Content note: Police violence
Within the framework of the action days of Together against the Animal Industry, contact with the police may occur in various situations and contexts. Therefore, we feel responsible to present our position and the way we want to deal with them in the following.
The police as an institution represents a violent, repressive structure. In principle, all people can be affected by the despotism of the police. However, people from (multiple) marginalized groups systematically experience more of various forms of police violence. Therefore, for a solidary approach and enabling support, all people need to reflect on their own privileges.
The camp is supposed to be a safer place, which the police should not enter. Since the camp takes place within the framework of a registered assembly, it is not possible for us to carry out the action days completely without interaction with the police. We have made an agreement with the police that further interactions will only take place in front of the camp. In addition, we have developed a security concept that meets the requirement to resolve conflicts both within the camp and externally without involving the police. We ask that, if possible, people contact the Infopoint for support or ask people on the camp for assistance instead of calling the police on their own. However, we are aware of the possibility that people will call the police on their own out of fear.
In the mass action there will be people who will assume the role of a polko (police contact). This involves exchanging factual and de-escalative, but not collegial, views with the police. In this way, collected concerns of the activists are communicated and represented. People outside this role are encouraged not to talk to the police. This is to increase safety for all.
In case of need of support regarding legal questions, the AG Antirepression is available at the camp during the action days. Please note the opening hours of the legal tent, as well as the offered workshops.
General NoGos in dealing with the police
- Denying other people their experience of violence or generalizing that there has been no police violence: just because you have not experienced it yourself does not mean that it did not happen.
- Engage in vicitim blaming¹: Vicitm blaming involves blaming the person affected by an assault for that incident. This is expressed, for example, in statements such as “Somehow it’s understandable that the police use pain holds when the activists don’t stand up themselves.”
- Thanking the police, applouding for them, referring to them positively, chatting, etc.: this behavior is disrespectful to people who have experienced violence.
- Name-calling and unnecessary provocation: For people who are more vulnerable to repression, potential escalation carries greater risks. In addition, dominant behavior creates a more unsafe space, especially for marginalized groups of people.
We stand for a solidary togetherness – together against state repression!
We gladly refer to the text of Ende Gelände regarding police criticism, which offers more detailed information: https://www.ende-gelaende.org/polizeikritik/