Berlin: Analysis, Tips and Tactics – Don’t wait until it’s too late

Køpi and Rigaer94 are calling for the “Don’t wait until it’s too late” Demo, may 15th on Gendarmenmarkt.

It should be a strong and dynamic demo, not waiting for the next eviction date. There have been many evaluations and analysis of our demos in the last years, enough so to succeed a few times in breaking out of our usual behaviour and winning back some potential for action. We’re hoping for our demos to be good for more than just being seen and heard, or blocking something. It’s about creating collective moments, moments where we can find together in the street, moments of breaking with normality, getting over mass inertia and snapping the social reigns. Moments were we can recognize and experience our collective strength. Not as an event but with the goal of creating an instant which connects us with other points in a timeline of radical praxis and building on them. Moments from which a dynamic can grow, where it’s possible to join spontaneously, where people can dare to try new things and gain experience. In order not to turn this quest into our own impasse it’s necessary to always rethink and adjust our approach and break out of habits and routines. As a base we gathered some analysis and suggestions here.

Groups not rows
To us, the last demos confirmed, static rows don’t make sense in a dynamic demo. They hinder everyone from passing forward or backward quickly, except for the cops who anyhow come from the sides. It can make more sense to walk in chains on the side of the demo, to form a side protection. Even chains only make sense when there is a static threat from outside though, it is much easier to defend yourself or the next person and change positions, when your arms are free. A walking kettle is easier to push away and taking the whole street is quicker when we can flood freely as groups. We can also learn from other contexts that it’s safer to hold eachother by the waistband then hook our arms into eachother.

Who’s street? — ——-! All of it !
Taking up not just the whole street but the sidewalks as well, makes sense also in a bigger group. If the cops try to cordon off the demo its probably the easiest to break this, if there are as many people on the “other” side intervening as those kettled. If the cops don’t try to cordon us off, taking the sidewalks blocks the cops view, so they have a harder time following who moves how and what happens. To make sure we can create the dynamic we want ourselves, there will only be a Lauti at the beginning and the end. We think bicycles don’t make sense on the demonstration, please consider leaving them somewhere close by. They are a hindrance on the side if they’re walked like a cop line and hold back the last row if they’re in the back. The same goes for prams. We’d ask you to consider if the demo is the right place for young children that cannot choose by themselves what they do and in which situation they get.

Watch out for eachother – Be strong together
Using our collective strength we can, in the best case, avert many arrests. If somebody is getting a bit too much cop attention it’s important to help them disappear in the masses and not block them outside or run away from them. We can block the view on people that want to change clothes, it’s a good idea to bring extra side banners for this. If we keep an eye out for the people around us, we can make sure they don’t miss some important information, get hit in the head, run into a bollard or nobody notices when they need something.
There can certainly be moments where we feel like running away. It always makes sense to stay together and keep calm though, and not just run off especially in those situations. When the situation turns a bit chaotic, taking a deep breath makes more sense then falling into panic and we can help others around us with this. When the time has come to dissipate the demo, leave slowly. Sometimes running makes sense – but it’s important not to leave anyone behind or over run and knock them over! |Moving with an affinity group, so people that you know, with whom you have experience in the best case or at least have spoken about some things with, makes a lot of sense. What do we like to do? – Where do we have problems? – What are our needs? – How do we keep an eye on each other, in space but also emotionally? – What’s to do and who takes care of what if a person is taken and held by the cops or goes to pretrial detention? – What’s to do on and around the demo? – What do we want to do in the demo?
Of course it makes sense to talk to people even if you come alone, maybe there are some people you’ve run into a few times already.

The demo lives from what you do in it!
For anything to happen during the demo, somebody has to do it.
You are all invited to think about what you want from this demo and how we all can make it happen. So check out the route beforehand and consider: How and where do you want to join the demo. The starting point is a rather wide square, there are many ways to access it, still it will be the most likely place for a shake-down and have a high cop density. What’s of interest along the route and close by? Sometimes breaking out of the demo can create a good dynamic and make the situation uncontrollable. Things happening outside of the demo take away cop power and can break a kettle with the right timing, it is at the least very motivating.
Which spots could create problems for the demo and what would be a good way to deal with it, what could you do there? There will be very few bystanders on this route, we still think it makes sense to spread flyers, do glue-ups or spray paint!.. Where do you want to leave the demo?
Don’t hang around for too long at the end, try to have a plan for leaving. It’s best not to leave alone and try to avoid suddenly running off, it can create a panic and draws a lot of attention to you. Pay attention to where you will go, you probably want to avoid walking straight into the next camera or right into a subway station.

If you witness any repression around this demonstration, contact interkiezionale [at] riseup [dot] net, so we can support you and have some idea of how the demo turned out for everybody. If you see an arrest or are held for a longer time yourself, call the EA on 030-69 22222. Please only tell the name of the arrested person and the situation. There will be a group waiting outside the cop shop were people are held waiting for their release, you can reach this GESA Support at: +49157 82306155. Berlin cops try to establish close contact, they like to punch, kick and use pepper spray. They are filming demonstrations more and more often and will try to get video material from private surveillance cams in case something happens. The cops usually do a live analysis of their video feeds, so they can arrest people as soon as possible or after the demo. Don’t forget a change of clothes and pay attention to what you’re wearing!

Sanitary Situation
In case of a curfew at the time of the demonstration:
The way to and from a demonstration is legally protected, so you can say that in case of a control. You’re also allowed to go to the next emergency pharmacy or hospital..

So we can create the moments we’re all looking for on a dynamic demo

Autonomy, Solidarity & Awareness

Rigaerstrasse 94, Berlin

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