Enemy image of anti-globalization

Police also respond with exit bans ahead of protests against EU summit in Brussel

"The scope of your passport …. is limited in that the passport is not valid for travel to Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and France. The consequence of this restriction is that you are not allowed to leave the mentioned countries – even with your identity card."

In the last few days, more than 50 people in the capital city have received this statement from the Berlin State Residents’ Registration Office. The terse justification follows in the next paragraph:

"According to the Berlin police, you have repeatedly attracted attention through violent behavior in the past and thus belong to the circle of opponents of globalization."

A remarkably sweeping judgment, when the opponents of globalization have been wooed by green politicians in recent months. Whether Daniel Cohn Bendit or Claudia Roth, they all had certified the demonstrators of Prague, Nice and Genoa to have asked the right questions. The protests were even described as necessary for a reform policy. However, the word does not seem to have spread to police departments and state residents’ registration offices.

Similar to the Genoa protests (travel restrictions on suspicion), exit bans on suspicion are again being imposed in the run-up to the planned protests against the EU summit in Belgium. As in July, people who have never been convicted by law (Right Now fights against the dismantling of fundamental rights in Europe) are also affected by the arrests now. For several of those affected, registration at a police checkpoint was enough.

While both the federal government and the Bavarian state government had shown themselves very satisfied with the movement-restricting measures after Genoa, globalization-critical initiatives, development-political groups and citizens’ rights organizations sounded the alarm. They called for political campaigns as well as legal actions against the restriction of freedom of movement (The Belgian government wants to extend the Schengen Information System (SIS) to potential rioters of all kinds).

Some of those affected by the recent travel restrictions have already announced that they will go through all the legal channels to overturn the measures. Whether this will succeed is questionable. After all, even before Genoa, several courts have already declared the decrees to be lawful. After the attacks of 11.September, objections under civil law are heard even less than before.

That is why many critics of globalization are focusing more on political campaigns. With cross-border days of action from 11. – 14. In December, they want to deal theoretically and practically with the tightening of the law in the Dreilandereck near Aachen. For the 14. December a collective border crossing in the Aachen region is planned. "We do not want to cross the green border secretly for the protests against the EU summit", the initiators declare. But they also know that their goal will only be achieved through the presence of the media and civil rights organizations. Otherwise there are only registrations for the next exit bans.

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