Short Cuts: Police raids different leftist sights in Germany ahead of G-8 summit

Protest-poster (via Flickr):
Whose sabotage now?

This morning, German federal and state police forces raided around 40 sights in Germany. Around 900 officers searched locations in six northern districts of Germany, apparently targeting left-wing groups. Among them, places like “Die Rote Flora”(Hamburg) and „Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien“ , where left-wing people forgather, were searched, computers confiscated.

The action was taken against 18 people the police describes as part of the “militant left-extremist”scene and people affiliated. Federal prosectutors issued the following statement: „The militant extreme left groups and their members are suspected of having founded a terrorist group, or of being members of such an organization, with the specific goal of staging fire bombings and other violent attacks in order to disrupt or prevent the upcoming G-8 summit in Heiligendamm.“
It also claims the group could be behind nine minor attacks in the Hamburg area and three more in Berlin that occurred during the last two years. In one of the attacks last December a car was set on fire in front of the house of deputy finance minister Thomas Mirow.

Rote Flora and other affiliates of the anti-globalization movement groups criticized the raid, calling it “inadequate”and an “act of intimidation”. A couple of blogs from Germany also joined the criticism. Sueddeutsche Zeitung, one of Germany’s leading liberal newspapers also expressed criticism, questioning the reasonableness of making those people “terror suspects”. To quote the comment: “(…) The point in time, at which G-8 opponents are made terror suspects, says it all. But terrorism today looks very different.”

In the last couple of months, two debates were dominating Germany: One was Minister of the Interior Wolfgang Schaeuble expressing the wish to abandon the presumption of innocence for arrests because of immediate terror threats; the other was a discussion about how Germany should treat former Red Army Fraction-members like Christian Klar, whose wish for premature prison-release was declined by Bundespraesident Horst Koehler
earlier this week (but, apparently, not for political reasons but for showing no regrets).

Adding my comment here: If you see how brutal RAF was from the 1970s to the 90s and if you look at the kind of terrorism we have experienced in the 21st century, it is hard to believe the suspects of Rote Flora and others are capable of doing anything similar.
The evidence is not on the table yet; but from what we know tonight, this very much seems like an attempt from over-painstaking state authorities to spoil anti-globalisation protests, stretching the current laws as far as they need – adding another chapter to the records of WTO- and G-8-security policy that can be described as doubtful, to say the least.
It may sound strange, but the anti-globalization movement can be happy – the slow pace of mobilization for the anti-G-8 rallies will surely get into gear now.

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