Last Saturday, at the match between Eintracht Frankfurt and VFB Stuttgart in the Hessian state capital, the police once again used more violence against football fans.In these clashes between the police and football fans, however, the cops had to take even more of a beating than in previous incidents. According to the police, a double-digit number of cops were injured, four of whom were treated in hospital. On the fans' side, there were a total of 70 injured and seven seriously injured.


According to the cops, the clashes were triggered by threats to stewards by Frankfurt fans before the game. However, the Frankfurt fan organization " The 13th Man" describes the events quite differently:


Today, at the match against VfB Stuttgart, there was the most massive police operation around the north-west curve that we have ever experienced in the Waldstadion. Here in Frankfurt, too, they obviously wanted to participate in the nationwide escalation strategy of the police, which has already led to several injured fans in recent weeks (for example at St. Pauli against Hanover or Bochum against Cologne). (...) We already knew before the match day that a large-scale operation was planned and that police forces had even been called back from vacation, for example. Everyone in the vicinity of the stadium could see that an unusually large number of officers were on site unusually early for a match at 6:30 pm, although the match was not classified as a high-risk match. Among the several hundred police officers were also reinforcements from other federal states(...) There were no clashes between the fan groups on the entire match day, neither before nor after the game. Even the "escalation of rival fan groups" that the Frankfurt police spread via Twitter/X at 18:06 simply did not take place.Instead, there was an attempted arrest by a person dressed in civilian clothes in front of Block 40, presumably because there was no correct admission ticket. A few seconds later, the police, including video surveillance measures, were already on standby and entered the area in front of Block 40 on a massive scale. The units must therefore have already been ready for this operation.(...) This was followed by a confrontation lasting at least 30 minutes, during which the police repeatedly advanced using batons and irritants without any regard for casualties, even among normal fans, women and children.(…)"


Even the bourgeois media have come to the conclusion that what the cops are saying cannot be the truth. The headline of an article in the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper reads "Scandal before Eintracht game: Not Bengalos endangered children, but the police" And the same article, just like the Frankfurt fan organization, puts the incident last Saturday in Frankfurt in context with the previous attacks by the police in Hamburg and Bochum and the upcoming European Championship which will be held in Germany, among other places. At the match between Sankt Pauli and Hannover, the police stormed the away block of the Hannover fans for no good reason and sprayed pepper spray into the crowd without regard for casualties or any form of targeted action. Police intrusion into the fan blocks inside the stadium has been considered a red line and taboo in recent years, and the cops have not crossed it. No wonder that, as in Frankfurt, the cops were literally beaten out of the block. One policeman even had both legs broken. In Bochum, police officers also beat up away fans from the Cologne football scene at the Bundesliga match against 1 FC Köln.


Now, as mentioned above, associations in the organized football scene and some journalists are putting these events in the context of the upcoming European Championship. And not without good reason. Already in 2006, in the run-up to the World Cup held in Germany, there was an increase in repression against supporters in stadiums. But the panorama of increasing violence in German football stadiums does not end with the European Championship. Major social events such as international football events, the Olympics or political summits such as the G20 have been used for some time to further the reactionarization of German imperialism. This also happens in other countries where such events are held; the Olympic Games in France this year are a good example of this. Before such major events are held, all kinds of arguments are put forward as to why it is necessary to expand the competences of the so-called security apparatuses, from the police to the public order office to the secret services, and to increase camera surveillance. This is often accompanied by numerous security and commercialization concepts for the inner cities and party miles where visitors to the events will spend their leisure time.


And so this summer's European Championship and the intensified police action against football fans is also taking place in the very concrete context of the economic and political crisis of German imperialism and its need to decisively advance reactionarization. For decades, operations against football fans have also been a suitable testing ground for the police to practice counter-insurgency operations. This is because both the composition of the standing areas corresponds to a broad spectrum of the people, and they are fighting an enemy that is at least roughly organized in the form of the fan and ultras scenes. The results of these attacks on football fans show that the German police really do need practice when it comes to riot control. Last Saturday, for example, the cops were driven out of the stadium using bottles, pyrotechnics and iron bars.

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