Protest on Women’s Day in Munich – Sexualised Violence against Activist

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On March 8th more then six hundred people participated in a demonstration on the international Women’s Day in downtown Munich. During the demonstration – protesting for emancipation, against gender violence and for an open society – police pushed into the mass several times attempting to film two people carrying YPJ flags. An activist was pushed back at her breasts.

Against the Women’s Defence Forces YPJ

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YPJ flags, carried by activists on Marienplatz

A broad alliance of women’s rights, feminist and other emancipatory groups organised a rally on International Women’s Day in Munich. Like in many other cities all over the word women took it to the streets. Topics where the demand of an emancipatory society, standing up to sexualized violence and violence against women in general. Kurdish groups strongly influenced the course of the rally. With the female defence forces, emancipation in Kurdistan has a flag: Namely the YPJ – Women’s Defence Forces. Amongst s  people, two carried YPJ flags. Police forces started filming and photographing the activists – several people tried to stop this by holding up hands and intensely talking to police. The completely peaceful rally was partly accompanied by police in full riot-gear, with helmets and batons pulled out. All this on a day where people try to protest for equal rights. In an act of running two activists were later taken into custody. All this comes without any surprise, as Munich police has – contrary to common judicial decisions in the past months – always gone hard against Kurdish activists.

Sexualized Violence

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Police, pushing into the peaceful demonstration and filming, as two activists carry YPJ flags. Activists raise their hands.

Unbelievable and shocking is what an activist is stating. In the course of the arrest she was attempting to approach one of the arrested to find out if he was hurt. Therefore riot police pushed her back heavily. All of this is well-known from demonstrations in Bavaria. New and especially alarming is the way she was pushed back. She describes the situation the following:

‘… A comrade was getting arrested and I approached the scenery to find out the charges against him, if he was doing all right or if he was hurt. While trying to communicate with him a big, red-bearded police man approached me and pushed me back with both his hands on my breasts. In anger I tried to to tell him that his actions were cynic, as we were demonstrating for womens’ rights and against sexualised violence. He answered that with an arrogant laugh…’

Activist , that would like to remain unnamed

That sexualized violence is taking place during a demonstration against the same by federal police forces is unbelievable. The patriarchical and ‘macho’ image of the USK riot police is once again confirmed with a cruel and disgusting example. This has not been the first report about such misconduct during demonstrations – if there will be measures taken, if the victim of this will be heard or rather attacked and accused of making up or over-reacting will be seen.

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