15 Anarchists in Basel Sentenced to Prison Time

Published February 28, 2019

Basel 18

On January 15, 2019, 15 anarchists of the Basel 18 were found guilty of willful damage of property, actual bodily harm, breach of the peace, multiple acts of violence, threats against public authorities and officials and breach of the traffic laws.

The preposterous sentence ranges from 20 months conditionally to two years, up to 27 months unconditionally. Thereby the three judges of the criminal court of Basel city followed the claims of the prosecution in most parts. Some persons even had to pay an additional fine of 200,000 Swiss franks for the violation of the ban on wearing face coverings, as well as individual fines – between five and ten daily fines in lieu of jail time – for insults, violation of the gun control law, trespassing or hindrance to an official act. Acquittal was won solely for the three people who were accused of just sending an SMS to one of the other defendants on the concerned day.

The Basel 18 have been accused of participating in an unauthorized demonstration on June 24, 2016 against racism, repression, and displacement. Some capitalist and state institutions were attacked during the demonstration.

The accused comrades refused to cooperate with the state or turn against each other. In spite of a lack of evidence of individual participation by the defendants, the Basel 18’s involvement in the anarchist movement and their solidarity with one another was used as justification for their draconian sentence.

An increasing number of revolutionary actions have been carried out in solidarity with the Basel 18 since the sentencing. On January 24, a company car belonging to the construction firm Implenia was set on fire in Bern, Switzerland in solidarity with the Basel 18. On January 28, anarchists set fire to a construction machine that was located on an Implenia construction site in Vienna, Austria in solidarity with the Basel 18 and the Rojava revolution. Implenia is one of the main responsible companies working on the extension of the deportation prison “Bässlergut” in Basel. As a result, they are instrumental in further expanding the deportation industry.