A European giant has just fallen with a resounding crash.
Those who follow political undercurrents in Western Europe know that if you want to get an idea of what the “anti-fascists” are up to — in particular, their planned violent confrontations with “fascists” and “Nazis” — the forums on the Indymedia website were the places to troll. Indymedia was a major component of Antifa operations that enjoyed at least the tacit support of left-wing and farther-left-wing governments in Western Europe (there are, of course, no right-wing governments in Western Europe).
So the banning of a major Indymedia site in Germany is a significant event. I wonder what tectonic plates have shifted beneath the political landscape, thus causing this sudden toppling of the giant…?
Germany Finally Bans Largest European Antifa Website Linksunten Indymedia
by Egri Nök
l. For more than a decade, Indymedia, whose servers are physically located in Canada, served as the German Antifa platform. Despite their open advocating of militancy, and taking responsibility for violent attacks, German authorities never took any action against them. At this moment, it remains unclear what caused the sudden change of mind.
Last year, after a data theft, Linksunten Indymedia published thousands of private addresses of ordinary citizens who are members of the AfD (a center-right, Islam-critical oppositional party), and took responsibility for vandalizing the private house of Akif Pirinçci (a famous German-Turkish author of bestselling cat novels, who, after criticizing German migrant and refugee policies, has fallen from grace with the Left).
None of this has ever resulted in any action by German authorities. Wikipedia still sugarcoat Indymedia as simply “a global open publishing network of journalist collectives that report on political and social issues.”
It remains unclear what it was that suddenly caused German authorities to change their mind. One might speculate if it was the fact that this week, Indymedia took responsibility for an extensive series of sabotage acts on the German railway system which, even though it is completely concealed by the German mainstream press, made trains around Berlin come to a complete halt over the entirety of last weekend, affecting thousands of commuters.
Der Spiegel speculates whether it may have to do with the Antifa riots at the G20 summit in Hamburg last month.
As of 11 AM CET, the Linksunten Indymedia website is finally offline. Their twitter channels are still open.
The vandalized house of Akif Pirinçci, as boasted on Antifa website Linksunten Indymedia
2. Der Spiegel: Interior Ministry Bans Left-Extreme Platform
Interior Ministry Bans Left-Extreme Platform
According to information from Der Spiegel, the Interior Ministry has banned the internet website “linksunten.indymedia.org”. The website is the most influential platform of the extreme left in Germany.
by Jörg Diehl
G20 riots in Hamburg
August 25, 2017
It is a serious blow to left extremists in Germany: According to Spiegel’s information, the Interior Ministry banned the website “linksunten.indymedia.org” on Friday morning. The decree was delivered to the operators of the platform, who live in Freiburg, in accordance with law of associations. The site was in its “purpose and actions violating criminal code” and was opposed to constitutional law, the Ministry’s announcement said. But the “Indymedia” website and their twitter channel are still available [the website has gone offline in the meantime — translator].
Security authorities deem the website, which was opened in early 2009, the most influential platform of the left-extreme scene in Germany — and as a forum for violent Autonomists [term the German Black Block use for themselves — translator] [Autonomer in Denmark — the Baron].
In a self-portrayal from September 2016 (“Social revolution is and remains the only perspective”) the “Indymedia” organizers maintain that their platform “developed into he most important website of the radical left in German-speaking countries”: “Each day, thousands of leftists visit the website, to get the latest information about all aspects of antagonistic currents [sic!]. Occupations, attacks, debates or fights for wages — there are only few rebellions here and now that were not called for, or reported on, by ‘linksunten’.”
Each user can publish his own contributions, a team of administrators reviews the articles according to certain criteria, censors passages or completely removes texts — anonymity is the main priority of the virtual cooperation. The website provides advice for their users on how to conceal their identity on the web.
In a confidential analysis, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution [German Intelligence, —translator] lamented months ago that Indymedia was a “lawless zone on the internet”. Due to their conspiratorial behavior, the authors of the texts, which in part are criminal, were impossible to identify, according to the investigators.
“All those beautiful claims of responsibility for attacks”
It appears that it is working principle of “Indymedia” not to know their authors: The operators cynically noted, when asked about their precautions against DDoS attacks and if they record their users’ IP addresses: “We do not want to know who publishes all those beautiful claims of responsibility for attacks.”
There are heaps of claims of responsibility on “linksunten.indymedia”, arson of police cars, diplomats, security officers, Pegida followers. Paint bombs, Molotov cocktails. Pepper spray attacks on fraternity members, fights with right extremists: “Hunt Nazis, Punch Nazis. And the cops too,” an article published in December 2016 says.
Besides political statements, there constantly are instructions on how to build Molotov cocktails. There is abuse and insults, calls to violence — as when in March a user wrote about the “fight against fascists” in Göttingen: “We will never again allow this, no matter how many windows we have to break, how many barricades we have to burn, and how many of those fascist-protecting cops have to eat bricks.”
Responsible Heads Behind
The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution [German intelligence — translator] identified three Freiburg residents as the responsible heads behind “linksunten.indymedia”. But the group of operators also includes many more moderators, technicians and administrators. According to “Indymedia’s” self-portrayal, coordination is accomplished via mailing lists and member meetings in which about 30 people took part.
Authorities have been monitoring the forum for years, but the ban comes as a surprise — it might be a reaction to the severe riots during the G20 summit in Hamburg. Several CDU/CSU politicians had since demanded a tougher stance against left extremists. Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière (CDU) told “Stern” that Germany needed “a strong stance against left extremism just as against right extremism”.
The 19 CDU/CSU ministers for Interior and Justice plan to adopt a so-called ‘Berlin Declaration’ next week to present themselves as tokens for safety and order in the election campaign. Allegedly, the meeting will also deal with a stronger stance against leftist Autonomists [translator: Antifa/Black Block].
3. German Left Howl: “Illegitimate Act of Censorship”
“The ban on indymedia.linksunten is an illegitimate act of censorship”, said the domestic spokesman for Die Linke [“The Left”, former East German ruling party] Ulla Jelpke to Die Welt. “The project indymedia.linksunten stands for a leftist, anti-capitalist public alternative. To restrict their reach and internal communications is an arbitrary curtailment of the freedom of opinion and press.”
She did not like everything on the website. But the ban was an act of censorship and intimidation. “Everyone who is accused of continuing indymedia.linksunten in the future will have to be prepared to be punished — not just for the contents of isolated contributions to the site, but simply for being a part of this left project,” Jelpke said [I sure hope so! — translator]. “The ban is a threat to all other media that still discuss revolutionary and anti-capitalist positions. The purpose of this is to intimidate the left scene in Germany as a whole.” (source: Die Welt)
I guess it says a lot about your mindset when you think it is a ‘curtailment of freedom of opinion and press’ when a website is banned that instructs how to build weapons, that publishes the addresses, and calls for the targeting, of people whose only wrongdoing is to be members of a democratic opposition party, and that celebrates violence and assassination.
And the follow-up:
We reported earlier today that this morning local time, German Interior Minister De Maizière banned the Antifa website Linksunten Indymedia.
Call me naïve, but I am actually surprised that the Left is howling. I would have thought they would distance themselves from a website that not only calls for attacks on citizens, but boasts the results of such attacks.
But far from distancing:
Ulla Jelpke of Die Linke, the former East German ruling party SED: “An illegitimate act of censorship”
“The ban of indymedia.linksunten is an illegitimate act of censorship […] The project indymedia.linksunten stands for a leftist, anti-capitalist public alternative. To restrict their reach and internal communications is an arbitrary curtailment of the freedom of opinion and press.” [Jelpke] would not like everything on the website. But the ban was an act of censorship and intimidation.
“Everyone who will be accused of continuing indymedia.linksunten in the future will have to be prepared to be punished — not just for the contents of isolated contributions to the site, but alone for being a part of this left project”, Jelpke said. “The ban is a threat to all other media that still discuss revolutionary and anti-capitalist positions. The purpose of this is to intimidate the left in Germany as a whole.”
Ulla Jelpke, speaker of Die Linke, former ruling party of East Germany SED; source: Die Welt
Julia Schramm, Antonio Amadeu Foundation: “Next they will declare Antifa a terrorist organization, and then half of us here might be convicted as ringleaders”
Julia Schramm of the Antonio Amadeu Foundation fears:
“Next they will declare Antifa a terrorist organization, and then half of us here might be convicted as ringleaders. Add to this unlimited custody, and a few violations of the constitution, underpinned by proof from online surveillance. What a prospect, Germany, what a prospect.”
Ironically, Mrs. Schramm and the organization for which she is working, Antonio Amadeu Stiftung, have published an in-depth manual on how to report people to the police for so-called ‘hate speech’. Manuals on how to surveil the web for hate speech and how to report people is the emphasis of their work. See Gates of Vienna:
This comment of one of Julia’s Facebook followers is, of course, just an innocent question and no ‘hate speech’: