Vigilantes? Or Civic-Minded Citizens?

The following TV report from Germany describes an incident near Dresden in which local citizens overpowered an Iraqi “refugee”, manhandled him, and handcuffed him to a tree until the police arrived. The Iraqi was a mental patient who had caused problems in the same store before, and some of the locals were afraid of him.

I don’t know enough of the German context to decide whether the citizens’ arrest was justified under the circumstances. You all can watch the video for yourselves and see what you think.

However, one thing is certain: the TV outfit that aired the report wants you to think the concerned citizens were bad, bad people. They were “racists” who took extreme action against a helpless, innocent refugee. The producers of this report make no effort to hide their bias.

I have no doubt that the State will ruin these people’s lives. The fellow who’s a local CDU official will be kicked out of the party, and after that I expect the prosecutor’s office to file charges against all four.

This is an example of why there has been no widespread, coordinated resistance against what the German government is doing to its citizens. Until a lot more people have nothing left to lose — that is, when the State is unable to ruin their lives any further — there will be no mass action from an outraged populace.

Many thanks to Nash Montana for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:


0:00   …Rightfully so! They did the right thing. Immediately, because
0:03   waiting for the police would have been too long.
0:07   To be totally honest, if they’d dragged me out like that
0:10   I would have fought them too, and then to beat me,
0:13   I don’t know, four against one, well…
0:21   … in my opinion, de-escalation training was sorely lacking.
0:24   This is exactly what… according to law, is called civil courage,
0:29   with us this is simply living it, when we see something’s wrong,
0:33   then we help each other out. It’s always been like that.
0:38   Civil courage or vigilante justice?
0:41   The opinions in Arnsdorf near Dresden are divided.
0:44   Even one week after this video became known.
0:48   What really happened on the 21st of May in Arnsdorf?
0:51   We are trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, but gaps remain.
0:56   This is about an Iraqi asylum seeker who was treated in a local hospital.
1:01   According to our research, not a mentally ill man,
1:04   but a neurology patient. Twice he walked into the supermarket
1:08   to complain about his cellphone card, and just how much the man
1:12   agitated the employees is something Gisela Walter witnessed.
1:15   “Did he threaten the cashier?” “Not threatened, but I have to say he just kept
1:20   arguing with her in such an extreme way that she didn’t know what to do anymore.
1:23   And the second time he came back, the cashier determined that his
1:26   cellphone card was empty, but there was simply no comprehension.”
1:33   Twice the employees called the police, who then brought the man
1:37   back to the clinic. But that evening, the Iraqi came back a third time.
1:42   He grabs two bottles of wine, refuses to leave.
1:47   Three men walk in; a fourth is already waiting inside the market.
1:51   They overpower the refugee.
1:54   When he fights back, he gets berated, is struck, and is pulled outside,
1:57   then pushed down on the ground.
2:01   The Iraqi is then tied to this tree with zip ties.
2:06   When the Arnsdorf man Frank Röseberg arrived at the market around 7pm,
2:09   the police had already shown up.
2:12   “The police stood there, several youths, the refugee was tied to the tree,
2:17   with cuffs, and there was an disturbed atmosphere.”
2:23   Meanwhile the police were investigating the asylum seeker for making threats,
2:28   and against the four citizens for deprivation of liberty.
2:31   One of them is recognizable because of his white t-shirt.
2:35   It’s local councilman and ex-mayor Detlev Hölzner, CDU,
2:40   who refuses to talk to the press, but finally his lawyer
2:44   gives us an interview, defending the actions of his client.
2:47   “You may record; there are two aspects to all of this:
2:50   first of all there’s the right of everyone to detain,
2:53   but also for the reason of self protection.
2:56   Because if it comes out, and that’s what it looks like now,
2:59   that the man was dangerous, uncontrolled, and tends to have violent outbursts,
3:02   then we have here a so-called state of emergency.”
3:05   Civil courage that is covered by everyone’s right to detain?
3:09   The law professor Joachim Renzikowski from Halle explains
3:13   the meaning of paragraph 127 of the penal code.
3:17   “As a first prerequisite it is required that someone is caught in the act
3:20   while committing a criminal act;
3:23   a mere suspicion is not enough.
3:26   And as second prerequisite it is required that said person
3:30   either tries to flee or they cannot identify themselves,
3:35   which means that their identity can’t be established.
3:39   Then I may detain the person until the police arrives.”
3:43   The penologist looked at the video from Arnsdorf.
3:47   He doubts that the actions of the four citizens were lawful.
3:51   To start with it was unclear if the asylum seeker
3:54   had even committed a crime to begin with, and even if so,
3:57   grabbing him like that just will not do.
4:00   “The next prerequisite is danger of flight,
4:03   it is not apparent that the man was going to leave the store,
4:06   rather it seemed to be the problem that he precisely
4:09   did not want to leave the premises, and therefore one cannot —
4:12   therefore an individual’s right to detain does not apply
4:16   to justify the force that was used. And the last question is:
4:21   Was he known — wasn’t he known — if he already showed up several times in the past,
4:24   then he was known to the police, and then there too,
4:27   no individual has the right to detain.”
4:30   The investigation is ongoing. Clear is that the mood in Arnsdorf
4:33   has been heating up in the past few months.
4:37   Fired up by the anonymous Facebook site “Arnsdorf Citizen’s Forum”.
4:42   Prominent issue: a planned home for asylum seekers.
4:45   Immediately, while the incident was going on, it was demanded
4:48   that the plans be immediately stopped, quote:
4:51   “Otherwise we will build a civil militia”
Facebook post: “…and take justice into our own hands, to defend ourselves, as the law provides and allows for.”
4:55   Mayor Martina Angermann had experienced that a minority
4:58   protested against the housing of refugees.
5:01   “Two of the participants in the video attracted particular attention.
5:06   Two of these men were part of community and local council assemblies;
5:11   they have voiced their opinions loudly,
5:15   and they were just really against asylum.”
5:19   One of them, Bernd G., declared back in November on Facebook
5:22   that in the light of this refugee invasion, all “Gutmenschen”
Bernd G.’s Facebook post: “and whoever still says this is culturally enriching, I do not see anymore as a mere political opponent but as an enemy who threatens me and my family, my children and my grandchildren.”
5:26   were now enemies who threatened him and his family.
5:32   We found the woman who made the video at the supermarket,
5:35   we want to ask her questions, but she only gives one answer:
5:39   “Please leave the house.”
5:42   The woman may not feel like talking to us,
5:45   but on the Internet she proclaims her opinions openly.
5:49   There are selfies where she poses with leaders of PEGIDA.
5:53   Coincidence or not, one conspicuous refugee in a supermarket
5:57   and immediately eager asylum opponents were on the spot.
6:01   Even if this wasn’t an organized vigilante group,
6:04   thoughts about doing it had been going on for a long time,
6:07   as the AfD politician Arvid Samtleben confirmed.
6:10   “This hasn’t been discussed in precise detail, but there was talk that
6:14   the citizens want that because they just don’t feel safe.
6:18   We had problems here, about two months ago, where one guy was
6:22   wanted for arrest and the other fled deportation, they too stole here at the Nettomarkt, they too
6:26   were then detained by citizens until the police arrived.”
6:30   The latest news now is that an asylum home won’t be built.
6:34   But even so, Arnsdorf is going to have to face many more debates
6:38   about realistic and exaggerated fears.
6:41   This local politician shows a clear edge. CDU chief Lars Werthmann
6:45   condemns the restraining of the asylum seeker. Through his party colleague,
6:50   Detlev Hölzner, he says that this is not consistent with Christian concepts.
6:55   “We want to get an apology from him, publicly, if that doesn’t happen
7:00   we will have to pursue expulsion from the CDU, because for us, as I said,
7:05   this is simply not up for discussion, the use of violence.
7:09   But in any case, he will receive a chance to explain himself first,
7:13   not just against prejudice; we only judge the use of violence in that moment.

8 thoughts on “Vigilantes? Or Civic-Minded Citizens?

  1. “I don’t know enough of the German context to decide whether the citizens’ arrest was justified under the circumstances. ”

    With anyone else (non-Mohammedan) on the planet, it was an overreaction. Given everything we know by now (or should know by now) about Islam and Muslims, any time a Muslim sneezes the wrong way, one should be reasonably afraid of an explosion. We need to cultivate rational prejudice against all Muslims, and stop thinking they qualify for the benefit of our reasonable casuistry (benefit of the doubt; innocent until proven guilty; etc.) which we rightly accord everyone else (non-Mohammedan) on the planet. If we don’t cultivate this in time, our civilization may not last the end of this 21st century (well, perhaps it may hang on for a few decades into the 22nd century…).

  2. It’s a German dead pool. They brought this onto themselves, much like the direction the USA has been headed until very, very recently.

  3. No overreaction in my opinion – like that one guy said in the beginning “we help eachother out, that’s how it’s always been”. For some reason people who steal in shops, junkies and aggressive people have more rights than the people dragging them down to protect others. I can imagine the woman from the shop called her husband or some friends after the angry guy came in the second time, so when he appeared a third time they were ready. Doesn’t even have to do with him being an “assylum seeker”, he was simply an [epithet] and got what he deserved (would’ve loved to see him tied to that tree lol). Pretty sure the police thinks the same way, but their hands are tied just as ours and they have to put charges on the other men too

    • I think you’re right on. The asylum-seeker can stand in the store, talk loudly, hold two bottles in an agitated manner (liquor bottles can be potent hand-to-hand weapons) and keep the store and its customers in a miserable state for hours.

      As it is, the initiative was completely with the interloper. He could stand there for hours as is, ruining the business of the store, or he could escalate in a second, injuring or killing someone. The bloodless critics of the posse are giving all the power to the intruder.

      In a homogeneous German society, the question wouldn’t come up because people simply wouldn’t act like that. But, in a multi-cultural situation, even discounting the probability that a Muslim refugee is mentally broken due to inbreeding, it is necessary for a cultural group to have some enforcement of their norms.

      The legal beagles interviewed in the video are trying to insure a dramatic lowering of quality of the community life.

  4. rightful or not, this teaches us to hit and run, but hit real hard. These perpetraters need a lesson they will not forget.

  5. Where may I ask is the outcry against the violence, groping, public rudeness,bullying in the schools, thievery, shoplifting, and daily disruption of everyday life of the German citizenry by the ‘cultural misfits’?

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