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Repression against German anti-Castor activists

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 

(October 29, 1999) In Germany, the anti-nuclear resistance is gearing up now that reports about resumption of the Castor transports are increasing. This means that repression will gear up too. With this in mind solidarity is necessary now more than ever. Although the following events took place several months ago we publish this call for solidarity.

(520.5106) BBA Infoladen - On July 6 1999, the Federal Criminal Police office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA) searched 10 flats in Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, in the county of Lüchow-Dannenberg (Wendland, the Gorleben region) and in the area of Lüneburg, an enterprise of taxi drivers in Berlin-Kreuzberg and an environmental institute in Bremen (all in northern Germany). The accusation is "suspicion of membership of a terrorist organisation" (§129a) or "dangerous intervention in the railway transport" (§315).

According to press publications of the Chief Federal Prosecutor nine attorneys, 100 BKA (something like the FBI) members and another 200 policemen and -women were involved. Those arrested were fingerprinted and photographed, samples of saliva and hair (from hairbrushes) were taken to make DNA analysis. In Berlin, policemen in disguise and with helmets and pistols stormed the flat of an accused person. Another person was taken from his work.

According to the Federal Attorney Office the searches and arrests were the result of "intensive investigations of the Working Group Energy of the BKA". These investigations showed that the acts could be traced back to a group of people from the militant resistance against the Castor-transports and to a group called the AOK (Anti-Olympic Committee), a group that resists the candidacy of Berlin for the Olympic Games. The accusation was justified with the "pinch hook actions" against the German Railway Company. (The "pinch hook" is an anchor which is thrown over the high tension wires of the railway line. If a train "catches" the hook the wires will be teared down. This results in damage and the impossibility of railway traffic for the next couple of hours).

According to the press release of the Chief Federal Prosecutor, these sabotage actions took place on October 7 1996, on 12 locations in the whole of Germany and on February 25 1997, on another eight locations in northern Germany. Another justification is a "communique of autonomous groups" concerning these acts and further declarations of the culprits. The broadly published communique stated: "Aim of the attacks was to put pressure on the German Railway Company to stop the Castor-transports by rail."

Because of the series of actions which took place at the same time and the joint declaration, the Chief Federal Prosecutor concluded that there is an organization of "autonomous groups", whose "cadre of leaders" are among the ones now accused. The state attorney insinuates that through the cutting of the overhead railway cable, the lives of train drivers and passengers were endangered. But the discussions within the anti-nuclear movement shows clearly that such acts were always planned and conducted in a way that no human being was endangered. In the abovementioned communique concerning this matter activists say: "With this act we stick to the consent of the resistance movement in the Wendland not to endanger the life of human beings."

Eleven people are accused and nine are affected ("Betroffene") by criminal charges after the house searches. The "affected" are those who are supposed to have contact to the "accused" or access to their rooms. The searches -- at least the ones of the "accused persons" -- took place in all rooms to which they -- according to the attorney -- had access to. So cellars, attics, sheds, barns, cars, gardens and agricultural areas were searched. All searches started simultaneously at about 8 o'clock in the morning and lasted for 13 hours. The "accused" was allowed one phone call to a lawyer (with one exception) and were not allowed to make any further telephone calls. In Bremen, a colleague from an office called MAUS (Messtelle fr Arbeits- und Umweltschutz: institute for the protection of work and environment), is one of the "accused persons". His work-place as well as all the rooms of the institute and the whole house in which it is located, were searched. Business and working documents were confiscated thus risking the continued existence of the project. In this case another charge was brought up: "initial suspicion of fraud because of inexpedient use of sponsorship money." Certainly this specific case did not happen by chance. Among other things the office had joined and supported scientifically and politically a campaign against nuclear transports through Bremen and Bremerhaven during 1997/8. Meanwhile, a funder of the institute stated that "one person" has to be fired or else continued funding is in danger.

During the search the following things were confiscated: computers and data carriers (floppy discs, CDs), video films, photos, diaries, addressbooks, notebooks, material people worked with (articles and further texts that had nothing to do with the accusation), medical documents and therapy papers about personal treatments, documents about patients, strategy discussions about uranium-, Castor-transports and anti-nuclear resistance. Documents such as bank accounts, receipts, contracts and tools and equipment like vices, pipe wrenches, pin cutters, spanners, rails, wireless scanners, signal vests, maps, typewriters, typebars, samples of handwritings and type writings, hairbrushes and hemp plants. On top of all that cigarette stubs were confiscated because according to the house search decision a stubbed-out cigarette (of the brand Juwel) was found on a concrete sleeper in the rail bed near Potsdam, 13.20m from a place where a pinch was said to be hung up. To date, it is still unknown when the court case against the 20 accused will start.

In our opinion that action of the BKA is obviously linked to the energy concensus-talks between the government and the nuclear industry. In the run up of the political and practical preparations for further nuclear transports the resistance is to be criminalized, intimidated, divided into "peaceful" and "violent" parts and weakened.

Concluding we want to point out that:

  • We are the ones who determine the form of resistance that we use against the inhumane nuclear plants. We don't allow the representatives of the nuclear industry and their governmental supporters to tell us what to do.
  • It doesn't matter which "colour-combination" in Berlin is in power: we will continue to fight against nuclear plants until all of them are closed!
  • We know: the repression is aimed at all of us -- but we won't let them intimidate nor divide us. Decisive for changes has always been the pressure we could produce from our side.

We want:

  • Immediate return of all confiscated materials!
  • Abandoning of all criminal cases against opponents of nuclear power!
  • Immediate closure of all nuclear plants!

You can sign this declaration of solidarity and send it to the address below. Read more about (the resistance against) Castor-transports in WISE News Communiques 432,452, 468, 486 and 489.

Source and contact: BBA-Infoladen,
St. Pauli Str. 10-12, 28203 Bremen Germany.
Tel/Fax: +49-421-700 144