Essen, Germany: Demonstration in solidarity with PSDU and the resistance in Palestine

Featured image: The flag of the Red League waving together with the Palestinian banner; Source: Dem Volke Dienen

We hereby publish an unofficial translation of an article by Dem Volke Dienen, on which we reported previously but have decided to translate as a whole due to its importance.

Actually, a NRW-wide demonstration organized by Palestine solidarity forces should have taken place in Duisburg yesterday, Saturday, – completely legal and registered. But the demo itself was banned, all attempts to register similar activities in Duisburg were prohibited. At short notice, therefore, a few hundred people gathered yesterday in Essen to take to the streets against the repression and for the resistance in Palestine.

The penultimate Thursday, the so-called “Palestine Solidarity Duisburg” (PSDU) was banned, raids followed. With the ban, NRW Interior Minister Reul had also already announced that he would prevent Palestinian solidarity forces from taking to the streets together in Duisburg on May 25. For example, the demo was banned by the police and even a lawsuit against it was rejected by the court. In addition, the applicant was massively harassed by the police in the preliminary interview and the planned implementation of the demonstration was interpreted as an alleged successor activity of PSDU, i.e. as a continuation of meanwhile ‘criminal’ activities.

In the short term, the demonstration planned for yesterday in Duisburg therefore took place in Essen – “only” with one condition: Palestine and the situation there should not be mentioned, only solidarity with PSDU could be the topic. The demonstration participants were not deterred by these requirements and powerful chants in solidarity with the resistance in Palestine were constantly heard, as well as slogans in solidarity with PSDU.

The police took this as an opportunity to diligently write down slogans, film posters and participants of the rally and go for the demonstration several times to arbitrarily carry out identity checks. One demo participant was singled out because his sign said that Herbert Reul was an enemy of the Constitution, and another because a watermelon could be seen on her sign. However, the intimidation attempts of the hundreds of volunteers who had been specially carted in from Wuppertal came to nothing, the demonstration remained united with the detainees until they were released, showed practical solidarity against the attacks of the police and then marched with even more anger and hatred against the repression. It was particularly encouraging that many people had just arrived from Duisburg for the demonstration, as well as the speech at the closing rally by one of the people affected by the house searches, in which it was clearly expressed that solidarity with Palestine cannot be intimidated and banned.

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