A court in Dresden has sentenced a group of German anti-fascists to prison time, for alleged involvement in a string of militant attacks on the far-right. Lina E received the longest sentence – five years and three months. Antifascists across Germany have been mobilising around Lina’s case, with thousands taking to the streets. After Lina’s arrest people rioted for several days in the eastern city of Leipzig.
Lina E: prison for “combating Nazis”
The police say that Lina E was organising an antifascist militant cell, responsible for a string of attacks on the far right in Leipzig. Lina E had been on remand for over a year before the sentencing.
The court in Dresden gave three other defendants sentences of between two years and five months and three years and three months. The prosecution had charged all of them with either association with, or membership of, a criminal organisation:
Antifascist Lina E. sentenced to 5 years in prison by a German court for combating Nazis. This sends a clear message: Supporters of Nazi NSU terrorists, responsible for migrant murders, walk free while antifascists face longer prison terms. #FreeLina pic.twitter.com/XVGLAyIyqD
— H D (@hussedogru) May 31, 2023
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German court sentenced today antifascist Lina E. to 5 years in prison + several other antifascists to 2,5 – 3,5 years for attacks on neonazis in Eastern #Germany as part of criminalization campaign of antifascists in the right-wing dominated parts of the country. #Antifascism 1/5 pic.twitter.com/svvg9qE6rL
— Integration Nightmares (@bad_immigrant) May 31, 2023
Two of the allegations put forward by prosecutors are of an attack on a neo-Nazi National Democratic Party counsellor by a group of 15 people. The anti-fascists reportedly used batons, hammers and pepper spray in the attack. The second allegation relates to an attack on Cedric S, another neo-Nazi in Leipzig.
Police in Leipzig arrested Lina after a third action, where anti-fascists destroyed a fascist bar. Police picked up Lina E soon after the event took place.
There has been widespread outcry about the lack of solid evidence in the case.
There has been an outpouring of solidarity for the four comrades from across Germany and across Europe. The Milan anti-fascist assembly made the following statement, commenting on the lack of evidence that was presented within the trial:
The prosecution of Lina and other antifascists was well orchestrated by judges and lawyers in order to condemn Lina, Dy and Jo at all costs. With the lack of overwhelming evidence, it is clear the repressive mechanism set in motion by the government with the support of the mass media, which aims to demonise any kind of opposition to their liberal, imperialist and racist model.
They continued by emphasising the need to resist the growth of fascism in Germany and elsewhere:
Fascism has grown exponentially in recent years in Germany and Europe, with its various parties, movements and violent attacks.
We do not believe in the justice of the courts and the state, on the contrary we despise it, it is being used against us, and against those who want to fight fascism that discriminates against and intimidates migrants. This is why we believe that fascism cannot be defeated by voting or by the implementation of laws that ‘criminalise’ it. Rather, it is necessary to concretely oppose fascist and police raids, the laws that discriminate against different identities and restrict freedom of movement or choice, and the state that judges and condemns forms of struggle.
Therefore, we express our utmost and unconditional solidarity with Lina, Dy, Jo and all antifascist comrades who are working against all fascist, racist and sexist prevarications.
Since the verdicts, demonstrations and riots in solidarity with the imprisoned anti-fascists have occurred. An estimated 800 anti-fascists and other protesters fought back against police in Leipzig over two nights following Lina E’s verdict. People in Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin and Bremen also held solidarity demonstrations.
Despite the state imprisoning the four comrades including Lina E, the militant anti-racist resistance will carry on. The level of anger that people have shown on the streets over the convictions shows the strength of support for the anti-fascist struggle in Germany.
Click here to listen to a podcast about the case by Popular Front.
Featured image via Leonhard Lenz – Wikimedia Commons, cropped to 770×403 under licence CC0 1.0Support us and go ad-free
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