This week yet again another series of major police operations took place all over Northrine-Westphalia. This time for the reason of enforcing the Corona-Measures issues by the Government. Under the direction of the Ministry of Transportation the Central Train Stations in Bielefeld, Siegen, Cologne, Bonn, Aachen, Dusseldorf, Dortmund, Essen and Munster were occupied this Monday by joint action groups of the Federal Police, the Public Order Office and Deutsche Bahn in order to enforce the “mandatory mask-wearing”.

There is a fine of 150€ in NRW for not (or not properly) wearing a mask in the local transportation or the national rail system, operated by Deutsche Bahn, which also is in effect at the stations. That the checks to enforce this are being carried out in this fashion has two reasons. The first is the weakness of the state and the accentuated situation in the class struggle. The state is well aware that he is not able to enforce his own laws with merely 2-3 officials of the Public Order Office in the train stations in NRW. This would inevitably end rather quickly in a black eye or two on the part of the officials.

NRW Corona Maskenkontrolle 2

The people are fed up with the Corona-Measures of the government. Despite the pandemic you have to go to work, be in crowded trains every morning and if you forget your mask you now have to pay 150€. Are there anymore trains put into operation, so that they are overall more empty? No. Can you get masks or disinfectant in the trains? No. But these would be the measures that would be much more effective to actually prevent the virus spreading then a 150€ fine and major police operations. But are those measures but into effect? Their aren’t, because they would damage the profitability of Deutsche Bahn and the various Local Transportation Services. Instead, all responsibility is put on each and everyone of us. So the Public Order Office knows very well, that it has to treat carefully, when it starts harassing people – the situation is, due to the crisis and how it is handled my the state, much more strained then before. It can rapidly erupt and then they fully loose the grip on things. Hence their massive contingent of cops to support this kind of operation and to show “presence” and “strength”. All they are showing however, is their incapacity to enforce their own laws without huge numbers of armed police.

The other question is, to train this type of joint operations. Federal Police together with the local Offices of Public Order and the private security companies hired by the rail companies on this day made vast checks of hundreds of people in the biggest agglomeration of people in all of Europe. That is to say, under the pretext of Corona – who could possibly have anything against that?  - various state repression organs train under the political direction of the ministry hand in hand with private companies how to check people in large scale operations. From the point of view of the state, in the face of accentuating class struggle, this is an important operation to train, in order to secure control over some of the most vital parts of NRWs, and with this the FRGs, infrastructure and in order to further blur the boundaries in between the various state agencies themselves and to the private security companies.

NRW Corona Maskenkontrolle 3