Berlin Revolutionary Charged with
Criminal Songs and Slogans
Revolutionary Worker #1020, August 29, 1999
The political stage for May Day 1999 in Berlin was even more tense than usual - since May Day 1999 took place during the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia - which was the first time since World War 2 that German imperialism sent forces to attack another country. The police deployed over 5000 riot police, armed with tanks and water cannon - the largest mobilization of police in Berlin history, openly intended to intimidate the people.
Over 2,000 people took part in the powerful demonstration and rally - including many immigrants and proletarians. The May Day was organized by a broad coalition that included anarchists, Maoists, revolutionary nationalists from Kurdistan and many others. Revolutionary May First in Berlin has been a powerful event for 12 years now. And this year again, the march was filled with radical youth and revolutionary activists of many nationalities. Red flags flew overhead, people carried portraits of Mao Tsetung, banners of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement and signs calling for freeing political prisoners, including Mumia Abu-Jamal.
The police had sworn that the marchers would not be allowed to reach the Kottbusser Tor in the famous Kreuzberg proletarian district. But the intense police clampdown failed to intimidate people. A report from Berlin said, "The concluding rally was unprecedented in its political scope and character. The entire program was translated into Turkish and German. An internationalist spirit and multinational unity characterized it from beginning to end." And that ending was the singing of the Internationale, the anthem of the international working class.
The RW has received the following call regarding recent attacks on a long-time fighter in Berlin's revolutionary movement.
Emergency Call to Stop the Railroad of Moré Keskin!
Moré Keskin (Nuran Ayten) is a revolutionary who has been in the face of "the powers that be" since her teens. As one leaflet recently stated, "For over 10 years Moré is well known in Berlin and elsewhere as a revolutionary activist and supporter of the Revolutionary Communists. Whether in the struggles against racists and fascists, against the suppression of women and minorities, against the execution and for the freedom of Mumia Abu-Jamal, against police attacks on the First of May, she has always been there. All this and the fact that she is a woman whose roots are in Kurdistan (even though she was born and raised in Germany) are enough to make her an 'enemy of the state' in today's world."
Moré was arrested right after the rally that ended the Revolutionary May 1st demonstration in Kreuzberg this year. She is being charged for "slander of the state and its symbols" and "indoctrination of people," a charge that goes back to her arrest after the Revolutionary May 1st demonstration in 1994. She was accused then of playing a song from a punk group Slime, that has the chorus, "Germany must die, so I can live!" This song has been legally sold at music stores throughout Germany for over 15 years. She is also being accused of supposedly yelling out a slogan, "German police are practicing overtime for a new '33" (referring to 1933 when the Nazis took over Germany), and for a slogan at another demonstration, "German police - murderers and fascists."
It has been very clear since the beginning of the hearings and trial of Moré that the state intends to railroad her off to jail. She could receive up to 10 years of imprisonment if found guilty on all charges. The judge has refused to allow her out on bail, due to what he terms the threat of her "disappearing." He bases this on the fact she did not appear at her trial in 1994. Moré was sick at the time of her trial in 1994. Her lawyer asked for a postponement "due to ill health." This was rejected by the court then. After Moré's recovery her lawyer requested a new date, which was rejected by the judge.
As a leaflet in her support pointed out, "Although Moré is legally registered and has a job and has no criminal record, Judge Bruenning has refused to let her out of jail on bail. Her lawyer offered 10,000 German Marks bail which the judge also refused.
What does "the rule of law" and "justice" mean in this case? We offer a comparison: The Nazi war criminal Alfons Goetzfrid was found guilty on May 20, 1999 by a court in Stuttgart for the assisting in 17,000 murders and for the murder of 500 Jews, partisans, and communists during World War II. The court has not sentenced this fascist mass-murderer to one day in prison despite his conviction. Moré has spent 78 days behind bars, even though, according to the law, she is still innocent.
Moré has appeared publicly at demonstrations, political rallies and other events since then. The police have had an eye on her for years. Why the arrest and persecution now?
This attack against Moré goes beyond the attempted railroad of a revolutionary. It is also an attack against the Revolutionary May 1st demonstration, the revolutionary and anti-system movement overall, and an attack against free speech and critical art. The authorities in Berlin have tried to ban or disrupt the Revolutionary May 1st demonstration in Kreuzberg for over 10 years. Despite their threats, maneuvers, and open attacks against the demonstration each year, it still marches on and is an important symbol of defiance and revolution for the youth and proletarians throughout Berlin and Germany. The attempted railroad of Moré is an open and broad attack against the anti-fascist, anti-war, anti-imperialist and revolutionary movement overall.
The case is also an attempt by the Justice System to forbid critical pieces of art, like the songs from Slime. The song called "Germany" calls for people to resist the rule of fascists and multinational corporations, it is against militarism and the destruction of the ecology and calls for people to be anti-patriotic (The chorus in the song comes from an inscription on an old Nazi war memorial that still stands in the city of Hamburg. Where the memorial states "Germany must live, even if I have to die" the punk group turned it around to "Germany must die, so I can live.") Even though the song is sold publicly and legally, the Justice Department of Berlin is trying to "criminalize" its contents by "criminalizing" anyone who plays it in public, under the pretext that this is "indoctrination of people" and "unpatriotic."
A conviction of Moré will open the door to forbid and criminalize any type of art that supports the struggle against injustice, oppression, the destruction of the ecology, fascism, war and just about anything else the rulers find offensive. It is a move by the authorities to force people to be "patriotic" and "good Germans," according to their terms.
Germany is moving on a fast pace to consolidate its gains made as a strong imperialist nation after the fall of war and reunification. However the rulers of the country know very well that these gains are built on a very shaky foundation. They have a strong necessity to stabilize the home front. The national state has been given more and more powers, as laws and the constitution are either changed or undermined, to clean up the liberties that were attained both by the anti-fascist and working class movement after World War II and the struggles of the '60s.
The "Red-Green" government [a ruling government coalition of the very un-red Social Democratic Party and the environmentalist Greens-RW] is a perfect cover for the needs of rulers to establish the "Fourth Reich" both abroad and in Germany itself.
As one businessman said recently to a supporter of the Stop the War Brigade, "We didn't lose World War II. Just look at Germany today. We are united. We control the economies of most of the eastern States like Poland, the Czech Republic and even Russia. We have investments throughout the world. We have occupied Yugoslavia again. We have pretty much achieved the goals that Hitler put down in Mein Kampf." Can we say more?
FREE MORÉ KESKIN!
STOP THE CRIMINALIZATION OF CRITICAL ART!
NO FORCED PATRIOTISM!
NO POLICE STATE!
This case will be decided in the beginning of August.
Send protest messages for Moré Keskin (note: her legal name is Nuran Ayten) to: Judge: Landgericht Berlin, Herrn Richter Brünning, Turmstr.91, 10559 Berlin, Germany Fax: 49-30-901 420 10 and State Attorney: Staatsanwaltschaft beim Landgericht Berlin, Abteilung 81, Turmstr.91, 10559 Berlin, Germany Fax: 49-30-901 433 10
Please send copies of protest messages, letters and financial donations to: Moré Keskin Unterstützungskomitee, Rigaestr. 94, 10247 Berlin, Germany Tel. 49-173-430 39 01 Fax: 49-30- 215 78 50
Moré's prison address: JVA für Frauen, Nuran Ayten, Buchnr.: 269/99-7, Arkona Str. 56, 13189 Berlin
Donations to support the legal expenses of the case can also be transferred to: Rote Hilfe e.V. Berliner Bank, Kt.Nr. 718 9590 600, BLZ 100 200 00, Stichwort: Moré Keskin.
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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