Re: Guest Post - Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do?

1

I am amused that two of the fully-named defendants are "Sturm" and "Stahl" -- could that have pushed them towards far-right ideologies in their formative years?

It does seem like the US left is less and less interested in international antifa activities. Not sure if that is because just regular politics is so fucked up here, or a creeping liberal influence.

Some jackass wrote an editorial in the Strib the other day saying that our 94 year-old Waffen SS guy should not be prosecuted because it might seem vindictive. I didn't notice this person arguing for clemency for Sara Jane Olson.

Fascists.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-19-13 6:37 AM
horizontal rule
2

Some jackass wrote an editorial in the Strib the other day saying that our 94 year-old Waffen SS guy should not be prosecuted because it might seem vindictive.

Surely all reasonable people agree that Aaron Swartz, Bradley Manning, and Edward Snowden are worse than any SS man. For that matter they're worse than Hitler.

No, wait...make that worse than Hitler and Stalin put together.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-19-13 6:45 AM
horizontal rule
3

1: Sturm and Stahl (along with Heer) are actually the defence lawyers of main accused Beate Zschäpe (and all three are personally not Nazis or affiliated).

There have been rumors that their names were one of the reasons she chose to be represented by them, but I don't think that's likely to be true.


Posted by: Genosse, Esq. | Link to this comment | 06-19-13 6:47 AM
horizontal rule
4

A lawyer for one of the victims (roughly) just alleged that the defence lawyers were themselves Nazis and caused a major row.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06-19-13 6:54 AM
horizontal rule
5

and caused a major row.

Godwin's law is a harsh mistress.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-19-13 7:01 AM
horizontal rule
6

4: That's actually at least partly true. Schneiders has been involved in Nazi politics for quite some time and at one time was a member of the Nazi party NPD, and Klemke is at least known for often defending Nazis in Court.


Posted by: Genosse, Esq. | Link to this comment | 06-19-13 7:07 AM
horizontal rule
7

Genosse, shall I tell 'em about the whole thing with the press passes or will you?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06-19-13 7:16 AM
horizontal rule
8

7: Sure, go ahead.


Posted by: Genosse, Esq. | Link to this comment | 06-19-13 7:18 AM
horizontal rule
9

Let me just link to a brief overview by victim's counsel.


Posted by: Genosse, Esq. | Link to this comment | 06-19-13 7:22 AM
horizontal rule
10

Well, they wanted to make double dog sure no-one was getting out or even into the court so they chose to use a courthouse specially fortified and then they being Germans thought they'd fortify some more, and when the fortifying was done they didn't have room for all the journalists, and they told the Turkish and Greek media they couldn't come in to the trial of the nazis who went around murdering Greeks and Turks, and there was a hella upfuck, and the Turks went to law, and then the old East German commie paper Neues Deutschland just round the corner from the Panorama Bar as it happens which had got a couple of slots offered to do the decent thing and share, but the court proceeding about the tickets was now on, and this being Germany and all they couldn't presume to prejudge, so that was off, and the court came back and ordered that they do the whole thing again and just pull names out of a hat...and the problem with picking them at random was that it was so damn random, and most of Germany's national news media including the 2 main TV stations, national radio, and the three main newspapers came up with nothing, while a lot of random podunk papers suddenly found themselves packing for a trip to Munchen and wondering how they'd cover the trial of the century, and poor old Neues Deutschland found out they'd offered to share and done the decent thing and been all staatstragend and ended up without a ticket, and then along comes someone who don't know nothin' from nothin' and says why not just put some more chairs in the courtroom and everyone says YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS IS A MATTER OF THE PRINCIPLE OF RECHTSSTAATLICHKEIT an besides there'r fire regulations.

phew, alameida mode is tiring.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06-19-13 7:40 AM
horizontal rule
11

10: great summary.

The whole "we have to make super-double-sure not to give the defence any reasons which someone fears they might maybe base an appeal on"-thing is really annoying.


Posted by: Genosse, Esq. | Link to this comment | 06-19-13 7:48 AM
horizontal rule
12

If you want an idea of what it's like working in a German university and dealing with admin day to day, imagine something like 10, but with much, much lower stakes.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 06-19-13 7:49 AM
horizontal rule
13

12: hoo boy. try an Austrian one - it's the same but it finishes with everyone saying "leave it, we'll decide next year".

anyway, the amazing thing about Neues Deutschland is that it runs a huge supplement every week about nothing but legal advice. a sort of readers' wives but with lawsuits. incredibly byzantine, obsessive disputes.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06-19-13 7:59 AM
horizontal rule
14

phew, alameida mode is tiring.

Don't worry, when a paragraph on the internet is that long nobody can read it anyway, so just put random words in.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-19-13 7:59 AM
horizontal rule
15

3: Ah, thank you for the clarification. The translation of the daily reports left something to be desired, as well as including lots of plain old typos.

10: I am preparing to wade into the fray and challenge a few incredibly trivial micro-decisions of the administration of our largest late-summer public festival here. I am very worried that it will all devolve into something similar to this, although stuffier, because Swedes.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-19-13 10:15 AM
horizontal rule
16

Not sure whether this counts as an auto-threadjack, but I found 1.2 quite interesting since it's pretty much the opposite in Germany: far too many people on the left seem to focus solely or mostly on Antifa politics to the detriment of other issues, especially social/class issues.

One reason may be that it is one of the "easiest" fields of struggle in a certain way - clearly delimited enemies, easy to know what actions to take (mass demonstrations and blockades of Nazi activities, anti-fascist "research" etc.).


Posted by: Genosse, Esq. | Link to this comment | 06-19-13 2:32 PM
horizontal rule
17

True, that. Also, it's an all-embracing way of life. You get the boots and the T-shirt! You go on the demos! You get into the bands! You start supporting FC St.Pauli! And kindasorta put on a north German accent!


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 3:09 AM
horizontal rule
18

I, for one, was rather impressed with the antifa people who spraypainted 'antifa area' in leafy green Dahlem, right next to the Free University. That took serious guts.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 3:29 AM
horizontal rule
19

16: Well, I kinda go back and forth on it. On the one hand, antifa stuff, there as here, I imagine, is often a cover for some pretty weak gender politics, and even for racial politics that are not quite as advanced as they ought to be. On the other hand, while I have my criticism of how that sort of activism plays out on the left, I think that (a) it makes a lot of sense to regular people, and (b) it often works pretty well for keeping the neo-Nazis down. Things here in mpls never got as bad as they did in the 90s in Portland -- there was serious neo-Nazi violence there frequently at that time. Here, they had a bit of a foothold in E. St. Paul, but were contained there and then fizzled out.

I guess it is just odd to me that, based on what I read on the internet and in radical papers and stuff, people on the left here don't seem to be as up on antifa activities as they used to be. If this case from the OP had happened in 1996 everyone would have known about it, and we probably would have had a teach-in or two about the situation, if not a demonstration at the local honorary consul's house.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 6:17 AM
horizontal rule
20

it often works pretty well for keeping the neo-Nazis down

When the neo-Nazis are down, they should find a motivational speaking to remind them not to be a Hermann Göring but a Human Goring.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 6:34 AM
horizontal rule
21

19: The skinheads certainly got more press in the 90s. I never knew whether they really declined or whether 9/11, Iraq, the econapocalypse, and related disasters just pushed them off of the front page.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 6:41 AM
horizontal rule
22

Antifascism seems like it has a pretty low improving-life-for-the-downtrodden-to-effort ratio, given the apparent low number of fascists (in the US, anyway). On the other hand, it looks fun, and as said in 16, is easier in a bunch of ways. Is there any use to it as a recruitment tool to move people farther left?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 6:53 AM
horizontal rule
23

I was startled to see a mom at the grocery store yesterday with a big swastika tattoo.

(I never know to what degree I count as Jewish when it comes to feeling targeted by things like swastikas, so I mostly find them confusing when I encounter them in person. I'm pretty sure that sounds ridiculous.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 7:13 AM
horizontal rule
24

23.1: what, seriously? You live in a weird goddamned place.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 7:18 AM
horizontal rule
25

Where was the tattoo? Somewhere she could cover easily if she wanted a job or something?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 7:18 AM
horizontal rule
26

Did you check if she would sell you a death ray?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 7:18 AM
horizontal rule
27

On her calf. Probably four inches in diameter. And two young children. Just doing the grocery shopping, as one does.

I mean, I was surprised by it. It's not something I see regularly or anything.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 7:19 AM
horizontal rule
28

22: Yeah, I mean, definitely there is a recruiting element, as everyone pretty much hates Nazis. Certainly the alphabet-soup ML parties are wont to be there, selling their stupid papers, whenever people are confronting the fascists.

One of the scarier/potentially more meaningful aspects of current neo-Nazi organizing in the US is that a lot of them are cleverly trying to triangulate with generalized anti-immigrant sentiment. Without a great deal of success so far, but it's historically been a pretty good bet from their perspective. Some of the antifa people I've worked with have a pretty developed strategy around specifically confronting that kind of recruiting tactic and working to counter-recruit among disaffected white working class youth. Also with mixed success. Part of the paradox there is that most of the young men who are stupid enough to be taken in by fascist appeals are generally not intellectually curious enough to have much use for politics of any stripe. I think we could see some changes to that landscape if the youth and young adult unemployment figures started looking like they are in Greece and Spain for awhile.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 7:21 AM
horizontal rule
29

I think we could see some changes to that landscape if the youth and young adult unemployment figures started looking like they are in Greece and Spain for awhile.

Definitely, and in that case antifascist activism would be much more important--but there'd probably also be a much larger pool of people who'd be interested in leftist activism.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 8:14 AM
horizontal rule
30

Is there any use to it as a recruitment tool to move people farther left?

That used to be the theory of some of the big autonomous/post-autonomous groups (so-called "pop-antifa"), but it's doubtful to what extent it works. Also, it has a tendency to lead to the kind of doubtful gender politics that Natilo refers to, which also exist in the German antifa.

OTOH, getting thousands of people on the streets to blockade a really big Nazi march and end a ten-year tradition of such marches, as happened in Dresden in 2010-2012, is probably among the biggest (or at least most tangable) success stories of the German left in recent years.


Posted by: Genosse, Esq. | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 10:13 AM
horizontal rule
31

27: We just saw a guy with a 4-inch calf tattoo of the facebook f icon. Better or worse?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 10:17 AM
horizontal rule
32

17: And kindasorta put on a north German accent! .

I'd be curious to know and where this was. I'm not sure I've ever seen a put-on north German accent being considered cool (outside of comedic "performances" or the like). Of course, I do live in Northern Germany, so maybe I've always already been cool and just hadn't realized it yet.


Posted by: Genosse, Esq. | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 10:18 AM
horizontal rule
33

31: I'd have to think better unless you are somehow ethnically MySpace.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 10:23 AM
horizontal rule
34

33: or, as they call it in Germany, LebensRaum.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 10:27 AM
horizontal rule
35

Finally a German joke I get.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 10:32 AM
horizontal rule
36

OTOH, getting thousands of people on the streets to blockade a really big Nazi march and end a ten-year tradition of such marches, as happened in Dresden in 2010-2012, is probably among the biggest (or at least most tangable) success stories of the German left in recent years.

This is an interesting test-case of intuitions for rule-of-law "despise what you say, but defend your right to say it / let the Nazis march through Skokie" American liberals.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 11:31 AM
horizontal rule
37

36: It is, particularly because Dresden is a good example of the interplay between Nazi/antifa campaigns and the official politics of commemoration (in this case concerning the bombardment of Dresden).

Before the antifa campaign against the Nazi marches, the official line of e.g. city officials had focused entirely on German victimhood, with Nazis and city officials laying down wreaths side-by-side. Nowadays, it is much more fact-based (e.g. as far as numbers of victims is concerned), acknowledges Nazi crimes etc.


Posted by: Genosse, Esq. | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 2:22 PM
horizontal rule
38

the official line of e.g. city officials had focused entirely on German victimhood, with Nazis and city officials laying down wreaths side-by-side

Seriously? That's some fucked-up shit. Yay antifa activists!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06-20-13 2:24 PM
horizontal rule
39

the official line of e.g. city officials had focused entirely on German victimhood, with Nazis and city officials laying down wreaths side-by-side

Sounds like the Yasukuni Shrine...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-21-13 1:57 AM
horizontal rule