You may already have heard about the affair in which four persons were searched by the police and one of them arrested on 32st July. One of them, Andrej Holm, is a fellow urban sociologist who is working the the Department for Sociology, Humboldt University Berlin. He writes on gentrification and participates in public meetings in which urban policy is discussed and critized. In short, he is involved in what a public intellectual should do: go out into society and discuss potentially or actually harmful or otherwise relevant political and societal developments. So why did they arrest him? Because he uses words and concepts (like the commonly used term gentrification), that are also used in writings of the
militante gruppe, and because he has met these people on occasion – being a public and critical scholar – he is linked to them. And now he is in jail under very strict conditions.
This is a very serious affair and we should make sure that critical and engaged scholars do not get into a situation in which they will be afraid to utter criticism because they might sooner or later be labeled terrorist and thrown into jail. This is exactly what I and many others feared would happen when the so-called
war against terrorism seeps into everyday life deeper and deeper.
Express your opposition to a process which would lead to people keeping their mouths shout when they should not and sign the open letter to the Generalbundesanwaltschaft: in English, auf Deutsch. The open letter has been organized and published by colleagues abroad, in particular Manuel Aalbers and other members of the comurb_r21 mailing list along with participants of the ASA meeting, which just took place in the United States. I am impressed by and happy about the many important and very highly regarded scholars that already signed the open letter. You will also find more information in the open letter and on the support website, to whose organizers I also pay my respect.
Tags: politics, prosecution, surveillance, terrorism
There is another list, run by his faculty, but in German only: http://freeandrej.net.ms/>
Es gibt mittlerweile auch einiges mehr an Info zu dieser wirklich bedenklichen Affäre. Zum Beispiel bei der TAZ: http://www.taz.de/index.php?id=start&art=3471>