looking for activists from Austria-neighbouring countries to join an international
action on the Austrian border as part of the Shame on Austria campaign http://www.shameonaustria.org
to support the persecuted activists in Austria.
now a very important time for the campaign as the Austrian parliament is
to have a session on 23rd November where an amendment of the anti-mafia
law, which has been used against the 13 activists on trial, will be considered.
There is a chance to achieve a reform that would make it impossible for
the prosecution to sustain the current charge! Moreover, there is a significant
support of the reform among the Austrian politicians BUT how much they will
push it through depends on the amount of public pressure that we are able
to create (this was literally said by one influential social democrat).
why the campaign is so important now. If we manage to achieve the reform
of the law, not only will it help the currently persecuted activists, it
will become an important precedent proving that it is possible to successfully
defend oneself against vicious state repression.
the week between 15th and 21th November, we would like to have protest actions
on different border crossings with Austria. We have called this a "banana
week". Why banana? Because the idea is to block the crossings for a
few minutes and give the people in the vehicles free bananas. These bananas
would have stickers "Produce of Austria" and the protestors could
have some funny banana costumes with flags of Austria that would have a
banana "emblem" in the middle. The message of the action would
be that, in a few days, Austria would be about to make a very important
decision - whether they want to walk the way of a developed constitutional
state or rather the way of a banana republic (i.e. whether they want to
keep the law as it is, giving a blessing to persecuting people for their
political activities and opinions, or whether they want to reform it to
give a clear stance that such practices won't be tolerated in Austria).
are a lot of things going on in this case that fully justify the reference
to a banana republic - such as mocking constitutionally guaranteed freedoms,
clear evidence about the links between bosses of a fur-selling shop and
those who started the special investigation unit, suppressing the publicity
of the trial, denying access to the police files despite two verdicts ruling
this is unacceptable etc. These things would, of course, be explained to
the media as well as to the people in the standing cars...
purpose of the action is to gain media coverage both in Austria and internationally,
creating the impression that the case is causing international embarrasment
for Austria, thus increasing the public pressure on the Austrian politicians.
And there is a very good chance we could achieve this! In April, we did
a short blockade of the Czech-Austrian border crossing and gained fantastic
media coverage, including TV reports on all 3 national TV channels in the
Czech Republic. It was by far the most covered international action supporting
the Austrian activists. More info: http://shameonaustria.org/en/news.php?article=1
is a good chance that you could do this completely legally (as we did in
April). There is one very good verdict by the European Court of Justice
which recognises that a road-blocking protest can be seen as exercising
the freedom of assembly guaranteed by the constitutions of all Austria-neighbouring
states. And if the blocking lasts just a few minutes, your chances of getting
through are even higher.
write to me as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are
interested in joining this international action or have any question or
comment - then we can work out the details.