“For four years now, Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office and intelligence services have been recording what they call a ‘spectrum of potentially violent left-wing extremism in Europe’. The police and intelligence services are applying the dubious term ‘Euroanarchy’ to their work in this area. Not only are they creating a secret political database, they are degrading the original meaning of the word ‘anarchy’,” said Member of the German Bundestag Andrej Hunko, expressing his criticism of the answer of the Federal Ministry of the Interior to a minor interpellation.
At the end of April, members of the Dolphin database met for a two-day conference at Europol in The Hague. The database, known as an Analysis Work File, receives information from 20 EU Member States, as well as Switzerland, Australia and Norway. During the meeting in The Hague, speakers from Italy, Switzerland and Spain also gave talks on the opposition to high-speed trains and the activities of the No Border Network.
“Previously Europol only stored data on ‘terrorism’ in Dolphin. According to the answer of the German Federal Government, however, Dolphin’s members are also interested in left-wing opposition, which is categorised as ‘extremism’ in the database. The purpose of the file was therefore amended in 2010.
Similar to Germany’s Section 129, Dolphin is about snooping in political contexts. So it does not come as much of a surprise when the Federal Government itself has to admit that the database has played no ‘significant role’ in any criminal investigations to date.
Like Germany, Europol is chiefly interested in taking action against emancipatory movements. It was only after the attacks in Norway that Europol proposed setting up a task force to combat right-wing extremism.
Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office has been maintaining files on ‘Euroanarchy’ for four years now. During that time, the office has been actively exchanging information with political police departments in Switzerland, France, the UK, Italy and Greece. The German secret services are also involved and are sharing information on ‘Euroanarchy’ with services in other countries.
Last year saw official confirmation of reports that protests at the G8 summits in 2005 and 2007 were infiltrated by covert investigations. According to the president of the Federal Criminal Police Office, the German-British initiative was targeted at ‘Euroanarchists’. But in its answer, the Federal Government refuses to use the term ‘police spies’ to refer to the people involved in this attack on individual privacy.
At the same time, evidence is mounting that Simon Bromma, a police officer from Baden-Württemberg, was involved in spying on international activists in Brussels. The Federal Criminal Police Office also exchanged information on at least 88 protestors with the Belgian police and – despite the fact that no one was charged – stored the information in its own political databases.
Investigating cross-border left-wing activism is unacceptable. I call on the Federal Government to refrain from supplying this type of information to Europol. Above all, the government must dispense with the working groups and databases on ‘Euroanarchy’. I remain critical of the planned extensions to Europol’s competences.”
The Federal Government’s answer to the Minor Interpellation “Europol’s criminalisation of international left-wing activism and anarchy” can be downloaded at: http://www.andrej-hunko.de/start/download/doc_download/223-kriminalisierung-von-internationalem-linken-aktivismus-und-anarchismus-durch-europol (in German only)
5 june 2012
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