Earlier this year, police in the Czech Republic undertook a series of raids against the anarchist, anti-authoritarian, and animal liberation movement in the country. The raids—known as Operation Fénix (“Phoenix” in English)—involved the confiscation of servers, computers, flash drives, cameras, and other digital devices. Along with this, 11 individuals were detained, with 3 remaining in custody. The case has led to the very first terrorism charges in the Czech Republic. As more has become known about the case, it has been discovered that it involved police agents and undercover infiltrators, resulting in a situation that is very similar to recent cases in the United States like the Cleveland 4 or the NATO 3.
For more information on the situation, including how to help out and show solidarity, check out the website http://antifenix.noblogs.org. On the site there is a recently published zine called “Fenix Didn’t Rise From the Ashes” that provides an excellent summary of the case and explains why it is important to support the anarchists facing charges. The case was also featured on a recent episode of the Crimethinc podcast.
The following excerpt from the zine does an excellent job of summarizing why it is important to offer support in these cases:
If no one stands up to help the accused ones in their fight, the repressive forces will be encouraged to use the same technique to discredit and silence dissent in different cases in different locations across the country. If we allow ourselves to be intimidated and divided, afraid to support them, it will mean that the police method was successful.
In this case, not only the accused suffer, since it will be easy to discredit people who support them, mark them as supporters of terrorists and step by step advance through the movements on and on until groups that would have never thought they could be the target of repression will be the next, simply because there is no one left that would normally defend them.
Operation Fenix is not just about a few alleged terrorists, it is about the future of the anti-authoritarian movement, subversion and protest as such.
Turning our backs on the detainees and distancing ourselves from their case only supports this type of repression. Instead of discouraging authorities from using the same tactics against others, we show them that they can pursue one isolated goal after another and defend their tactics by using a story in which radical politics is automatically equated with crime and anarchist (read terrorist) conspiracy.
The only way to stop this process is to oppose it vigorously