Concrete web-magazine

7Jan/140

Bad Cops

Parts of the northern German city of Hamburg have recently been placed under a curfew*, following police reporting an attack on a police station during which a officer was supposedly hit with a stone in the face at arms length by a left-wing activist and consequently hospitalized. On the 21st of December, riots had already shook Hamburg as police had stopped a demonstration for the squatted social center "Rote Flora", against gentrification and for migrant rights. Supposedly, the demonstration had attacked officers shortly after start by throwing rocks and fireworks.

But - surprise! - neither attacks happened as the police reported them. Their claims about the demonstration on the 21st had to be retracted after mere days, because videos published by protestors clearly contradicted police claims. Now the police also had to withdraw their reports about the attack on a police station on the famous Reeperbahn, after a local lawyer had gone public with witness testimonials. Even the cops now have to admit: their officer was injured some 200 meters away, likely in an incident completely unrelated to the current political upheavals in the city. The Reeperbahn is a popular entertainment strip and violent clashes are a common occurence - and the police is currently not doing much to make friends.

Given that the entire report about a brutal attack on a police officer by left-wing rioters was medially exploited by the authorities and the police unions, the immediate reaction should be an end to the curfew* which, after all, was put in place as a direct reaction to the supposed attacks. Police demands to be allowed the use of tasers and threatening to use live ammunition on protestors should also be withdrawn. But who am I kidding, of course the curfew is still in place and the police of course still phantasizes about brutalizing the unruly masses.

Facing such conditions, maybe a bit of humour will help us to bear the situation and overcome the odds? This and a fitting theme song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fWPsjod8_E

* I use the word curfew here for readability purposes. The "Gefahrengebiet" however is not strictly a curfew but rather an area defined at will be the police, within which they are allowed to stop, control and search any individual without legal boundries. They can furthermore ban any individual from the area or even arrest people for up to 24 hours without judicial control. The "Gefahrengebiet" legislation in Hamburg is unique within Germany.

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