The following statement was issued by the coalition of organizations resisting German state repression in Berlin targeting Palestinian organizing, specifically the ban on demonstrations commemorating the Nakba, the catastrophe of the Palestinian people that has been ongoing for the past 74 years, from 13 to 15 May. Near multiple spontaneous actions for Palestine — or even people walking on the street wearing kuffiyehs or saying “Free Palestine in the area — people were targeted by police for arrests, intimidation and repression for making sure that Palestine was visible, heard and loud on the streets of Berlin despite severe repression.
Berlin defies repression!
Yesterday, May 15, the day of Nakba, a strong signal was sent from the streets and squares of Berlin. Numerous organizations countered the intimidation attempts of the authorities with their loud chants for a free Palestine and international solidarity. Despite the repression, despite the bans on all demonstrations beforehand, despite the censorship and despite the racism of the German authorities, most of all the German police: our chants will not be silenced. We will not let our days of struggle be taken away! We will not let the resistance be taken away!
Over the past weeks, messages of solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle have been echoing throughout the streets of Berlin. And by the end of April, Palestine demonstrations were banned across the board for several days. The German state, in its unlimited support of the Zionist colonial state, does not shy away from taking any measure, no matter how drastic. Under the flimsy argument that all pro-Palestinian demonstrations are anti-Semitic and would endanger public safety, the police imposed a total ban on several demonstrations and rallies by various organizations on the weekend of Nakba Day.
These bans were not accepted! Instead, collective solidarity against this repression stirred all over Berlin. A demonstration through the Berlin district “Neukölln” against environmental destruction in the Global South demanded not only climate justice and an end to the imperialist ambitions of the German state around the world. Again and again, loud and united chants for the freedom of the Palestinian people echoed throughout the streets. On Sonnenallee, the street that is repeatedly targeted by German repression, the demonstration was then slowed down by hostile police squads, and forced into a side street, where it was brought to a halt. Numerous residents and passers-by spontaneously showed solidarity with the demonstration and joined in the chants.
The police violently entered the demonstration and put all participants under custody. Without exception, the personal details of all demonstrators were taken, fines and arrests were threatened and widespread expulsion orders were issued. Only a few hundred meters away, at almost the same time, a spontaneous pro-Palestinian demonstration was also subjected to massive repression. Throughout the streets of Neukölln, people clearly expressed on which side they stand, stepped into the streets with kufiya and flags, and declared their solidarity from balconies and windows!
As an alliance of numerous groups against repressions and for freedom and justice, we stand with all those who are affected by these attacks on the Palestinian and Palestinian solidarity movement. For us it is also clear that these attacks are not only about Al Nakba day and not only about the struggle of the Palestinian people. The German state fears the emergence of a broad anti-imperialist movement that goes beyond solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle to put Germany’s complicity and its imperialist interests in the spotlight. These attacks are therefore aimed at all those forces that oppose imperialist interests.
Yesterday’s actions tear the mask off the face of the German state and expose its true character. More so: it clearly shows that the Nakba day is not only a day of Palestinian struggle against over 100 years of colonialism. The Nakba days is a day of struggle against all oppression, a day of struggle for the freedom of all peoples, and a day of struggle for justice. Our alliance will continue these struggles! Together against repression and together for freedom and justice! On each and every day!
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoners Solidarity Network
Anti-imperialist struggle committee
Internationalistisches Bündnis Nordberlin [IBN] Internationale Jugend Berlin
linksjugend solid Nord-Berlin
Klasse gegen Klasse
Netzwerk Freiheit für alle politischen Gefangenen Berlin