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
20-year old Palestine Solidarity Activist and RKOB spokesperson Johannes Wiener has been accused of „sedition” and must appear soon at the “Federal Bureau for the Protection of the Constitution and Counter-Terrorism” in Vienna (this is the long name for the Secret Police in Austria). His crime: He held a speech in solidarity with the Palestine Resistance at a mass rally on 16.11.2012 during the recent Gaza War. As a result comrade Wiener faces the threat of up to two years in prison. His militant speech has caused some public attention and was already viewed 6.500 times since then. It has been published as a video both on the RKOB website as well as of the bourgeois daily paper HEUTE. (1)
The accusation of „sedition” is nothing but an attempt to criminalize a long-standing socialist and anti-imperialist position: to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian resistance and to characterize Israel as an Apartheid state. Those, who dare to speak out the truth, should be sentenced, fined or even put in prison. Such an attempt to criminalize even the public expression of this position is unique in Austria.
The file has been charged most likely by pro-Israeli war monger circles. Those forces have already in the past weeks agitated massively against the RKOB and Johannes Wiener because of his speech. They organized a rally in Vienna on 21.11. called “Solidarity with Israel – Free Gaza from Hamas!”. Amongst the organizers and speakers at this rally were former leftist (extreme Zionist so-called “Anti-Germans”) who lecture at the university, fundamentalist sects like the “Christens for Israel”, various religious-Zionist sects, the Israeli ambassador, as well as the youth organization of the Green Party and the university student group of the Communist Party (which is part of the European Left Party). (2)
As a side note we shall mention that the racist right wing party FPÖ also expressed their solidarity with Israel during the recent Gaza war. (3) And these right forces also harassed the RKOB last year and filed a charge against us (albeit without success). (4)
These pro-Israeli war mongers hate us since years because of our solidarity activities for the Palestine resistance and against the imperialist wars in the Middle East. They even call us “Anti-Semitic”! In 2006 they took our comrade Michael Pröbsting – today the International Secretary of the RCIT – to the court and got him sentenced. Now they try the same with our 20-year old comrade Johannes Wiener.
The RKOB and Johannes Wiener have become now again the target of the pro-Israeli war mongers, because we played an active and leading role in the solidarity activities during the recent Gaza War. (5) Together with many pro-Palestinian activists we have been repeatedly on the street campaigning. We have expressed openly in leaflets, meetings and speeches what we are standing for: (6)
* Defend Gaza! Solidarity with the Palestinian resistance! Defeat the Israeli aggression!
* No to the Apartheid state Israel! For a socialist state in the whole of Palestine in which Arabs and Jews can live together as equals and peacefully!
Now the Zionist forces want to criminalize this position. They want to hurt us politically and finically. They want to discourage others to join the socialist struggle for the liberation of Palestine! We must stop them! Whether you fully share our point of view or not – it is now important to join forces against the criminalization of anti-Zionist and anti-imperialist position!
We demand: Drop immediately the charges against the pro-Palestine activist Johannes Wiener!
(2) The complete list of the mobilizing forces and speakers can be found at the website of the organizers http://freegazafromhamas.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/kundgebung-solidaritat-mit-israel-befreit-gaza-von-der-hamas/
(3) See Michael Pröbsting: FPÖ-Führer Strache und „Antinationaler“ Stephan Grigat unterstützen Israels Terrorkrieg gegen den Gaza, 18.11.2012, www.rkob.net/international/nordafrika-und-der-arabische-raum/gaza-fp%C3%B6-antinationale,
(4) See: Im linken Eck sprießen die gewaltbereiten Gruppen, http://www.unzensuriert.at/Tags/RKOB
(5) See on this various reports by the RKOB which have been translated into English:
* Gaza Solidarity in Austria: report of the first rally and plans for next actions, 16.12.2012, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa/report-gaza-rally-16-11, Pictures: http://www.rkob.net/multimedia/bilder-gaza-16-nov-2012/, Videos: http://www.rkob.net/multimedia/video-gaza-16-nov-2012/
* Successful demonstration in Vienna in solidarity with Gaza!, 19.11.2012, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa/report-gaza-demo-19-11, Pictures: http://www.rkob.net/multimedia/bilder-gaza-19-nov-2012/, Videos: http://www.rkob.net/multimedia/video-gaza-19-nov-2012/
* Gaza Solidarity in Austria: report of the demonstration on 23.11. http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa/report-gaza-demo-23-11-2012, Video and Pictures: http://www.rkob.net/multimedia/video-und-bilder-gaza-23-nov-2012/
There are also some more additional reports on the RKOB website in German language.
(6) 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; See also an article of the RKOB about the situation in Palestine after the ceasefire by 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