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Austrian Repression, June 09. Celebrity Support for ARAs.

A little over a year after the 23 house and office searches culminating in the arrest and 3 -� month imprisonment of 10 animal rights activists, the repression seems to have no end. Despite the fact that the special commission has already written their final reports on those suspected of being part of a "criminal organization" according to -�278a of the Austrian Penal Code (encompassing about 40 people!), the police conducted three house searches on Wednesday, June 10. But not quite as planned...

The person targeted by the searches was one of the 10 activists who was in jail last summer -�" and whose house was already searched! This search can only be seen as a further attempt to scare the animal rights scene and as evidence of the complete arbitrariness of the investigations.

The activist was at none of the three residences which were searched, but many other activists went to the one address in Vienna to show solidarity and to let the police know that they cannot carry out such actions in secrecy and without consequences. About 15 activists came early enough to block the police from entering the building. They held banners saying "Against cages and prisons: for the liberation of humans and animals" and "Abolish -�278: end all the proceedings." The police called in for back up, and elite cops came to end the blockade. The cops first tore apart a banner and then dragged the activists one by one out of the house. After writing down their information, all were released -�" except one, who refused to identify herself.

Eventually between 40 and 50 activists were there to show their solidarity, and these activists also managed to block the police car that was supposed to take the one arrested person away. People chanted, "We are all 278a!" and "1, 2, 3, let her free!" After about 40 minutes, the police only managed to drive her away by quickly switching cars and blocking the way with a large number of officers and police dogs. One officer shoved an activist to the ground, lightly injuring him. This cop then refused to give his police ID number, which the activists loudly demanded. Thanks in part to the presence of mainstream media, the cop was not able to shirk his responsibility to provide this piece of identification as otherwise would certainly have been the case.

In the meanwhile, the house search was carried out and the one activist arrested at the solidarity protest has been released. Sadly, there is no reason to believe that this episode will mark the end of the harassment from the police and the prosecutors. According to rumors in the press, the "justice" ministry is reviewing the charges. When the charges will be announced and what they will actually be remains a mystery. One thing is certain, no matter what form the repression takes, it will be met with a strong solidarity movement that will not be intimidated!

photos & info:
http://www.vgt. at/presse/ news/2009/ news20090610m_ 2_en.php
http://news. infoshop. org/article. php?story= 2009061102384468 6
http://antirep2008. lnxnt.org/ ?p=1052
http://antirep2008. lnxnt.org

Please send the letter to addresses below:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is with great consternation that I have learned that on June 10 yet another police raid was carried out in Vienna against one of the ten animal rights advocates kept in prison for over three months last summer. I should like to express deep concern about this whole affair. In spite of my best attempts to follow the case and to read the many reports on it in the media etc., I just can�t understand what appears to be excessive zeal on the part of the police. Is there going to be any end to this long-drawn-out police inquiry that is causing citizens around the world to look at Austria in amazement?

Yours sincerely,

To : minister.justiz@ bmj.gv.at, ministerbuero@ bmi.gv.at,
werner.faymann@ spoe.at, buergerservice@ bka.gv.at,
heinz.fischer@ hofburg.at, bpdw.wien@polizei. gv.at

Hidden copy to : martin.balluch@ vgt.at

TY
Joanna


(Translation) VGT - More Celebrities Support Campaigners in Fight against Animal Activism Repression

- A translation of ONE of the events from the homepage of www.vgt.at - the most effective Austrian AR/AP society. VGT = Association Against Animal Factories (Verein Gegen Tierfabriken) .

- Click on English flag to read some other information in English. (German flag to read German)

- ( If you want me to know that you have replied to this message please email me - not only on this list but also directly. ( zaftfab@yahoo. com )

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German / English version (+ photos) can be seen under :
German link : http://www.vgt. at/presse/ news/2009/ news20090630m. php
English link : http://www.vgt. at/presse/ news/2009/ news20090630m_ en.php

TRANSLATION :

Vienna, 30 June, 2009

More Celebrities Support Campaigners in Fight against Animal Activism Repression
German Actor and Life Ball host and moderator Dirk Bach has written to the Austrian Minister of Justice to express his concern over freedom of speech in Austria and the heavy handedness of the state against animal campaigners

Letter (in German) from Dirk Bach to Mag. Claudia Bandion-Ortner (876 KB)

This letter was presented to the Minister of Justice during today's judicial committee meeting where the � 278 amendment bill proposed by the Green Party was due to be discussed.

In the letter Bach asks: "Years of surveillance, brutal house raids, months on remand custody without any concrete accusations. Are these really instruments that a developed democracy should be using against its NGOs, organisations which strive for a society free from violence, not only against humans, but also against animals?

� 278 amendment bill (in German) from Albert Steinhauser MP for the Green Party
http://www.parlamen t.gv.at/PG/ DE/XXIV/A/ A_00017/imfname_ 143276.pdf


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