Statement of the German Communist Party (DKP) Munich

Munich was under martial law the first weekend of February on the occasion of the NATO “Security Conference.” Democracy and freedom of speech were abolished. It was planned from the start, to suffocate every kind of protest by bans on demonstrations and meetings, turning back people at the borders, controlling them on streets and in trains, placing the organizers under “preventive” arrest and arresting hundreds of demonstrators. Thousands of policemen tried to carry through a total ban on demonstrations.

But neither Thursday, nor Friday nor Saturday [Jan. 31-Feb. 2] was it possible to keep thousands from making crystal clear their protest against the policy of war and the suppression of democracy.

For months the democratic protest had been organized against the “Munich security conference,” a meeting of about 200 members of NATO governments, military strategists and generals to prepare the next NATO wars, by an alliance of 150 different organizations. Just before the planned demonstrations, police and secret services increased their unfounded accusations that thousands of chaotic-minded people ready for violence were on their way to Munich. On Wednesday, Jan. 30, a total ban was imposed on all demonstrations on Friday and over the weekend. Every kind of freedom of speech was forbidden, the right to assemble peacefully was suspended and virtual martial law was inflicted upon Munich.

On Thursday evening over 2,000 demonstrated against the ban in Munich’s central square, the Marienplatz, and marched to the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior. “Instead of 2,000 people ready for violence coming to Munich, as the police claim, there are 200 – and they are sitting in the Bayerischer Hof!” (the conference site), alliance spokesman Claus Schreer told the crowd.

On Friday, 2,000 people again filled the Marienplatz, where the alliance against the NATO-conference held an open-air press conference, which, because of the large number of journalists reporting live, gave the crowd some cover. Resistance was expressed in many ways — many people placed a sticker over their mouths, some distributed empty papers, and signs could be seen: “I’m no protester!” Finally the police violently evacuated the Marienplatz, arresting more than 300 and in a number of cases brutally trampling on people sitting peacefully on the ground.

Saturday started with a similar picture. When the forbidden march was supposed to start, more and more people gathered on the Marienplatz between dozens of police vans parked all over the place. At this point alliance organizer Claus Schreer was arrested and marched off in the pedestrian zone near the Marienplatz. He was on his way from a joint press conference with Siggi Benker, leader of the parliamentary group of the Munich Green Party, and well-known singer Konstantin Wecker to the Marienplatz in order to inform the crowd about the ban on all protests – his legal duty as leader of the assembly.

When the police violently drove away some 8,000 peaceful demonstrators from the Marienplatz, the people succeeded in forming a march. Some 10,000 people finally defied the ban (even the Bavarian broadcast cited this figure) and marched peacefully until the police encircled parts of the demonstration and drove them away violently. The police also encircled the Munich Trade Union Building, where a permitted meeting took place. Not until 10 p.m. did the police withdraw and let the participants go home.

Altogether over 800 were arrested. It was only because of the protesters’ considerate behavior that the weekend did not end in the chaos desired by the municipal government and the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior.

The conference itself justified the protests. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz tried to convince the participants about the next target of NATO’s war machinery: Iraq, a country already totally bled to death by U.S. war and sanctions, is designated the next victim in the “crusade” to strengthen the New World order and to establish a global politically-military dictatorship by the G-7 countries and the transnational trusts.

To sum the weekend up: Democratic Munich cannot be banned. Munich was part of a worldwide movement , from Porto Alegre to New York, against imperialist policies of war and capitalist globalization.

We demand:

• the immediate release of all arrested demonstrators!

• No criminal charges against people defending their democratic rights!

• Erase all files about those arrested!

We urgently ask for declarations of protest against the arrests and against the suspension of democratic rights addressed to Munich’s Mayor, Mr. Ude, at

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