May First German member faces crack-down

For Immediate Release Contact: Alfredo Lopez

The German government has effectively outlawed the linksunten Indymedia Center, a joint member of Tachanka! and May First/People Link, in the most serious police state action we have seen in recent years. The attack began two weeks ago with raids (involving of money and equipment) at autonomous KTS Center (which the government is alleging is a linksunten “base”) and several private homes to seize equipment and money belonging to alleged linksunten members.

While it has yet to arrest any alleged members, the German government has

  • forbidden the use of linksunten email
  • shut down its website
  • begun personal police surveillance (“tailing”) of alleged Center members 24 hours a day

The government is accusing linksunten, one of the German left’s most popular and prominent media resources, of illegally “sowing hate.” Linksunter, as do all Indymedia centers, offers free, amonymous posting privileges to all left- wing organizations. As a result, it is used by organizations across the political spectrum of left-wing politics, including some organizations the government believes break the law. Some of these posters are also anti-fascist organizations and the government may be referring to some of their posts as “sowing hate”.

Linksunten keeps no visitor records so the German government has been consistently frustrated when trying to get the identity of particular posters from its website.

The attack comes just 7 weeks after anti-G20 summit protests in Hamburg, after which German politicians promised to crack down on “dangerous” dissenters. It has now publicly called linksunten “an organization”, denying it media and press protections.

May First/People Link denounces and discounts the ridiculous pretext for what is, effectively, a police state crack-down on a vitally important media organization. Linksunten is a major platform for the German opposition movement and these actions against it can only be interpreted as the newest stage of the German government’s right-wing drift. We are particularly concerned about the spread of this tactic to other countries, includng the United States.