eipcp News
03 2012

Trial Against Four Political Activists in Vienna

The trial against four political activists will take place in the Josefstadt District Court on the 13th March 2012 at 9:00 am. Under the pretext of having set a garbage can on fire in front of the AMS (unemployment office) in Rederergasse, a political trial will be conducted that is directed against autonomous political practices and policies. Under paragraph 278b, month-long surveillance operations have been carried out, which – beginning with the education protests in 2009 – soon the observations included the activities of the autonomous/anarchist and anti-racist scene.
In order to legitimize the investigations, we, J.A.I.B., were imprisoned for two months in July 2010 on the basis of false evidence. After our release it was still attempted – under the threat of being imprisoned again – to force testimony from us.
The prison experience has shown us how the patriarchal and racist class justice functions: prisons are full of migrants, refugees and drug users. We no longer want these State mechanisms of repression that want to make people and their situations invisible. If action is taken against it, and people engage themselves politically in order to make such relations visible, criticizable, and surmountable – the machinery of repression directs itself against them.
All prisoners are political prisoners, and all active protagonists in these relations are potentially in danger of being swallowed up by the machinery of repression.
The repression against us is an attack on many. Together let us break down the walls of oppression and show solidarity, we need your support! We are calling for more political activism! Paint banners, go put up posters, distribute flyers, organize decentralized actions – make resistance against repression visible. Your solidarity is our strength.
February 2012

The repressive actions of the state, judiciary and police against autonomous political structures in Vienna has increased in the last years . 
After the completion of the written verdict and the acquittal of 13 defendants in the § 278a case against animal rights activists in february, the biggest Austrian court case since 1945 (hopefully) has found its end.
But the next political trial is already taking place: this time against 4 political activists (J.A.I.B.), who were, among others, participating in the education-protests of 2009 (unibrennt: a.o. Audimax-occupation Vienna, Academy of fine arts Vienna,…) and active in anti-racist protests.
During the occupations of the Academy of fine arts Vienna in 2009 and the following occupations of the Audimax and other lecture halls in the university of Vienna, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counter-Terrorism (Landesamt für Verfassungsschutz und Terrorismusbekämpfung – LVT) started an extensive investigation. 
The LVT did not just monitor protests, but also observed individuals and locations (especially the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and the huge Audimax auditorium Vienna), tapped telephones and placed undercover agents. 
These measures were legally “legitimized” by using the sniffer-article 278 (i.e.the formation of a criminal/terrorist organization). In order to justify the investigation, the four activists J.A.I.B. were put into prison for two months in July 2010. Their flats as well as the space of an autonomous culture initiative were raided and many items and computers were seized for several weeks.
The four are being accused of setting a garbage bin on fire in front of a federal job center. They were confronted by the federal prosecutor with the following allegations: forming a terrorist organization, committing terrorist offenses, criminal conspiracy, serious criminal damage and arson.
The four activists used their right to refusal to give evidence. Even after their release, the prosecutor and police were still trying to extort statements from them. A video documentation of a deportation found during a raid was presented by the LVT as a preparation for a planned liberation of prisoners. By now, nearly all of these accusations against J.A.I.B. have been dropped (from the indictment).
On the 13th of March 2012, the opening of their trial will take place.
They are being accused of arson, facing a possible jail time of one to ten years.