On Anti-Police Rioting in Stuttgart, Germany

Published June 23, 2020

Riots Against Police Racism in Stuttgart, Germany

The mystifying ideological claim that looting is violent and non-political is one that has been carefully produced by the ruling class because it is precisely the violent maintenance of property which is both the basis and end of their power.

In Defense of Looting

Published by Enough 14. Written by Riot Turtle.

Stuttgart exploded on Saturday and many liberals in “Happyland” [1] seemed to be surprised. But well, most of them are not only living in Happyland, they also live in the “island of the blessed,” a parallel society that is infamous for suppressing reality. A society, based on structural violence.

Police authorities, cop unions and political clowns from various political parties are of course condemning the riots. Many liberals and politicians don’t get tired to repeat that they are standing behind the police and are babbling about something they call the rule of law. Of course they do. The police is the guarantor to maintain the current order, the racist order which is exploiting, deporting and killing people. A society that is looting the planet… The priority is and always was to make as much profit as possible by all means. It’s one of the basic principles of this society, and that didn’t change because our rulers told us something about what they called “solidarity” during the lockdown.

Of course, parts of the left distanced themselves from the “vandals” in Stuttgart. Those parts of the left, which consider themselves to be leftists but who are actually liberals, that distanced themselves must have been relieved when they heard that Franz Lutz, president of the Stuttgart police, said: “The riots had no political background.” Which is, of course, total bollocks. This denial of solidarity by parts of the left makes it easier for the state to strike back. The war rhetoric by the cops and several politicians have two main purposes: to demonize people that took part in the riots and to pave the way for repression. Both purposes are necessary for the ruling class to set a narrative and to maintain power. It animates people to distance themseves and thus isolate the “rioters.”

To claim that looting is “non-political” might suit our rulers, but has nothing to do with reality. Looting is a strong weapon in the struggle against the current conditions, and one of the things that makes the ruling class really nervous (in contrast to the often ritualized protests by parts of the left).

Looting is extremely dangerous to the rich (and most white people) because it reveals, with an immediacy that has to be moralized away, that the idea of private property is just that: an idea, a tenuous and contingent structure of consent, backed up by the lethal force of the state. When rioters take territory and loot, they are revealing precisely how, in a space without cops, property relations can be destroyed and things can be had for free.

In Defense of Looting

The riots in Stuttgart were not an isolated incident, apart from the fact that it was the third time in a few weeks that people clashed with cops in Stuttgart (each time after police controls), these riots are part of a series of riots and revolts in many different countries. The current cycle of revolts started with the Gilets Jaunes uprising in France in 2018, the revolt in Chile in 2019 and the continuing unrest in Lebanon to name a few. The economic crisis and the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis accelerated the current cycle of revolts. And that is actually not surprising, as racist police practises are widespread in many countries. Also in this country, the “island of the blessed.” Because many people do live in the same territory, but are excluded from the “island of the blessed” society.

The mixture of racial profiling (a police practice that is going on for years now), racist police violence during the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Hamburg and Berlin two weeks ago, migrants who were killed by cops in Bremen and Emsland last week, rising unemployment and the fact that people were locked up for weeks in their apartments during the COVID-19 state of emergency changed the “Island of the Blessed” into a powder-keg.

In Göttingen, a local quarantine zone is enforced with fences and riot cops. The cops shoved, beat and pepper sprayed people, among them children, just hours before the Stuttgart riots started. After the cop violence people also clashed with cops in Göttingen. More and more people seem to have enough of authoritarian state measures, racism and its forces of order.

The current cycle of revolts was not started by the usual suspects but is highly political. The struggle against racism in general, racist police practises, colonialism and also against capitalism has entered a new phase. For many people who don’t (want to?) see what is happening outside their own bubble it might not be visible (yet?). But it’s happening in front of our eyes.

Comrades of Vamos Hacia La Vida wrote, “It has begun! This is class war!” The question everyone should ask themselves is: Which side are you on?

Notes

[1] Happyland is a world where racism is the offence of others.

https://www.migazin.de/2017/03/31/willkommen-in-happyland/

From: https://enoughisenough14.org/2020/06/23/stuttgartriots-more-an-more-people-seem-to-have-enough-of-authoritarian-state-measures-racism-and-its-forces-of-order/#more-76074