As mentioned the other night in the news feed, the past week has seen near-simultaneous crackdowns on the English Defence League (UK), Génération Identitaire (France), and the Pro-Movement (Germany). Whether there was any co-ordination of these separate operations by the labyrinthine bureaucracy of the European Union is open to question. But there is no doubt that a new season of political repression in Europe has begun, and we can expect to see more of the same.
Our Canadian correspondent Rembrandt Clancy has translated some relevant material from the German theater of the recent operation, and includes this introduction for our readers:
On 23 October 2012 the police in North Rhine-Westphalia searched the homes and offices of members of the Pro-Movement. These raids occurred, coincidentally or not, in close temporal contiguity with the arrest of EDL members in the UK and members of Génération Identitaire in France. Below is the first statement on the events issued by Pro-Cologne in which they offer their analysis of the pretext for the raids and the allegations associated with them.
Readers may recall that the Pro-Cologne Citizens’ Movement (Pro-Köln) is an anti-Islamic electoral party in the city of Cologne and has members on the city council. It has been a leading opponent of the building of the Cologne Central Mosque. In Cologne-Kalk (a district of Cologne) Pro-Cologne fought for the eviction of the so-called “autonomous centre” (das autonome Zentrum), a Kaleidoscopic collection of groups from the German Left and roughly comparable to the occupy movement, although it actually antedates the latter.
Derived from Pro-Cologne is Pro-Deutschland at the federal level, and PRO-NRW which is active on the state level (North Rhine-Westphalia). The chairman of Pro-NRW is Markus Beisicht, a jurist who is mentioned in the Pro-Köln’s statement below. Readers will recall that Pro-NRW conducted their “Freedom Instead of Islam Tour” earlier this year on the occasion of state elections and displayed Mohammed caricatures on some of their stops. Their demonstration in Bonn achieved the most notoriety when on 5 May 2012, after the Pro-NRW demonstrators displayed their Mohammed cartoons, the Salafists went berserk and one of them, Murat K., stabbed two policemen in the thigh. Immediately prior to the Bonn event Pro-NRW managed to acquire a court order overturning Interior Minister Ralf Jaeger’s (SPD) edict that they were not to be displayed at the Bonn demonstration.
The police raids on Pro-Movement’s homes and offices falls under the purview of the aforementioned Interior Minister Ralf Jaeger. But there is a silver lining in all this for the Islam-critical Pro-NRW. The good news is connected with the announcement in the Pro-Cologne statement below that there will be a demonstration in Wuppertal-Elberfeld this Saturday (24 October 2012) against the construction project of the DITIB (Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs). Planned is the building of a giant mosque with a minaret of around 28 metres in height. Interior Minister Ralf Jaeger, yet again, had issued a decree against the display of Mohammed caricatures during this pending political action. But this morning (24 October 2012) the decree was overturned, yet again, by the Administrative Court in Düsseldorf. The cartoon by Kurt Westergaard will now be displayed at the upcoming demonstration along with cartoons from a previous Islam-critical cartoon competition. The Pro-Movement’s demonstration on Saturday may be well worth following (Source: Bürgerbewegung Pro-NRW).
The translated statement:
Source: Bürgerbewegung Pro-Köln
Political Justice in the Fight Against the PRO Movement
23 October 2012
Even before the confrontation over the Mohammed caricatures, the political and media establishment in North Rhine-Westphalia tried everything possible to silence the inconvenient PRO-MOVEMENT. Today the politically directed prosecutor’s office in Cologne pursued a further level of escalation in this Belarusian-style criminalisation and defamation campaign. On the orders of the Cologne prosecutor’s office, which is sufficiently known in respect of these issues, search warrants were executed today in the offices of the PRO COLOGNE party as well as at the houses of various leading officials of the PRO MOVEMENT. Numerous written documents and computers were confiscated at the same time. The capacity for action of the Cologne party — which is seen by many as the nucleus of the PRO-MOVEMENT — was thereby paralysed overnight. The party members elected by 20,000 citizens of the city of Cologne as a counterweight to the coterie-parties are thereby limited in an egregious manner in their work of safeguarding and opposition. The prosecutor leading the search dismissed this circumstance lightly as “collateral damage”.
The pretext for the search is alleged irregularities in the accounting of the Cologne party meetings. The extent to which this pretext is trumped up in order to intimidate the top management of the PRO-MOVEMENT is already emerging from one fact alone: that searches have also occurred at the home of PRO-COLOGNE and PRO-NRW chairman Markus Beisicht in Leverkusen and at the home of PRO-DEUTSCHLAND chairman Manfred Rouhs in Berlin; in other words, at the homes of persons who could not have had anything at all to do with the outrageous calumny: Markus Beisicht, as Leverkusen city councilman, has never even billed a party meeting in Cologne, and Manfred Rouhs had already dropped out of the Cologne council in early 2011 and moved to Berlin. From these two examples the political exploitation of the Cologne prosecutor’s office in Belarusian or Chinese tradition becomes especially clear: The top management of the PRO-MOVEMENT is intended to be maximally intimidated, calumniated and criminalised for months and from many quarters; also, numerous representatives of the press were promptly waiting in front of the party offices in Cologne, apparently informed by the public prosecutor’s office.
The calculation within certain circles appears to be that something is already becoming entangled with the citizens if torrents of abuse, well staged in the media, are being shaken in sufficient amounts over PRO. For the outrageous accusations of fraud of course hang in the air at first and have now to be proved wrong over months of detailed legal work. Accordingly, the chronological consideration of the interested parties seems to be that this whole matter will not have been dispelled prior to the deadline for the next local election in the Spring of 2014, and hence PRO COLOGNE and the PRO-MOVEMENT as a whole must go into the election campaign with the stigma of the charge of fraud!
To what extent certain circles pull the strings in this affair, one can only surmise. This is evidenced in the “proof” against PRO COLOGNE to date: an anonymous report and unknown statements by Marlyn Anderegg and Gereon Breuer. Marylin Anderegg had already publicly resigned from PRO COLOGNE shortly before the local elections of 2009 and even then spread adventurous fairy tales about the PRO-MOVEMENT. The resignation of the unemployed flower-seller was grounded in reasons of her own and also based on her disappointment with not having landed a position as party secretary. The background of the former party consultant Gereon Breuer appears to be even more dubious: The former CDU-official from Siegen had ended his work for PRO overnight in the middle of the local election of 2012. Until then Breuer had been officially designated as meeting chairman for the “Freedom instead of Islam” tour. But only a few hours after the NRW Interior Minister Jaeger at the time had spoken strongly against this tour, which included the presentation of Mohammed caricatures, and demanded that this “attack against democracy” be prohibited, did Gereon Breuer take the decision to terminate his membership with PRO COLOGNE and to cease all his activities for the PRO MOVEMENT. Even since these events, speculation persists about a certain “proximity to the state” of the former youth functionary. How far such a proximity to the state goes, should such indeed exist, is one of the interesting matters which the pending investigatory proceedings will hopefully bring to light. It is in this respect more than astonishing that Gereon Breuer himself is not being brought into the proceedings as a defendant, although he also was a regular participant in the Cologne party meetings which have been called into question …
All in all, the initial conclusion to be emphasised is this: the continuing, basic work of opposition by the Islam-critical PRO-MOVEMENT is driving certain circles in this state [of North Rhine-Westphalia] to white-hot fury. Since the “intended effect” could not be achieved hitherto by harassment and defamation as well as internal subversive measures, it is obvious that the really heavy artillery is now being moved up. But, like the courageous dissidents and the persecuted of Belarus, China or elsewhere, the PRO-MOVEMENT promises, also in this country, not to flag in their work. The malignant accusations and libel will be completely confounded and dispelled! And the political work will be continued despite these attacks on our capacity for action: In Cologne this morning at Ebertplatz [a major underground station of Cologne’s transit system], at about the same time as the house searches were taking place, a new information stand series was started opposing violence and neglect in local public transport. And for Saturday a large, Islam-critical demonstration is being mobilised state-wide to take place in Wuppertal against the DITIB-Pomp-Mosque [DITIB — Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs]. Every distributed leaflet, every participation at an information booth or a demonstration is now a means of protest against political justice [Politjustiz] and the suppression of liberal opposition in Germany.
And also each donation will contribute to the organisation of our defence and to the speedy restoration of our capacity for action.
PRO KÖLN, Konto Nr. 27 60 21 76
Sparkasse KölnBonn, BLZ 370 501 98
Pro NRW, Kontonummer: 1 004 718 142
Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf, Bankleitzahl: 300 501 10