On June 18, 2019, the German-Algerian Adel B. was shot by cops in the employ of the city of Essen in the entrance of his apartment house through the closed door. In the aftermath the police attempted to destroy videos depicting the circumstances of the crime and invented the fairy tale, that they had acted in self-defense. Two weeks ago, the criminal trial against these murderers in uniform was dismissed yet again. Last Saturday, 500 people participated in a manifestation on the occasion of the anniversary of his murder and afterwards marched, despite it being prohibited, to the place were Adel was murdered.

Relatives, friends and activists are fighting for one year now to get justice in the case of Adel. Essen Altendorf, where Adel lived and was shot, is a district characterized by immigrants and workers, that is being portrayed time and again as a troubled neighborhood. On regular basis, the cops mount major operations there, arbitrary racist controls of its inhabitants are the order of the day. Sometimes the cops literally occupy the neighborhood for multiple hours or even days.

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In connection with the protests against the murder of George Floyd, the question of racist police brutality in the federal district of Northrine-Westfalia (NRW) is present as never before. Three weeks ago tens of thousands of people participated in manifestations in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Dortmund and many other cities. With the murder of Adel the police of Essen came to be the symbol and prime example of police murderers in NRW, and in the current situation they are under heavy pressure. Especially through the politics of the “League Against Police Brutality Essen” and the NRW-encompassing “Forum Against Police Brutality” their doings were dragged into the light of the public eye.

Not only because of the case of Adel Essen's Police, Central Foreigners’ Registration Office and Public Order Office gained notoriety in the recent past. In the beginning of the year, a Nigerian Family in Essen, which was attempting to report a theft, was beaten out of the police station and chased through the city. In April family Ayoub was ambushed in their home by police under the pretext of Special Corona Legislation and brutally beaten and insulted. In the week before the manifestation alone, they wounded three refugees by setting their combat dogs on them and, with live ammunition, shot at three youths between 11 and 14 years. These are only some of the examples of how Essen’s police force made headlines this year, but there are many more. And these are only those cases that get press coverage, without a doubt the dark figure is much greater.

This terror against the people is flanked by the Minister of the Interior of NRW, Herbert Reul, who loves to pose as a Law-And-Order politician, who takes pictures for the press together with Special Forces in front of raided hookah joints and through his “Politics of Thousand Needle Pricks” has issued card Blanche for the unfolding terror against immigrant petty traders.

In the days before last Saturdays manifestation on occasion of the day of Adels death the police hence pursued a two-pronged strategy: On the one hand, there was a propaganda campaign in the press of yet unseen dimensions with one, sometimes even two, articles per day in the local „Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung“ [„Western-German General Newspaper“], which is the principle communication channel of the cops and the city administration. The articles have a wide range of purposes: In some Adel is depicted as a drug addict and attempted murderer of his family, in others the statements of the state attorney are cited, that considers the case Adel as „cleared up“. In others, the supporters of the struggle for justice for Adel are directly attacked. In multiple statements the Senior Mayor, the Chief of Police and the Head of Public Order supported Essens police force, claiming there was no racism within the police and that the death of Adel was being exploited. Senior Mayor Thomas Kufen even went so far, as to stage a demonstrative press photo shooting in a police station in the days before the planned demonsration.

On the other hand there has been a massive police presence in Altendorf since the beginning of this week, which temporarily nearly occupied the district. There have been frequent patrols, on the main traffic artery out of the district. For some time every car was checked upon on the day before the demonstration. This lockdown of the cops was flanked by targeted actions of Essens fascists, which organised the near complete destruction of all posters in Altendorf and for the day of the manifestation itself announced a AfD-Counter-Manifestation [Afd = Party „Alternative for Germany“] in front of the central police station under the slogan „German policemen are no rascists“.

The police of Essen is under massive pressure and acknowledges that, hence their demagogy and their lies, hence their demonstrative closing of ranks between the cops, the state attornies and the politicians. They have become insecure, because it is not only a few people, but broad parts of the masses that participate in the current protests against the murder of George Floyd. Hence it was foreseeable, that the police of Essen on occassion of the anniversary of the death of Adel would attempt to reduce the effect of publicity of the Demonstration, but also, that they could not afford another scandal, particularly in the question of protests against police brutality. Hence, under the pretext of Corona, a demonstration was prohibited and only a stationary manifestation sanctioned.

For the whole period of the Special Legislation due to Corona it has been used by the police of Essen, even more then in other cities, to deny political protests in the form of powerful manifestations oder demonstrations. While for example in Cologne, two weeks prior, more than 10.000 people came together to protest against the murder of George Floyd and the day after that a demonstration for 4.000 people was allowed, the protest in Essen was supposed to meet only with 1,5m safety distance between one another and should be satisfied without a demonstration.

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In the end, despite the counter-campaign of the reaction, up to 500 people came together on occasion of the anniversary of the death of Adel and against racist police brutality. Many of them were inhabitants of Altendorf, Friends and relatives of people who were murdered by police  and people who have experienced racist police brutality themselves. A powerful expression of that were the numerous short, spontaneous speeches of various individuals that combatively expressed their experience with racism and the police. In many regards their contributions, consciousness and anger that day went much further than many of the contributions of the various organisations. This is how a very vivid, combative manifestation came to be in which the police was denounced, had to retreat and, in the end, had to keep themselves in the background.

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From within this dynamic about 300 participants from the manifestation afterwards took part in an unannounced, combative demonstration to the place where the police on June 18, 2019, for the first time drew a gun on Adel and onwards to the place, were he was finally shot. Slogans like „Adel B. that was murder! Cops out of Altendorf!“, „The true face of their democracy, mass-murderers is what they are!“, „German police: Murderers and racists!“ and „Don‘t believe the lies of the exploiters! It‘s right to rebel!“ were shouted and several combative speeches were given. On the one hand, this demonstration came as a surprise for the police, on the other hand it was also obvious, that the police for this day received the politically motivated order to not provoke any scandal under any circumstances. The police squadron hurrying to accompany the demonstration, was not even allowed to put on their helmets or make use of their batons and pepper spray even when it came to scuffels and sporadic throws on them after they, obviously by mistake, stopped the demonstration.

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The struggle that made the demonstration possible was for one thing, the big participation of the masses and for another the political campaign beforehand, that limited the room for the police to act within, due to the great public attention on the approach of the police. Without this public attention, there is no doubt, the demonstration would have been confronted quite differently. That a spontaneous and unannounced demonstration, especially of this character, was able to march that day is an important victory and an important sign for both Essen and NRW. It is obvious, that justice can not come from the bourgeois state, its judiciary or its governments, be it in NRW, the FRG or anywhere in the world. Justice can only be dealt by the people.