The repressive actions of the state, judiciary and police against autonomous political structures in Vienna has increased in the last years .
After the completion of the written verdict and the acquittal of 13 defendants in the § 278a case against animal rights activists in february, the biggest Austrian court case since 1945 (hopefully) has found its end.
But the next political trial is already taking place: this time against 4 political activists (J.A.I.B.), who were, among others, participating in the education-protests of 2009 (unibrennt: a.o. Audimax-occupation Vienna, Academy of fine arts Vienna,…) and active in anti-racist protests.
During the occupations of the Academy of fine arts Vienna in 2009 and the following occupations of the Audimax and other lecture halls in the university of Vienna, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counter-Terrorism (Landesamt für Verfassungsschutz und Terrorismusbekämpfung – LVT) started an extensive investigation.
The LVT did not just monitor protests, but also observed individuals and locations (especially the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and the huge Audimax auditorium Vienna), tapped telephones and placed undercover agents.
These measures were legally “legitimized” by using the sniffer-article 278 (i.e.the formation of a criminal/terrorist organization). In order to justify the investigation, the four activists J.A.I.B. were put into prison for two months in July 2010. Their flats as well as the space of an autonomous culture initiative were raided and many items and computers were seized for several weeks.
The four are being accused of setting a garbage bin on fire in front of a federal job center. They were confronted by the federal prosecutor with the following allegations: forming a terrorist organization, committing terrorist offenses, criminal conspiracy, serious criminal damage and arson.
The four activists used their right to refusal to give evidence. Even after their release, the prosecutor and police were still trying to extort statements from them. A video documentation of a deportation found during a raid was presented by the LVT as a preparation for a planned liberation of prisoners. By now, nearly all of these accusations against J.A.I.B. have been dropped (from the indictment).
On the 13th of March 2012, the opening of their trial will take place.
They are being accused of arson, facing a possible jail time of one to ten years.
Leftist structures have been spied on, people have been under surveillance for weeks, hundreds of telephones have been tapped and 4 people were arrested using phony evidence. Now, the lawsuit is going to take place.
The juridical system aims to play down the political dimension of the case and tries to conceal the surveillance measures which took place for several months.
This trial has to be be seen in continuity with (state-)repression against autonomous political subjects worldwide. Here we must realize, that the only remedy against state oppression is solidarity and networking.
After the “Beograd 6” were acquitted of all charges (international terrorism) in June 2010, the level of repression against the six anarcho-syndicalists finds no end: On the 8th of February, the trial will in Beograd will be resumed.
In September 2011, Sonja and Christian have been handed over to German officials after living for 33 years in exile in France. They are being accused of being members of the Revolutionary Cells in the 70s. The harassment of the judiciary of the Federal Republic of Germany continues, even after 33 years.
In July 2011, widespread protests against the construction of the massive railway project in Val di Susa (Italy) have taken place. The following January, more then 40 activists were arrested, remaining in jail until today.
Worldwide, several squats and independent spaces offering alternatives to mainstream conceptions of life and society were violently evicted by police.
These are just a few examples of a never-ending wave of repression and arrests all around the world. This well known practice of state / judiciary / police -violence against autonomous political structures seems to increase in Vienna within the last several years as well.
In July 2010, four people were put in jail for two months after being observed for several months. The investigation against the alleged terrorists was initially based on the counter-terrorism article §278 et seq. This article legitimizes massive control and monitoring measures. After two burning trash bins in front of a Viennese Job Service Center, the four are now being accused of “attempted arson”.
On the 13th of March the trial will kick off despite of the flimsy evidence available to the state prosecutor. Unveiling once more the judiciary’s prominent role in intimidating critical subjects and voices of resistance.
We will not be intimidated, we will resist!
On the 10th of March, there will be an anti-repression demonstration in Vienna. (Flyer)
But there are many ways to show your solidarity and your resistance. May your anger and creativity run wild, let it be direct, decentralized, autonomous, colorful or black.
Because every (solidary) action is an escape from powerlessness!
We call for an international day of action on the 10th of March 2012.