Title: Austrian state fights anarchists and other autonomists
Date: 1997
Source: Retrieved on May 13, 2013 from web.archive.org
Notes: Published in Organise! Issue 46 — Spring 1997.

All over Europe anarchists and other radical left activists are being persecuted and criminalized by state authorities. In countries like Germany this sort of repression already has traditional status (RAF, Revolutionäre Zellen, Bewegung 2. Juni, radikal...).Recently other countries started using invented criminal acts in order to shine through the anarchist movement and structures (Italy, Spain, Greece...), imprison comrades and intimidate others.

What a lot of comrades don’t know is the fact that such repression have also been going on in Austria for the last 2 years. Every day people without European Union passports are being expelled, every day left activists and projects get attacked by fascists and every day people get visted by the state police, just because they don’t want to shut up and close their eyes to racist politics. In the following article I’ll primary focus on the repressions against anarchist groups. We should nevertheless not forget the many arrests during demonstrations or the many interrogations through state authorities.

The recent repressions started in April 1995, just after the two comrades Gregor Thaler and Peter Koniczek were found dead under an electric mast. The investigating police proclaim that they tried to fix an explosive charge onto this mast in order to bomb it away. The state uses this act to shine through the Austrian radical left movement, and summons about 200 activists.

In the early morning hours of January 23 1996 two private rooms of supposed activists of the anarchist group Revolutionsbräuhof (RBH) were searched through, as well the Anarchistische Buchhandlung (anarchist bookshop) and an office of a communist group (that was used as post address by the RBH some years ago). The state authorities reproaches the RBH for having published an invitation to violent and criminal acts (§277), degradation of the Austrian Republic and its symbols (§282), the foundation of a criminal organisation (§278, §278a) and finally hostility against the state and its constitution (§246). Cause are sticky labels that only appeared in one place: the popular bourgeois Krone Zeitung (some sort of Austrian version of the Sun) in May 1995. Even though it was very obvious that these stickers are an invention of the Kronen Zeitung, the investigating police didn’t interrogate the responsible journalist until January 1996. The author of these stickers Gerhard Walter is no unknown person. He has written articles in the journal of the right-wing police union AUF. Walter never really denied that these stickers were a falsification. Nevertheless these known facts, the judges Christiane Moser and Birgit Kail signed the raid orders in December 1995, which then took place on January 23 1996.

This was not the end of the repressions against the RBH. On February 23 1996 17 people were invited to interrogations bythe state police. Some days later, on March 17 1996 19 houses/flats were searched through by the state police and a lot of material (computers, discs, books, journals, letters...) were, as on January 23 confiscated (only in June 1996 was most of the confiscated material re-addressed to the owners). The public prosecutor doesn’t allow any insight into the documents of the investigation, which normally is a common right you have, when you are being accused of a crime. On March 15 1996 only limited insight is allowed. As the state authorities claim that the investigation are still going in. So the activists of the RBH and all the other accused just don’t know why they are being persecuted and what they are accused of. In December 1996the activists finally got a more than thousand pages thick document about the investigations, which in the end proves nothing new and so the accused activists are as informed as in the beginning.

It is meanwhile quite clear, that these whole accusations are just used in order to shine though the anarchist movement, intimidate activists and diminish our solidarity within the movement. It is also clear that these whole investigations are made by some FPÖ- near politicians, judges and police officers. So if one day Haider and his FPÖ would get to the majority of the votes they could easily use the now collected facts to criminalize anarchists.

In April 16 1996 the private rooms of one activist of the anarchist journal Libertad O Muerte! (LOM) were searched through as well. In June 1995 LOM did a flyer about a fascist monument in Innsbruck. In December 1995 this stone was smashed by some unknown activists. So the investigation police uses this fact to have a look into the anarchist scene of Innsbruck. The activist was held at the police office headquarters for 5 hours. Later on 2 other anarchists were invited to interrogation as well. A month later all the confiscated material is given back and in Mid of June 1996 the LOM-activivsts is being informed by the public prosecutor that the accusation against him (of severe damage) was withdrawn due to a lack of evidences. Another example for a repression based on a constructed criminal act.

In the last 2 years such repressions, raids and interrogations have constantly taken place within the anarchist and radical left scene. These here are just 2 examples of how the Austrian state is working in order to diminish our motivation and energy to fight back. However we shouldn’t see such repressions disconnected from all the other repression waves going on all over Europe. The different European states are co-operating to reduce to silence and intimidate critical and subversive minds.