Summary of the happenings in Munich 2003
Friday the protests against the NATO security conference began with actions of the pink-and-silver group in the inner city of Munich, where the first few activists were arrested. Subsequently the first rally on Marienplatz at 5 p.m.. Approximately 2000 – 3000 activists were present. The welcome-celebration of the city of Munich and the participants of the security conference, the cause for the rally, was relocated from the city hall to the hotel “Bayerischer Hof” rapidly.
As the rally ended the majority of those present hit the road to take part in an “elation demonstration” pro war and capitalism through the inner city. With slogans like “war is cool”, “everybody’s talking about war, we make it” the war propaganda was taken for a ride.
Subsequently to the rally on Marienplatz there were first provocations by the police: the last speaker of the rally, Tobias Pflüger was arrested as the rally ended, cause he called on the German soldiers in Kuwait to desert if it comes to a war of aggression which is against all humen rights. In the late evening he was released again.
But that’s not it: Round about 11 p.m. the police stormed the overcrowded convergence center in Troepfelbad with a few hundered and especially with the notorious USK (special task force) from Bavaria. There they expected persons who were supposed to plan felonies. But the police didn’t have more than those nebulous speculations for a reason for this incredible action.
Police checked the personal dates of everybody in the convergence center. Those who whouldn’t leave the convergence centre voluntarily were forced outside violently. 22 persons were arrested. Some of them to avert danger, others because of resistance. Those are still in prison (Saturday 1 p.m.).
While mayor Ude is mobilizing for a demonstration against a war in Iraq (like this he tries to receive the peace movement) it seems like fundamental critisism on NATO and war is undesired and is answered with criminalization in advance.
Summary of the happenings on Saturday
After everybody having recovered from the shock of the convergence centre being stormed by police (with 22 activists still being hold), saturday morning 10 am a peace-march of aprox. 5000 unionists, social democrats and church members, preceded by town mayor Christian Ude, took place.
A second march of aprox. up to 20.000 , organised by the anti-nato-alliance Munich and joined by many participants of the first march later, formed at noon under heavy snow falls. This lead to police forces and by-standers being bombed (and “shooting” back) by snow balls all along the way, luckily without major casualties. This march extended the call for peace to a harsh critic of NATO and the german government’s policies around a pending Iraq war. Apart from some provocative police pressure on the head end of the march and a minor clash between protestors and police about where the march was going to end, it all happened in good humor and powerful form, music and a lovely pink-silver bloc rallying, as far as I know the first one in this town.
At about 4 pm the 22 arrested of the night before were released.