Do or Die

An article from Do or Die Issue 5. In the paper edition, this article appears on page(s) 43-44.


Anarchy and Mercedes in Germany

Since 4/7/'91 the site where a gigantic test track (12 km long, 3km wide) was planned by the Mercedes company was squatted by youth. They built a village in the moor landscape to protect it and all its rare plants and animals against the diggers. But this protest should be understood as a kind of resistance against all forms of exploitation and as an attempt to live an altemative lifestyle. In 20 caravans and huts built from the garbage of society lived a mixture of very different people coming from all over, different ages, visions of life and protest, and different animals, supported by many guests, friends and travellers. They promoted an autonomous struggle for the survival of the moor, and for the quality of life under absolutely simple conditions (e.g. no electricity, no water taps, no cars, low consumption, using stoves, etc). They cooked together, shared many things and led a vegan lifestyle. The squatters had a lot to do in their village, with visitors and with themselves. Moreover there was a lot of work to draw public attention to their anti-Mercedes protest to get money and to support other groups, projects and movements. A small field was cultivated at a farm near the camp. There was a good sorted Infoshop to spread repressed information and make communication possible.

At the beginning of this year, Anatopia was evicted, and solidarity actions took place all over Germany. A rough chronology of events leading up to the eviction and afterwards follows:

6/10/'94: The last council meeting to evict Anatopia, in Papenburg, was loudly disturbed, involving fights with the police.

11/11/'94: The final date for a voluntary abandonment of the site is settled by the regional government.

19/11/'94: A rally is held in Papenburg with more than 100 participants. A big Mercedes sign is burnt symbolically.

A small demonstration takes place in Berlin.

End of November: Rally against Mercedes in Stuttgart.

11/12/'94: An incendiary bomb goes off under a fat Mercedes car in Bremen.

13/12/'94: Unknown people pour concrete into the office of the Green Party in Hannover. The Green Party is responsible in that the land was sold to Mercedes while they were part of the regional government in Lower Saxonia.

Others burned a big Mercedes sign at the market place in Hannover.

17/12/'94: A Mercedes establishment is hit in Hannover; two cars are burned, causing more than £30,000 of damage.

4/1/'95:15 masked people smashed windows and cars in a Mercedes establishment - they painted "If eviction then war". £20,000 of damage in Hamburg.

6/1/'95: 15 masked people painted slogans for Anatopia in Oldenburg and a passing cop car was attacked. Windows at a police station in Luthringhausen were broken and slogans painted.

Windows were smashed and slogans painted at a Mercedes establishment in Wuppertal.

7/1/'95: Eviction of the hut village of Anatopia.

That night, 40 masked people riot in Hamburg, they do damage to Mercedes, smash windows and attack the police. Later the tyres of about 20 Mercedes were punctured and one was burnt.

8/1/'95: 30 people occupy a Mercedes establishment in Lubeck. Near Lubeck some windows of a Mercedes establishment are smashed.

9/1/'95: 40-50 people occupy a Mercedes establishment in Osnabruck They block the street and bum the Mercedes flag after tilting its mast. This happened in Bielefeld.

10/1/'95: Seven people disturbed the business in a Mercedes shop in Osnabruck.

11/1/'95: Three Mercedes are burnt at a Mercedes establishment in Wilhelmshaven.

Windows are smashed at a Mercedes shop in Bremen.

In the same week: Anti-Auto Autonomen attacked a Mercedes establishment near Frankfurt - £10,000 of damage.

12/1/'95: Rally against Mercedes in Bielefeld.

That night the police defused firebombs placed under Mercedes cars.

13/1/'95: Rally with 300 people, it was the biggest one ever -the cops attacked it because a lot were masked up - two arrests.

14/1/'95: Mercedes hit by fire in Greifswald: more than £60,000 worth of damage.

This list may not be complete - there was at least one action in Berlin. Some weeks later, in February, there were three hits against Mercedes establishments at the same time in: Aurich, Wittmund and Leer (small towns in the vicinity of Papenburg) - causing about £70,000 worth of damage.

Do or Die DTP/web team: