German "anarchists" wage war against World Cup patriotism

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Boris Badenov
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Jul 3 2010 03:20
German "anarchists" wage war against World Cup patriotism
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With Germany fielding its most ethnically mixed World Cup side on record, the country's immigrant Turkish and Arab population is showing unprecedented support for the national 11 by flying Germany's red, black and gold flags from cars, restaurants and businesses.

But while the display of patriotic fervour has been welcomed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's government as a sign of long-awaited "positive integration", it has infuriated Germany's radical leftwing anarchist scene which has begun a war against flag-flying immigrants.

Several German anarchist publications have denounced the flags as "Black red and gold rags" which encourage "dangerous nationalist tendencies". So-called "anarchist commandos" have raided Turkish and Arab businesses in Berlin, either ripping down or burning football flags on public display.

Ibrahim Bassal, a German of Arab descent who owns a mobile phone shop in Berlin's ethnically mixed Neukölln district, started hanging a 50ft German tricolour from the top of his shop building when the World Cup began. The flag has been torn down several times and once an unknown assailant set fire to it in the early hours of the morning.

Mr Bassal said that before the attacks, a group of 16 aggressive, black-clad young Germans entered his shop and accused him of "arousing Nazi sympathies" with his flag. "We have been living in and working in Germany for decades and our children were born here," Mr Bassal complained earlier this week. "Of course we support Germany. What's that got to do with Nazis? What's the problem?"

...

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/world-cup/why-germanys-immigrants-fly-the-flag-for-their-adopted-country-2017259.html

gypsy
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Jul 3 2010 09:56

This is some retarded tactics.

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Tojiah
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Jul 3 2010 10:24

Could this be a false-flag operation by the anarchists` opponents?

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Farce
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Jul 3 2010 13:16

I doubt it, let's not forget that German anarchy was responsible for this:

DOWN WITH GERMANY, SOLIDARITY WITH ISRAEL, FOR COMMUNISM!

Caiman del Barrio
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Jul 3 2010 16:22

They shoulda spent more time teaching Argentina how to control their channels...

Boris Badenov
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Jul 3 2010 17:12

What struck me about this story is the sheer irony of anarchists harassing immigrant liquor store owners because national flags are DER NAZISMUS. Here, how about you smash their windows too? Just so they know that you really really hate nazis.

Toj wrote:
Could this be a false-flag operation by the anarchists` opponents?

That is a possibility yes, which is why I put anarchists in scare quotes, but is it really so incredible that black blockers would do something like this?

Valeriano Orobó...
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Jul 3 2010 21:21
allybaba wrote:
This is some retarded tactics.

I totally agree even if the false flag posibility is to be considered too

Iron_Fist
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Jul 3 2010 21:36

this stinks of a set up.

Valeriano Orobó...
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Jul 3 2010 22:01

Well during the Iraq war Jungle World had a pretty pro-american, pro-israeli position or maybe should i say anti-german. As i was in germany i was told by an autonome that poets like Hölderlin (XVIII century) - who was at the time pro-jacobin - was shite cos he was a german nationalist. Total lack of perspective imho. So i think there are reasons to think that perhaps it's not a set up. Maybe the german comrades could enlighhten us.

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Khawaga
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Jul 4 2010 04:38

This photo was taken in Beirut after Germany's win. So them Ay-rabs are sure into teh Nazismus big time.

raw
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Jul 4 2010 10:25

Is this a joke? If so apologies.

If it's not then this is obvious that it is the anti-germans that are responsible and not anarchists. Someone with more time than me should point that out in the Independent

Rum Lad
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Jul 4 2010 15:04

I'm in Berlin at the moment. Spoke to a German friend about this the other day and this definitely isn't a joke, or a set up and is from the anarchist scene. For those of you not familiar with it, the Autonome is the anarchist scene in Berlin, it's based around the House Projects, legal squats where people live (I think there's around 40 left, although in the early 90's there were closer to 300) although obviously most people in the 'scene' don't live in these projects. The project bars are where people socialise and organise. Most of the politics in the Autonome are based around Antifacism and Anti-gentrification. On a big Antifa demo in Berlin you can get over 4,000. Unfortunately for the most part the scene isn't too interested in supporting workers politics, although obviously in Berlin you have the FAU, which I think is increasing in popularity. The Berlin scene is quite disappointing, mostly for being so ghettoised and subcultural (based around looking a certain way, listening to a certain type of music). It is interesting to think about how some people are slightly sceptical towards workers politics due to the fact that they grew up in the DDR, so just the language of class based politics unnverves them. You could say that all of this isn't 'Anarchism', and is a misnomer, but I think that would be a bit of a waste of time.

So anyway, I was talking to my friend about how the scene has changed tactics in the last year, as in 2009 there were lots of car burnings happening through out Berlin. People were burning expensive looking cars in certain neighbourhoods, to fight gentrification. After an obviously heavy handed police response where a couple of people from the scene got put in prison (potentiall innocent parties also) this kind of tactic is happening less and less. I asked my friend what people were doing now, and he said mostly flag burning in the night. Although I don't know much more than this.

The Anti-Deutsche are part of the German Autonome scene and are 'anarchists' in the same way that people in the Autonome scene are anarchists. A few years back there was a split in the Autonome between Anti-Imperialists and Anti-Nationalists. Anti-Nationalists, from what I understand, are now this unaffiliated Anti-Deutsche trend or current (I say trend or current as opposed to a group). They believe that you should start with a very firm critique of the actions of your own nation state. Alligned with this they also believe that the state of Israel is the only nation-state in the world that has the right to self-determination. Although it's disagreeable, I think it's easy to see where these kind of attitudes come from, specifically in a country like Germany. Many of my German friends have intensely strong feelings of hatred and resentment for the actions of the previous generations, imagine how it must feel to know that your own grandparents were the perpetrators of atrocious war crimes. Also the Anti-Deutsche thing also comes from the quite ludicrous pro-Palestine nationalism on "the Left" more generally.

When the car burning stuff was at it's peak last year, I remember there were articles in the Murdoch owned press of interviews with working class Turkish people from Neukolln who had had their expensive cars torched by anarchists. So although idiotic actions happen within the anarchist scene, these arguments are always exaggerated in the right wing press to stir up tensions.

I feel like I've badmouthed the Berlin scene quite a lot. I should add that it's not all terrible.

radicalgraffiti
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Jul 4 2010 15:15

aren't a lot of the Autonome maxist not anarchists?

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Farce
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Jul 4 2010 15:48

Yeah, according to my mate who lives in Berlin a lot of Berlin anarchyists feel they have to be "anti-impis" or "anti-Deutsch" and it's mostly the queer anarchists who have decent internationalist politics. This is all second hand, though.

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Khawaga
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Jul 4 2010 16:30
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aren't a lot of the Autonome maxist not anarchists?

No. The autonomne in Germany grew out of the squatter scene in, I think, the 80s. It's got nothing to do with the Italian autonomist Marxists who do not refer to themselves as autonomists. The misunderstanding comes from North American academics labeling Italian post-Operaismo "Autonomist" (while the translation should be post-Workerist). It's a quite common misunderstanding as well; just look at the wiki page for autonomism.

Black Badger
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Jul 4 2010 16:42

The autonomous scene is not the same as the anarchist scene. While there are definitely some overlapping areas of interest (tactics and projects in particular), their ideas are not the same. The autonomen that still exist suffered through a serious three-way split back in the late 90s which had almost nothing to do with anarchist ideas or tactics; mostly it was about the Anti-German stuff and the support for Israel and the US. Another point of contention was -- as always -- the national question. Most autonomen came out on the side of immigrants, making the fight against xenophobia on a par with the fight against capitalism and state repression against radical leftists. But they are not the most visible to the mainstream media. Who are the most visible? The most incoherent, the most outrageous, the most contradictory. Hence the anti-proGerman immigrant antics are the ones most covered. The mainstream tendency to label anyone to the left of the SPD "anarchist" has a long history in Germany (and elsewhere of course), leading to the labeling of the RAF as "anarchist." Most intelligent people then, and most now, understand the difference; don't get caught up in this silliness. The majority of antifascist autonomen are not self-identified anarchists.

Caiman del Barrio
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Jul 4 2010 17:20
Edvard wrote:
The Berlin scene is quite disappointing, mostly for being so ghettoised and subcultural (based around looking a certain way, listening to a certain type of music). It is interesting to think about how some people are slightly sceptical towards workers politics due to the fact that they grew up in the DDR, so just the language of class based politics unnverves them. You could say that all of this isn't 'Anarchism', and is a misnomer, but I think that would be a bit of a waste of time.

This also correlates with much of Latin America, where a lot of folk consider "Marxism" and "anarchism" mutually exclusive, and, as a result, many "anarchists" are essentially glorified liberals (including the insurrectionists). I'd be interested to hear whether this is the case in Eastern Europe too.

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Tarwater
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Jul 4 2010 17:42

Already said on 1,000,000,OOO,000 other threads, but it's also the situation in N. America.

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Juan Conatz
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Jul 4 2010 18:10
Tarwater wrote:
Already said on 1,000,000,OOO,000 other threads, but it's also the situation in N. America.

True, but it seems headed in a different direction. My impression is that most of the pro-organizational groups are slowly becoming larger and, of course, there's also been a shift in the insurrectionary tendency towards ultraleft communism.

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Shorty
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Jul 4 2010 18:24

Hmmm, I lived in Berlin for over a year about 4 years ago (also at the time of the last world cup) and am still friends with people there and visit fairly regularly. Yes there's a lot of anti-germans, but the anti-german vs. anti-imperialist thing doesn't exist so much in Berlin as it does in other cities, Hamburg for example (where even some members of the FAU are anti-deutsch). In Berlin it's mainly older people and is often seen as a throwback to the 80s, not to say there aren't some younger anti-imperialists.
It's probably mainly anti-deutsch doing this but I wouldn't be surprised if it's also coming from the 'anarchist', autonome, house project scene. It's also likely that this report is slightly selective on some of the flags being taken from turkish shops etc. Some of it probably being coincidental. I doubt there's much differentiation being made as to who is flying the flag. Also, obviously as a news report it serves to smear by association anarchists as seemingly opposed to integration or to imply a level of xenophobia.

One other thing, there's more than 40 house projects in Berlin, one just doesn't normally hear of them or know of them, especially if they don't have a social aspect to them. There's probably a bit over 30 in Friedrichshain alone.

Also, this.

Black Badger wrote:
The majority of antifascist autonomen are not self-identified anarchists.
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Tarwater
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Jul 4 2010 18:26
Quote:
True, but it seems headed in a different direction. My impression is that most of the pro-organizational groups are slowly becoming larger and, of course, there's also been a shift in the insurrectionary tendency towards ultraleft communism.

That's true, at least amongst "active" anarchists. As always, there's a ton of people that self-identify because of subcultural stuff but that's not really relevant and I shouldn't even bring it up. The question is where the platformist and ultra-left groups are going. Ultimately, the knee-jerk lack of engagement with marxism/certain aspects of theory and our forgetfulness of things learned as a class through struggle still seems to me to be a big problem. Which does not invalidate your point in the least, though.

Caiman del Barrio
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Jul 4 2010 19:40
Tarwater wrote:
Already said on 1,000,000,OOO,000 other threads, but it's also the situation in N. America.

The context is slightly different in N America, since they've had no direct experience of self-styled Marxist governance.

Boris Badenov
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Jul 5 2010 02:50
Caiman del Barrio wrote:
Edvard wrote:
The Berlin scene is quite disappointing, mostly for being so ghettoised and subcultural (based around looking a certain way, listening to a certain type of music). It is interesting to think about how some people are slightly sceptical towards workers politics due to the fact that they grew up in the DDR, so just the language of class based politics unnverves them. You could say that all of this isn't 'Anarchism', and is a misnomer, but I think that would be a bit of a waste of time.

This also correlates with much of Latin America, where a lot of folk consider "Marxism" and "anarchism" mutually exclusive, and, as a result, many "anarchists" are essentially glorified liberals (including the insurrectionists). I'd be interested to hear whether this is the case in Eastern Europe too.

I think this is definitely the case in Eastern Europe (i.e. Marxism=stalinism), although as akai and other posters from that part of the world have made clear there are some class struggle anarchists as well.

Interesting post, Edvard. I think you are totally correct in seeing resentiment as the root cause of the "anti-German" phenomenon.

schalomlibertad
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Jul 5 2010 17:40

HANG ON!!
This article is complete nonsense. Yes anti-nationalist leftists are tearing them down, snatching them off autos, and so forth, but no anti-nationalists are targeting immigrants. Yes, an immigrant hung an enourmous flag on the side of a building. Yes, people have taken it down. Who knows if they knew the person who put it up was an immigrant.
This article is just anti-Left propaganda. The same propaganda was made against the left when someone found out that some of the cars that were set on fire a few months back by people saying it was a protest against gentrification, were owned by immigrants. It doesnt mean they were targeted for being immigrants. That´s just nonsense.
Or worse, the mainstream, who doesn´t give a crap about racism and discrimination and oppressive immigration laws, is manipulating the story for it´s anti-Left, and in this case German nationalist, politics. What´s better way to justify mainstream, conservative German nationalism than an immigrant waving the German flag? Oh look, integration really worked! We were right all along!
PS - The attempt to believe this made up story and to see it as proof of "anti-german" racism against immigrants, is just another level of ridiculousness. Please, get a grip.

Boris Badenov
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Jul 5 2010 18:17

What part of this story is made up exactly? Is any of this

Quote:
Mr Bassal said that before the attacks, a group of 16 aggressive, black-clad young Germans entered his shop and accused him of "arousing Nazi sympathies" with his flag. "We have been living in and working in Germany for decades and our children were born here," Mr Bassal complained earlier this week. "Of course we support Germany. What's that got to do with Nazis? What's the problem?"

provably made up?

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madashell
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Jul 5 2010 18:18
schalomlibertad wrote:
This article is complete nonsense. Yes anti-nationalist leftists are tearing them down, snatching them off autos

Why? What good does that do?

I'm not about to fly any national flags myself, but it's pretty benign and virtually apolitical when it's done by football fans, no?

schalomlibertad
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Jul 5 2010 18:55

i dont know if that´s made up. sounds extremely exaggerated. i think people probably wore masks in order to remain anonymous while taking down the flag, but hostile towards an immigrant shop owner. that is very doubtful.

schalomlibertad
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Jul 5 2010 18:58
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Why? What good does that do?

I'm not about to fly any national flags myself, but it's pretty benign and virtually apolitical when it's done by football fans, no?

I don´t think they saw themselves as doing some revolutionary action, if that´s what you mean. Nevertheless, the obsessive public display of national flags and the singing of "I love Germany" on the public streets, shouting "Deutschland!" at people on the street, expecting that others join in the mass - no I am not sure that is "benign." Do you really have something against people taking down nationalist symbols, and attacking the nationalization of the public sphere?

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Jul 5 2010 20:42
schalomlibertad wrote:
Quote:
Why? What good does that do?

I'm not about to fly any national flags myself, but it's pretty benign and virtually apolitical when it's done by football fans, no?

I don´t think they saw themselves as doing some revolutionary action, if that´s what you mean. Nevertheless, the obsessive public display of national flags and the singing of "I love Germany" on the public streets, shouting "Deutschland!" at people on the street, expecting that others join in the mass - no I am not sure that is "benign." Do you really have something against people taking down nationalist symbols, and attacking the nationalization of the public sphere?

I don't have any grand moral objection to it, I just think it's stupid and counter-productive. Do you actually think that going around snatching flags will do anything to challenge nationalism, as opposed to just reinforcing the victim mentality that nationalism thrives on?

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OliverTwister
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Jul 6 2010 06:21
Quote:
Anti-Nationalists, from what I understand, are now this unaffiliated Anti-Deutsche trend or current (I say trend or current as opposed to a group). They believe that you should start with a very firm critique of the actions of your own nation state. Alligned with this they also believe that the state of Israel is the only nation-state in the world that has the right to self-determination.

Seems to me that they should leave 'anti-nationalism' to Esperanto-speaking socialists. Can I suggest that they call themselves 'anti-all-but-israeli-nationalists'?

schalomlibertad
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Jul 6 2010 15:06
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Seems to me that they should leave 'anti-nationalism' to Esperanto-speaking socialists. Can I suggest that they call themselves 'anti-all-but-israeli-nationalists'?

I don't get your line of thinking. Are you saying that opposition to public displays of German national euphoria is really nothing other than a cover for expressions of Israeli nationalism? Want to explain?