Charge of “Sedition” against RKOB Spokesperson and Palestine Solidarity Activist Johannes Wiener is a Pretext for Attack on Freedom of Expression
Statement of the RKOB, Austrian section of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, (RCIT), 20.12.2012
As we reported, the 20-year old RKOB spokesman and Palestine solidarity activist Johannes Wiener has been charged of “sedition” because of his pro-Palestinian speech at a Gaza demonstration on 16.11.2012 in Austria. (1) In case he gets convicted by court, our comrade Johannes Wiener is threatened with up to two years in jail. We have now been informed about the exact content of the charge against Johannes Wiener.
Who is behind the charge? The charge of "sedition" has been issued by the Israelite Cultus Community (IKG). In addition they initiated together with well-known pro-Zionist groups a coordinated lobbying campaign whereby the President, the Chancellor and the Home Secretary were targeted with countless emails with an appeal that the state apparatus finally intervenes against RKOB spokesman Johannes Wiener.
The coordinated campaign of these pro-Zionist circles against our comrade Johannes Wiener is no coincidence. The Israelite Cultus Community and their warmonger friends have organized – during the Gaza war – a rally in Vienna on 21.11.2012. This rally was called "Solidarity with Israel - Free Gaza from Hamas" at which the participants cheered the Israeli bombing of and the blockade against the Gaza.
What is the exact content of the charge of „Sedition“?
The charge against Johannes Wiener is an attempt of the pro-Israeli warmongers to criminalize anything that can be interpreted as an open partisanship for the Palestinian resistance. Concretely, Israelite Cultus Community sees "sedition" in the following statements of Johannes Wiener in his speech at the Palestine Solidarity rally on 16.11.2012:
* The repeated chanting of the slogan "INTIFADA" as well as the expression of support for the Intifada of the Palestinian people.
* The expression of support for the Palestinian resistance against the Israeli state, both in its unarmed and its armed form.
* The call for the destruction ("extinction") of the State of Israel and for the existence of a single state in all of Palestine from the River to the Sea.
The real meaning of this charge is that this a fundamental attack on the basic democratic rights of freedom of expression! Would the Israelite Cultus Community succeed with this in the court and get Johannes Wiener and his positions sentenced, it would mean that pro-Palestinian activists in Austria have less freedom of expression than Jewish-Israeli activists in Israel itself who are in solidarity with the Palestinian resistance!
Our decades-long tradition of Anti-Imperialism in Word and Deed
The RKOB and its predecessor organizations have never made any secret of their positions. Since the beginning of our existence in the 1980s, we called for the unconditional support of the Palestinian resistance – armed and unarmed – and we defended the Intifada. (2) We have always rejected terrorist attacks on civilians. (3) We have called for the destruction of the Apartheid state Israel and for its replacement by a single socialist state in all of Palestine, which would allow the return of the 7.5 million Palestinian refugees, and in which Arabs and Jews could live on an equal basis. (4) We always combined this with a sharp rejection of any form of anti-Semitism – a position which we proved in practice by our participation in numerous anti-fascist and anti-racist actions. (5)
During the U.S. occupation wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the Israeli terrorist war against Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006 and against the Gaza 2008/10, and in November 2012, we called for the following positions on the basis of our communist, anti-imperialist program: (6)
* For unconditional support for the liberation struggles of the oppressed peoples!
* For the defeat of the imperialist troops and an end to occupation!
* For the military victory of the resistance movements, but no support for the program of the bourgeois or petty-bourgeois movements at the head of the resistance!
* For a socialist perspective of the workers and peasants power in the oppressed countries!
* For the destruction of Israel and its replacement with a single socialist state from the river to the sea, in which Palestinians and Jews live together on an equal basis!
We advocated these positions via militant contingents and speeches on numerous demonstrations, at many public meetings as well as in our publications. Our program and our positions are not a secret, but have always been public and transparent for everyone. (7)
Our organization has proven for more than two decades that it is anti-imperialist in word and deed. We are proud of this. For that we are hated by the friends of the American and Israeli war on terror. For that they have dragged our comrade Michael Pröbsting to the court and slandered him in 2006. For that they now want to drag our comrade Johannes Wiener to the court and – if they succeed – send him to jail.
International Solidarity Movement against Zionism – including in Israel
The socialist solidarity with the Palestinian resistance and the rejection of the Apartheid state of Israel has a long history and represents a broad international movement. This movement exists in many countries. It is independent of skin color, nationality or religious affiliation. It finds expression in the fact that already within a few days, a number of socialist organizations from Israel, South Africa, Latin America, Libya, Syria, the USA, Western Europe, New Zealand etc have expressed their solidarity with our comrades Johannes Wiener. (8)
This solidarity with the Palestinian resistance and the rejection of the Apartheid state Israel finds also support by an undoubtedly small minority within Israel. We have published on our website messages from Jewish-Israeli activists in solidarity with Johannes Wiener. (9) These Jewish activists in Israel advocate a Palestinian workers' state from the river to the sea. (10)
The attack by the Israelite Cultus Community, the pro-Israeli war mongers and the right-wing rabble-rouser (including a brothel owner) must be stopped!
The Israelite Cultus Community wants to destroy a right which has been exercised for decades: until now, socialist activists could freely express their solidarity with the Palestinian resistance publicly. Equally they could call for the abolition of the Apartheid state Israel. If the Israelite Cultus Community succeeds with its attempt to sentence Johannes Wiener, this will no longer be possible.
* The Israelite Cultus Community wants to ban public support for the Intifada at demonstrations in Austria.
* The Israelite Cultus Community wants to ban the expression of solidarity with the Palestinian resistance in its unarmed and armed form in speeches at demonstrations in Austria.
* And the Israelite Cultus Community wants to prohibit the advocacy of the abolition of the Apartheid state Israel and its replacement by a single socialist state in all of Palestine.
This is not surprising. In fact the Israelite Cultus Community acts currently as a henchman of the Apartheid state Israel. They organize rallies to cheer the Israeli bombing and the hunger blockade against the Palestinian people in Gaza.
But their state is in a crisis. As the Israeli Marxist Yossi Schwartz emphasize in an upcoming interview on our website, Israel hast lost its last four wars. They had to withdraw from Lebanon in 2000, they lost the war against Hezbollah in 2006 and they failed to smash the Palestinian Resistance and Hamas in Gaza in 2008/09 and in November 2012. The Arab Revolution since 2011 has removed a number of dictatorships which loyally served US and EU imperialism and guaranteed a stable regional order from which Israel profited.
Against the background of this crisis, the ruling class in Israel increasingly panics. The permanent threats of war against Iran are an expression of this. The attempt of the Israelite Cultus Community to silence pro-Palestinian solidarity activists in Austria is another expression of the increasing panic amongst the Zionist circles.
It is not surprising that the Israelite Cultus Community finds support amongst the right-wing, racist forces. HC Strache, the leader of the main extreme right-wing opposition party, immediately declared his solidarity with Israel when the Gaza war started. (11) Equally various right-wing, racists, pro-Zionist Internet blogs welcome the charge against Johannes Wiener. The Israelite Cultus Community finds a characteristic public supporter in the person of Mister Erich Reder, who is – according to many reports in the Internet – a well-known brothel owner and a tax evading political buffoon who shows uninhibited rants of hate against “nigger”, “Green and left-wing fascists”, „criminal Asylum seekers“ and now also against Johannes Wiener and the RKOB. (12)
Strengthened by such “moral authorities”, the Israelite Cultus Community wages a war against us in order to silence Johannes Wiener and pro-Palestine solidarity activists.
Drop immediately the charges against the pro-Palestine activist Johannes Wiener!
No Criminalization of the Solidarity with the Palestinian Resistance!
(1) See Austria: Pro-Israeli War-Mongers try to throw 20-year old Palestine Solidarity Activist into Prison. RKOB spokesperson Johannes Wiener is accused of „sedition” because of a Pro-Palestine speech during the Gaza War, Statement of the RKOB, Austrian section of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, 13.12.2012, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa/no-to-criminalization-of-rcit-activist. The speech can be seen at http://www.rkob.net/multimedia/video-gaza-16-nov-2012, http://www.heute.at/news/oesterreich/wien/art23652,826047, http://www.heute.at/news/oesterreich/wien/sts23561,9345
(2) An overview on our position on Israel and Zionism is given in: After the storming of the Israeli embassy in Cairo: The struggle against the Israeli Apartheid State is an integral part of the Arab Revolution! Resolution of the Revolutionary Communist Organisation for Liberation (RKOB), 15.9.2011, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa/israel-and-arab-revolution. See also (in German language) Michael Pröbsting: Israel, Zionismus und Antisemitismus (2006), http://www.rkob.net/marxistische-theorie/politischer-charakter-antinationale.
(3) See e.g. Johannes Wiener:Nach dem Waffenstillstand im Gaza: Friede in Palästina?, 22.11.2012, http://www.rkob.net/international/nordafrika-und-der-arabische-raum/gaza-friede
(4) On the number of Palestinian refugees see Yasser Shalabi: Palestinian Population, Movement and Statistics. Birzeit University Working Paper 2011/6, Position Papers Module (2011)
(5) See e.g. (in German language): Kampf dem Antisemitismus!, in: ArbeiterInnenstandpunkt Nr. 112 (2001), http://arbeiterinnenstandpunkt.net/alt/ast112antisemitismus.html, Erfolgreiche Anti-Nazi-Demo im Mai 2002, in: ArbeiterInnenstandpunkt Nr. 120 (2002) http://arbeiterinnenstandpunkt.net/alt/ast120nazis.html; Erfolgreiche antifaschistische Demonstration am 8. Mai 2005, http://arbeiterinnenstandpunkt.net/alt/rn156.html#1; SchülerInnenparlament Wien unterstützt antirassistische Initiative von ASt und REVOLUTION! Demonstration gegen Rassismus am 4.3.2006! http://arbeiterinnenstandpunkt.net/alt/rn196.html#1; Michael Pröbsting: Faschismus – Was er ist und wie wir ihn bekämpfen (2005 bzw. 2011), Vorwort der RKOB zur Neuauflage der Faschismus-Broschüre 2011, http://www.rkob.net/inland/faschismus-bekaempfen; Johannes Wiener: WKR Ball verhindern! Keine Feier den Rechtsradikalen!, Jänner 2012, http://www.rkob.net/inland/no-wkr; Erfolgreiche Demonstration gegen den WKR Ball, http://www.rkob.net/wer-wir-sind/rkob-aktiv-bei/no-wkr-2012, Marc Venzl: Damals wie heute: Kein Fussbreit den Faschisten! Nicht nur am 8.Mai gilt: Aktiver Anti-Faschismus in der Tat! http://www.rkob.net/inland/aktiv-gegen-faschismus/8-mai-antifa
(6) Siehe dazu u.a. Michael Pröbsting: Am Beispiel des Iraks: Anti-Imperialistische Strategie und Taktik, ArbeiterInnenstandpunkt (October 1990); Workers Power (Britain): Working class action to defeat imperialism Victory to Iraq! (1991), http://www.fifthinternational.org/content/working-class-action-defeat-imperialism-victory-iraq; Michael Pröbsting: Kampf dem Imperialismus! Verteidigt den Irak!, in: ArbeiterInnenstandpunkt Nr. 32 (Januar 1991); Michael Pröbsting: Stoppt den imperialistischen Massenmord!, in: ArbeiterInnenstandpunkt Nr. 33 (Februar 1991); Workers Power (Britain): Questions & Answers on the Afghan war (2001), http://www.fifthinternational.org/content/qa-afghan-war; Michael Pröbsting: Nieder mit dem US/NATO-Krieg! Verteidigt Afghanistan! in: ArbeiterInnenstandpunkt Nr. 116 (Januar 2001), http://arbeiterinnenstandpunkt.net/alt/ast116afghanistan.html; Michael Pröbsting: Die Lehren aus dem imperialistischen Sieg im Afghanistan-Krieg, in: ArbeiterInnenstandpunkt Nr. 118 (Januar 2002), http://arbeiterinnenstandpunkt.net/alt/ast118afghanistan1.html; Michael Pröbsting: Fragen und Antworten vor dem Irak-Krieg: Wo stehen wir? http://arbeiterinnenstandpunkt.net/alt/ast125irak1.html; Workers Power (Britain): Iraq: resistance grows to occupation (2003), http://www.fifthinternational.org/content/iraq-resistance-grows-occupation; Michael Pröbsting: Krieg den Kriegstreibern!, in: ArbeiterInnenstandpunkt Nr. 126 (March 2003) http://arbeiterinnenstandpunkt.net/alt/rn67.html; Michael Pröbsting: Der israelische Terrorkrieg gegen das libanesische und palästinensische Volk, in: ArbeiterInnenstandpunkt Nr. 144 (August 2006), http://arbeiterinnenstandpunkt.net/alt/rn221.html#2; Michael Pröbsting: Der Libanon-Krieg und die Linke: Pazifistische Linke als verkleidete Diener des Imperialismus, in: Revolutionärer Marxismus Nr. 36 (2006), http://www.arbeitermacht.de/rm/rm36/libanon.htm; Michael Pröbsting: Solidarität mit dem palästinensischen Widerstand, in: BEFREIUNG Nr. 172 (Januar 2009); Nina Gunić: Islamismus – Was sind seine Ziele und was ist unsere Haltung?, in: BEFREIUNG Nr. 173 (Februar 2009); Michael Pröbsting: Palästina: Solidarität und Widerstand, in: BEFREIUNG Nr. 188 (June 2010); RCIT: New Wave of Israeli Terror against Gaza: Support the Palestinian Resistance! Defeat the Zionist killing machine! Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, 15.11.2012, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa/defend-gaza
(7) See e.g. RCIT: The Revolutionary Communist Manifesto, www.thecommunists.net/rcit-manifesto/revolutionary-struggle-for-democracy
(8) See the regularly updated list of solidarity messages on our website http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa/solidarity-with-johannes-wiener
(9) See the regularly updated list of solidarity messages from Israel on our website http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa/antizionist-solidarity-from-israel
(10) See e.g. the statement from the Internationalist Socialist League (Israel/Occupied Palestine): “The Zionist State Tries to Break Gaza Again – and Fails Again” on our website at http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa/isl-statement-on-gaza-war respective on the ISL website at http://www.the-isleague.com/gaza-war-2012-english.php
(11) See Strache: Israel handelt in Notwehr, 2012-11-16, http://www.fpoe.at/news/detail/news/strache-israel-handelt-in-not-1/
(12) Siehe e.g. the blog of Mister Erich Reder: „Öffentlicher Aufruf zum Völkermord“, http://www.erstaunlich.at/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2212:oeffentlicher-aufruf-zum-voelkermord&catid=1:erstaunliches and „Öffentlicher Aufruf zum Völkermord - TEIL 2. Katzenjammer und Wehklagen bei der RKOB“, http://www.erstaunlich.at/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2243:oeffentlicher-aufruf-zum-voelkermord-teil-2&catid=1:erstaunliches. On the brothel and other activities of Mister Reder see e.g. „Rotlicht in Wien und der Welt. Erich Reder zahlt 150 Euro nicht“, 10. Juni 2009, http://rotlichtwien.wordpress.com/2009/06/10/erich-reder-zahlt-150-euro-nicht or http://warteschlange.twoday.net/stories/6056187. Another enthusiastic report on the charge against Johannes Wiener can be found at http://pi.gerhardmarold.com