On November 8, house searches were carried out simultaneously against anti-fascists across germany. The background to this is the events in Gera on May 1st of this year. There, protests against a fascist march led to clashes with the police. Now, around six months later, the repressive authorities have stricked and had apartments searched in five different federal states. However, the repression in this case should not be viewed in isolation, but is part of a larger general trend in the German state.

On the first of May this year, a 700 people strong fascist march was held in the Thuringian university town of Gera, called for by the group "Aufbruch Gera". An anti-fascist demonstration was organized against it, in which around 500 people are said to have taken part. During the demonstration, the police are said to have arbitrarily tried to stop the demonstration, which the participants refused to tolerate. An attempt to break through the police cordon is said to have led to clashes with the cops, during which they used pepper spray and batons against the demonstration and ultimately surrounded around 250 demonstrators. The people concerned were held in police kettles for up to five hours for simply taking part in a demonstration. The ID of each individual were checked. The measure was justified with the typical accusation of "breach of the peace", this means participation in an assembly from which criminalizable acts were committed.

The police's decision to simply hold on 250 people from a demonstration for hours on end was obviously completely arbitrary and met with criticism even in parts of bourgeois politics. The youth organizations of the SPD, the Left Party and the Greens condemned the police operation in a joint statement and described the cops' actions as police violence. While the left-wing parliamentary group in the Thuringian state parliament also clearly criticized the police operation and described it as "disproportionate", some members of the Greens and SPD also criticized the police, albeit more cautiously.

Now that several months have passed and the police operation at the time has disappeared from the public eye, the political police probably saw a good opportunity to deal the next blow against the anti-fascists concerned. In the early morning of November 8, apartments were searched in Thuringia, Saxony, Hamburg, Lower Saxony and Baden-Württemberg. However, the searches focused on Thuringia and Saxony. During the searches, the police officers also took an extraordinarily martial approach. With sniffer dogs in tow, masked cops broke down doors with battering rams, unexpectedly tore people from their beds and tied them up. During the searches, all kinds of technical devices such as mobile phones, computers and data devices were confiscated. The cops also took photos of dark clothing that they found in the people's homes.

A special point in this situation, is the justification for the search measures. The absolute majority of the homes were searched on the basis of allegations of breach of the peace. Concrete suspicion of the involvement of the persons concerned in other criminal acts was not mentioned. Instead, the accusation used by the authorities to justify the searches is that they were taking part in a registered demonstration and wearing black clothing. According to Junge Welt, this is what a search warrant says:

"The accused had been in the block that was encircled by the police. "As an expression of his left-wing stance and rejection of communication with state organs, he wore black outer clothing" and black trousers as a sign of belonging to the "black block". For the same reasons, the "absolute majority of the people in this area of the assembly" who had "previously violently attacked the police forces" are said to have worn similar clothing."

The Red Help also states that the anti-fascists are generally only accused of breach of the peace and a violation of a uniform ban laid down in Thuringian assembly law. This violation of uniform law is now being constructed by the public prosecutor's office on the basis that the people concerned are said to have worn black clothing during the demonstration.

The fact that nationwide house searches were carried out on the basis of this, without the majority of those affected being accused of any specific individual contribution to the crime, is a new peak in state repression against anti-fascists. However, it also makes it clear that the repressive authorities were not interested in finding concrete evidence of criminal acts. Rather, the aim was to intimidate those affected and gather information about the anti-fascist movement. Above all, the anti-fascist movement in the east of Germany should probably to be spied on and intimidated by the search measures.

However, the events in Gera, including the current house searches, are also part of a clear continuity of repression. In recent years, we have clearly seen how repression against the anti-fascist movement has increased. In particular, the tactic of using large police kettles to identify large crowds of people at protests has been used frequently this year. In addition to the police operation in Gera, other examples include the police kettles at the protests following the prison sentences in the Antifa East trial or at the AFD party conference in Offenburg. The practice of house searches is also being used more and more frequently. Only recently, the homes of anti-fascists in Nuremberg were searched for allegedly affixing political graffiti. But prison sentences are also being handed down more and more frequently in court against active anti-fascists. There are currently a whole series of anti-fascists who are behind bars for their justified struggle. Well-known examples include Jo, Dy, Findus or Lina and the others involved in the Antifa Ost trial as well as the convicted anti-fascists in the Stuttgart riot trial. The list is long and could go on and on. In addition to searches and heavy penalties, protests are also often simply banned, as in the example of the protests at the sentencing in the Antifa East trial.

So we can see that the repression is putting more pressure on the anti-fascist movement. But it is not only the those that is affected by the raising repression. Revolutionaries from other counries and anti-imperialists are also repeatedly subjected to major attacks of the german state. At the moment, support for the Palestinian liberation struggle is particularly in the crosshairs of the reaction. In recent weeks, there have been numerous attacks on demonstrations and the negation of established basic civil and democratic rights. In many places, there has been and still is a complete abolition of freedom of assembly on this issue. Numerous demonstrations were simply banned without further ado and crushed with police batons. In Hamburg, for example, there is currently a complete ban on all protests on this topic, imposed by general decree. But even where demonstrations are permitted, the police repeatedly impose highly arbitrary and legally untenable restrictions in order to limit freedom of expression and find reasons to attack authorized demonstrations. By banning the left-wing organization Samidoun, whose activities consisted exclusively of legal political activities such as demonstrations and protests, the German state has clearly shown that it does not accept its own laws regarding the so-called fundamental right of freedom of speech.

People who are hit by repression in the course of their political activities on this topic are also confronted with harsh punishments. For example, politicians are increasingly calling for the immediate deportation of refugees who take a stand for Palestine, and even for migrants with citizenship living here to be stripped of their German citizenship. Recently, a person in Heilbronn was taken into custody and locked up in prison, accused of having taken down and destroyed an Israeli flag hanging in front of the town hall.

Like many other countries, the German state is becoming increasingly reactionary. This can be seen very clearly in the negation of numerous fundamental rights. However, this is not a development that happened from one day to the next. In recent years, the German state has taken continuous steps to further and further restrict civil democratic freedoms. On the one hand, of course, by enacting reactionary laws, such as the numerous new police laws in the different federal states. These newly enacted powers were then increasingly put into practice over the years. The so-called "corona years", in which the ruling powers declared a state of emergency and practically locked up entire federal states at home overnight with curfews, massively advanced the reactionarization of the state - entirely in the interests of those in power. The first demonstrations were also banned during this time. While parts of the left-wing movement welcomed the restrictions on freedom of assembly at the time, as they were directed against protests under reactionary leadership, we can see today that it didn't stop there. Just like the so-called Queerdenken protests back then, today anti-fascist and anti-imperialist demonstrations are simply banned by the state

The increasing repression and the negation of basic democratic rights is an expression of this rising fascist tendency and the fight against it is part of the anti-fascist struggle. It makes no difference whether the actions of class justice are directed against anti-fascists, cliumate activists, Turkish revolutionaries or anti-imperialists. Of course, consequent anti-fascism means confronting the fascists on the streets and hunt them out of our cities, neighborhoods and villages. But consequent anti-fascism also means clearly recognizing and fighting the rising fascist tendency within the bourgeois state. This is the task of every anti-fascist, but thereby one should not be trapped in the "defence of democracy".