The Hague: Acquittal in Fight Repression case

On 19 November 2016 about 250 people gathered on Kerkplein to demonstrate from there against the repression that has been spreading in recent years against anarchists and anti-fascists in The Hague and beyond. Repression such as the constant prohibition of demonstrations and the mapping of anti-fascists and anarchists in order to be able to take repressive measures. And this demonstration was also suppressed with repression and violence from the police, in which 166 people were arrested.

Almost two years later, the Public Prosecution Service decided to prosecute the 166 people arrested on Kerkplein. The first 50 people came to court last month. After two full days in court, the judge ruled on 3 December. The first 50 people were acquitted. Yesterday (13-12-2018), the Public Prosecution Service announced that it would not appeal and dismiss the remaining 166 cases.

The lawsuit
During the two-day trial a number of things came up. The police ended the demonstration at Kerkplein because some people wore face coverings. In the trial it appeared, as our lawyers already stated, that there was no restriction from the mayor that this should not be allowed.

The police stated in the file that they assumed that the restriction on wearing face cover was there. The police also stated that the mayor had given the order to end the demonstration, but it is not clear from the file who gave the order. What the grounds for arrest, repression and depriving the right to demonstrate come down to is that the police decided on their own that the demonstration did not suit them and proceeded to arrests and the use of force.

This event fits in with the picture of the repression against which the demonstration was directed. For years, the police in The Hague have been focusing on anarchists and anti-fascists in a sickly way. For example, demonstrations without a decision by the mayor are ended with violence, anarchists are intimidated at home, there are raids by groups of police officers to collect small fines, the door is blown out and photos of personal things are taken. The list goes on for a while. Area bans, sky-high fines, attempts to recruit informants and build up a CTER file*.

This case clearly shows what happens so often in The Hague. The police work on their own, people are arrested and later acquitted or not prosecuted at all. It is of course nice that you don’t have to pay a fine, but in practice, on the street, nothing changes. The police can do whatever they want. It doesn’t matter to them whether we get a fine more or less. And if an arrest turns out to be unjustified, there are no consequences for police officers. This way they can effectively keep us out of the streets. That’s why we’re not surprised that this spectacle of police, judges and the police cell has repeated itself again.

But if they think they are stopping our fight for solidarity and a radically different world, they are wrong. No baton, agent or prison will stop us from fighting for real freedom. Let us reflect on these events and create uncontrollable methods of struggle.

Fight against repression. Long live anarchy!

Fight Repression Demo:

*CTER: Contra Terrorisme, Extremisme en Radicalisering