[Reader-list] [Fwd: HIC: Urgent call to Action: Solidarity with a german activist inhousing and other political prisoners from inhabitants andpeoples' organizations]]

Monica Narula monica at sarai.net
Sat Aug 18 14:29:37 IST 2007

The info about this has been circulating on other lists and online  
petitions have also been set up. Links:

- The letter from Hartmut Häussermann's et al.
<http://www.freeandrej.net.ms/> (German only).

- The INURA-letter <http://www.policing-crowds.org/petition.html>
(English + German)

On 16-Aug-07, at 2:42 PM, Monica Narula wrote:

> Now urban researchers can be deemed terrorists, apparently, because
> they "have not limited their
> research findings to an ivory tower, but have made their expertise
> available to citizens’ initiatives and tenants’ organizations."
> ...
> -------- Original-Nachricht --------
> Betreff: HIC: Urgent call to Action: Solidarity with a german activist
> in	housing and other political prisoners from inhabitants and	peoples'
> organizations
> Datum: Fri, 10 Aug 2007 19:37:52 -0400
> Von: Ana Sugranyes <gs at hic-net.org>
> An: hic  Postino <hic-members at ilpostino.jpberlin.de>
> Source: Knut Unger (email: knut.unger at habitat-netz.de)
> Colleagues from INURA Berlin (HIC Members) have put together various
> materials in order to raise international attention and support
> regarding the case of the 7 persons accused (out of which 4 were  
> jailed)
> last week in Berlin for alleged suspected 'memberships of a terrorist
> association'.
> 3 of these are fellow urban researchers, one of whom, an activist in
> housing and tenants movements who is currently in jail, has agreed  
> to be
> named:
> Andrej Holm, urban sociologist and established researcher on
> gentrification in Berlin.
> Please find below a statement in English, which INURA is trying to
> circulate in academic and related circles in order to build
> international support.
> Next week we will try to send more informations and reports about
> reactions and political background
> On 31st July 2007 seven persons were charged by the Attorney of the
> German Federal Supreme Court for alleged suspected 'memberships of a
> terrorist
> association'. Four of these have since been in pre-trial  
> confinement in
> a Berlin jail. Three of the seven accused individuals are fellow urban
> researchers, one of whom, who is currently in jail, has agreed to be
> named:
> Andrej Holm, urban sociologist and established researcher on
> gentrification in Berlin.
> An OPEN LETTER hereunder and attached, summarising the background  
> of the
> case, the arguments used by the Attorney of the German Federal Supreme
> Court and the demand made by the solidarity movement.
> Individuals or organisations are invited to demonstrate support by
> sending
> protest letters, petitions and declarations to the Attorney of the
> German
> Federal Supreme Court, i.e.:
> Der Generalbundesanwalt beim Bundesgerichtshof
> c/o Ermittlungsrichter Hebenstreit
> Herrenstraße 45
> D-76133 Karlsruhe
> Germany
> and
> Der Generalbundesanwalt beim Bundesgerichtshof
> Brauerstraße 30
> D-76137 Karlsruhe
> Germany
> Fax + 49 7 21 819 14 92
> eMail: presse at generalbundesanwalt.de
> <mailto:presse at generalbundesanwalt.de>
> An e-mail address has been set up by the Berlin colleagues who are
> coordinating
> action around Andrej Holm and the other accused: it would be  
> helpful if
> individuals and organisations could send a message to this address to
> inform
> the Berlin colleagues about the support action they are taking
> (solidarity addresses, declarations that are to be published) and
> address any question they
> may have: kontaktschuld at so36.net
> For information, the German lawyer and press contact for the accused,
> including Andrej Holm, is:
> Wolfgang Kaleck
> Immanuelkirchstrasse3-4
> D-10405 Berlin
> Germany
> Phone: +49-(0)30-4467-9218
> Fax: +49-(0)30-4467-9220
> In short, the main demands of the solidarity movement are:
> - Release of the prisoners
> - Stop the proceedings under § 129a of German penal law
> - End the § 129, 129a, and 129b laws
> - Stop criminalizing progressive research and action
> Der Generalbundesanwalt beim Bundesgerichtshof**
> c/o Ermittlungsrichter Hebenstreit**
> Herrenstraße 45**
> D-76133 Karlsruhe**
> Germany*
> Der Generalbundesanwalt beim Bundesgerichtshof*
> Brauerstraße 30*
> D-76137 Karlsruhe*
> Germany*
> Open letter against the criminalization of critical academic research
> and political engagement*
> On 31st July 2007 the flats and workplaces of Dr. Andrej Holm and Dr.
> Matthias B., as well as of two other persons, were searched by the
> police. Dr. Andrej Holm was arrested, flown by helicopter to the  
> German
> Federal Court in Karlsruhe and brought before the custodial judge.  
> Since
> then he has been held in pretrial confinement in a Berlin jail. All  
> four
> people have been charged with “membership in a terrorist association
> according to § 129a StGB” (German Penal Code, section 7 on ‘Crimes
> against Public Order’). They are alleged to be members of a so-called
> /‘militante gruppe’ (mg). /The text of the search warrant revealed  
> that
> preliminary proceedings against these four people have been going on
> since September 2006 and that the four had since been under constant
> surveillance.
> A few hours before the house searches, Florian L., Oliver R. und  
> Axel H.
> were arrested in the Brandenburg/ /region and accused of attempted  
> arson
> on four vehicles of the German Federal Army. Andrej Holm is alleged to
> have met one of these three persons on two occasions in the first half
> of 2007 in supposedly “conspiratorial circumstances”.
> The Federal Prosecutor (/Bundesanwaltschaft/) therefore assumes  
> that the
> four above mentioned persons as well as the three individuals arrested
> in Brandenburg are members of a “militant group,” and is thus
> investigating all seven on account of suspected “membership in a
> terrorist association” according to §129a StGB.
> According to the arrest warrant against Andrej Holm, the charge made
> against the above mentioned four individuals is presently justified on
> the following grounds, in the order that the federal prosecutor has
> listed them:
> - Dr. Matthias B. is alleged to have used, in his academic  
> publications,
> “phrases and key words” which are also used by the ‘/militante  
> gruppe’;/
> - As political scientist holding a PhD, Matthias B. is seen to be
> intellectually capable to “author the sophisticated texts of the
> ‘/militante gruppe’ (mg)”./ Additionally, “as employee in a research
> institute he has access to libraries which he can use  
> inconspicuously in
> order to do the research necessary to the drafting of texts of the
> /‘militante gruppe’”;/
> - Another accused individual is said to have met with suspects in a
> conspiratorial manner: “meetings were regularly arranged without,
> however, mentioning place, time and content of the meetings”;
> furthermore, he is said to have been active in the “extreme left-wing
> scene”;
> - In the case of a third accused individual, an address book was found
> which included the names and addresses of the other three accused;
> - Dr. Andrej H., who works as urban sociologist, is claimed to have
> close contacts with all three individuals who have been charged but
> still remain free;
> - Dr. Andrej H. is alleged to have been active in the “resistance
> mounted by the extreme left-wing scene against the World Economic  
> Summit
> of 2007 in Heiligendamm”;
> - The fact that he – allegedly intentionally -- did not take his  
> mobile
> phone with him to a meeting is considered as “conspiratorial  
> behavior”.
> Andrej H., as well as Florian L., Oliver R. and Axel H., are detained
> since 1st August 2007 in Berlin-Moabit under very strict conditions:
> they are locked in solitary confinement 23 hours a day and are allowed
> only one hour of courtyard walk. Visits are limited to a total of half
> an hour every two weeks. Contacts, including contacts with lawyers,  
> are
> allowed only through separation panes. The mail of the defense is
> checked.
> The charges described in the arrest warrants reveal a construct  
> based on
> very dubious reasoning by analogy. The reasoning involves four basic
> hypotheses, none of which the Federal High Court could substantiate  
> with
> any concrete evidence, but through their combination they are to leave
> the impression of a “terrorist association”. The social scientists,
> because of their academic research activity, their intellectual
> capacities and their access to libraries, are said to be the brains of
> the alleged “terrorist organization”. For, according to the Federal
> prosecutor, an association called /“militante gruppe”/ is said to use
> the same concepts as the accused social scientists. As evidence for  
> this
> reasoning, the concept of “gentrification” is named - one of the key
> research themes of Andrej Holm und Matthias B. in past years, about
> which they have published internationally. They have not limited their
> research findings to an ivory tower, but have made their expertise
> available to citizens’ initiatives and tenants’ organizations.*  
> This is
> how critical social scientists are constructed as intellectual gang
> leaders.*
> Since Andrej Holm has friends, relatives and colleagues, they now also
> are suspect to be “terrorists”, because they know Andrej. Another
> accused individual was blamed for having the names of Andrej Holm  
> and of
> two others charged (but not jailed) in his address book. Since the
> latter are also deemed to be “terrorists” – *this is how “guilt by
> association” is established.*
> Paragraph § 129a, introduced in Germany in 1976, makes it possible for
> our colleagues to be criminalized as “terrorists”. *This is how,  
> through
> § 129a, the existence of a “terrorist group” is claimed.*
> Through these constructs, every academic research activity and  
> political
> work is presented as potentially criminal – in particular when
> politically engaged colleagues who intervene in social struggles are
> concerned. *This is how critical research, in particular research  
> linked
> with political engagement, is turned into ideological ring leadership
> and “terrorism”.*
> We demand that the Federal Prosecutor (/Bundesanwaltschaft/)  
> immediately
> suspend the *§ *129a-proceedings against all parties concerned and
> release Andrej Holm and the other imprisoned from jail at once. We
> strongly reject the outrageous accusation that the academic research
> activities and the political engagement of Andrej Holm are to be  
> viewed
> as complicity in an alleged “terrorist association”. No arrest warrant
> can be deduced from the academic research and political work of Andrej
> Holm. The Federal Prosecutor, through applying Article § 129, is
> threatening the freedom of research and teaching as well as
> social-political engagement.
> Signature(s)
> Date
> _________________________________________
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