This should be a description and classification of the events on the Eisenbahnstraße on 25.09.2018. They are based on own observations and conversations, as well as eyewitness reports and video material sent to us. Neither we, who were present, nor the synopsis of the police report and the LVZ article can give a picture of what exactly happened before the escalation by the police. An exact reconstruction of the events is also not the claim we have, but the documentation of violations of rights and bad treatment by the police. In addition, a formation of civil society forces was to be experienced, which remain standing, engage and do not look away when rights are violated by the police. We show practical solidarity. For the classification we want to describe nevertheless the operational sequences and observations briefly.
On 25.09.2018 there was a police check at 20:50 on the Eisenbahnstraße, where according to the LVZ a “suspicious car because of a missing number plate” was to be checked. Many people who were travelling on the road or heard the screams in their houses came to the street to accompany the police mission critically. A total of at least 30 people were actively involved.
The picture we had when we arrived was that six to ten police officers overpowered A., whose car was to be checked, put their faces on the ground and their knees in their backs. There they hold him for about 15 minutes. His face will later show injuries. He had refused to face an identity check and had a folded knife in his hand, which was taken from him during the overcoming. One person is threatened with a charge of insulting an officer because she said: “Don’t be strong enough if you throw yourselves at 10 of such a thin guy”.
Within a very short time (about 5 minutes) 11 tubs and about 70 police(wo)men are present. A. had to sit on the cold floor on the wall in handcuffs for almost an hour and a half, his shoes were taken off, he did not wear warm clothes. We demand that this inappropriate treatment be stopped. At least his shoes will be put on after some time.
We ask the police to allow one of us to assist the person concerned in accordance with § 14 Paragraph 4 Sentence 1 of the Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz (Administrative Procedure Act). We are then threatened with being sent off. We also want to obtain medical help and a blanket for the person but he is denied legal and civil assistance and medical aid during the entire deployment despite several attempts. The leader of the mission does not show her identity despite repeated requests and none of the civil servants considers it necessary for her to prove her identity according to § 8 sentence 1 Saxon Police Law to comply. We pointed out that what they are doing isthwarting the people’s rights but nobody seems to be interested in that either.
We accompany the complete measure, draw up observation protocols, discuss possibilities of intervention and exert political pressure on the police. From individual conversations with police (wo)men are supposed to shield those affected from us, it emerges that they know neither the legal basis of their actions nor do they want to check the accuracy of our information. It is frightening that such fundamental rights of citizens are not known. And this by those who enforce law and order and this even by means of direct coercion, i.e. violence to which one is simply exposed and which, in the case of disproportionality, is nevertheless not prosecuted.
Calls from supporters can be heard again and again: “Is there perhaps any official who would like to work to ensure that the person concerned is allowed to exercise his or her fundamental rights?”, “Democracy is probably not in full bloom today”, “Is there anyone here who would like to defend the rule of law and democracy?” Never comes a reaction which of course was not expected (perhaps hoped for), but nevertheless hair-raising.
Documented quotes from police(wo)men which don’t need any context: “Watch out for the girls”, “You don’t have any eggs” (To another person, who uses her assistance when the personal details are determined, presumably because of insulting an official), “It’s not my job to defend democratic rights”, “Just shut your mouth”. Further sexist and racist statements and insults have been documented. For example, a group of young people who happened to be standing in front of the café when it escalated were told not to gawk like that. Only foreigners do that and that is not appropriate in Germany. The young people spoke German with a slight accent and felt offended in a xenophobic and racist way.
A drug dog searching the car did not find anything according to eyewitness reports. Around 22:30 the measure is finished, A. is taken with him and no one is given information about where he would be taken to care for him. Also the identity could not be determined by us. The police are investigating “violations of the Narcotics Law, driving without a driver’s license, assaulting enforcement officers and attempted liberation of prisoners”.
The group Prisma, whose group were on the scene, writes about the events on Facebook: “The police do not want to protect basic democratic rights but restrict them, they act according to racist stereotypes, carry out disproportionate measures with massive physical violence and actively deny people their rights. The actions of the police are becoming ever more arbitrary with an extreme expansion of their powers, as planned in the new Saxon Police Law, and the chance of abuse of power ever greater. We say: Stop racist police controls, NO to the new Saxon Police Law, the planned so-called weapon free zone and police arbitrariness”.
Control was not prevented or thwarted, according to the focus of the campaign. But the police were shown that there is a critical public and that there are enough people on Eisenbahnstraße who observe their actions and intervene when the police violate their powers or rights. The networking of the intervening actors, who came from very different contexts, also helps to organize against permanent surveillance and repressive persecution, racial profiling and racism. We start on our doorstep and don’t let ourselves be intimidated by beating and insulting cops!