13 June

at 7 p.m. in Gelsenkirchen, Horster Mitte, Schmalhorststr. 1a

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