In July 2015 our friend and comrade got arrested at a passport control at the Greek-Bulgarian border. The Europe-wide arrest warrant against her had been issued by the prosecution office of Aachen, Germany, on the 24th of June 2015. In Germany she got locked up under the ‘U-haft‘ (Untersuchungshaft) regime in Cologne because of a presumed involvement in an armed bank robbery that had taken place two years earlier (2013). On the 2nd December 2015, after months of investigation the prosecution formally charged her with bank robbery, hostage taking and weapon possession. On the 16th of December, the court called the prison instructing them to release our comrade because all charges were to be dropped, since the “evidence” that months of investigation produced was not sufficient for this case to be brought to court.
When we were writing the above statement (1) concerning the imprisonment and release of our friend, we hoped it would be the last. Unfortunately the German cops did not agree, and decided to appeal against the decision of her release. This resulted in, after first being rejected by the normal court, the higher court’s decision to reopen the case. Concretely this means that, after having spent nearly six months in preventive prison, our friend and comrade is now outside awaiting trial. It is still unclear when the court case will take place. Despite several desperate attempts from the prosecutor’s office to also get a new warrant for her arrest – at the moment we are awaiting the high court’s decision of yet another appeal – she is still outside with us.
However, on Wednesday the 13th of April the same prosecutor’s office ordered a series of house raids in Barcelona that resulted in the arrest of another comrade; she is said to have participated in a bank robbery that was carried out in Aachen in 2014. It is clear that the German and Spanish authorities have decided to join forces in the ongoing project of repression against anarchists in the European territory, supported by the ever obedient dogs of the media.
As expected the media are rubbing their hands together, intertwining “common crimes” with anarchists. This does not come as a surprise, especially in a time that more and more is defined by repressive blows against anything subversive. However, we think it is important to leave the distinction between “common” or “political” crimes to the cops, the prosecutors, the journalists. We do not need to provide the authorities with categories they are only too willing too accept. As has been stated in the communiqué published by comrades of the person arrested in Barcelona, expropriation of banks is “an ethically just and politically legitimate practice, a method of struggle that forms part of the history of every revolutionary movement.” (2) Whether the accused individuals have participated in the robberies or not is not important to us. What is important is that we express our solidarity with those persecuted by the authorities.
While the servants of the State are spawning their assumptions and accusations into the world with a lot of spectacle, we should remember our own perspectives and ideas. These are not times for speculation, neither on the “motives” of the robberies, nor on the presumed innocence or guilt of the arrested. Rather than being a moment for questions, this should be a moment of answers – clear answers directed at those who oppress us. As has been said before, “you touch one of us, you touch all of us”. More than anything this is a time for solidarity, in every possible form it can take.
Freedom for the imprisoned comrade now
Until all prisons and the banks that need them are
Amsterdam, 19th April 2016