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PFLP and FARC ‘on trial’ in Denmark

20. November 2007

by Irene Clausen

The so called war on terror after September 11, 2001, resulted in ‘anti terror legislations’ in most Western capitalist countries and meant serious attacks on civil and political rights and the criminalization of international solidarity work. Some of the strongest anti-imperialist movements in the world were put on the US and EU terror lists, for instance the FARC in Colombia, the CPP in the Philippines, the PKK and DHKP-C in Turkey, and PFLP in Palestina.

Provoked by the ‘anti-terror legislation’, a campaign was started in Denmark in 2004, named “Oproer” (Rebellion). Is has about 700 individual members. Its aim was and is “to challenge the anti-terror law” and create debate on and opposition against the consequences of the “anti terror legislation” and to claim the right to continue carrying out solidarity work. Oproer arranged solidarity festivals in support of FARC and PFLP and said that it had sent 8.000 US dollars to both FARC and PFLP. Oproer defended the right of the liberation movement to carry out armed resistance against occupation powers and repressive state powers. The reason of Oproer to chose exactly PFLP and FARC was that these two organisations are well knows and respected secular movements, but of course the claim of Oproer was to have removed all blacklisted organisations from the US and EU terror lists!!!

In November 2006 an international conference was organised by Oproer in Copenhagen, with participants from Colombia, Palestine, Philippines, Belgium, England, Turkey, Austria, Germany, Sweden – and Denmark. The conference discussed the struggle against the so called “anti terror legislation” and the consequences of this legislation, as well as it discussed how we can internationally support each other in fighting the imperialists’ terror listing of organisations and individuals and strengthen the international solidarity.

Prosecution of Spokesperson

Last year the Danish minister of justice (responsible for the police and for the anti-terror law) decided to prosecute the spokes person of Oproer, Patrick MacManus. He had in Danish television suggested that Europeans left wing organisations do like Oproer, i.e. send money to secular progressive liberation movements. Such “a crime” – i.e. economic support to “terror organisations” can cost you 10 years in Danish prison. The trial against Patrick MacManus was supposed to take place in April 2007. But unfortunately Patrick Mac Manus was attacked by a grave infection which made him very ill for a long period. This trial is postponed until start of 2008.

The Danish anti terror law, paragraph 114 A, 2: It is forbidden to collect money to an organisation which “has committed or intends to commit terror activities such as described in this paragraph”.

T-shirt firm fighters and Lovers accused
20 months ago, a small group of activists had created The Firm Fighters and Lovers which started to sell t-shirts with FARC and PFLP logos (see their homepage – below). The firm said that out of the price of 35 dollar per t-shirt, they would send 6 dollars per t-shirt to FARC (a radio station) and PFLP (a printing house). But the police seized the bank account of the firm Fighters and Lovers and the amount of 6000 dollars.

In March 2007, the 7 activists were accused by the Danish state of violating the “terror paragraph”. The Danish government was under pressure from the Colombian government and the Danish extreme rights wing “to do something”.

The first day of the trial against Fighters and Lovers took place on last September 27. The 7 activists were heard by the prosecutor. They all defended themselves politically – with a lot of examples of the state terror of the states of Colombia and Israel – which constitute the background for the liberation struggle of FARC and PFLP..

A victory for the accused – and for justice! is it that the Danish state first has the prove that the two organisations are terrorists, it is not sufficient that they are placed on the EU terror lists!!! This gives the Danish state a difficult case – for this necessitates a discussion about the question to what extent the Colombian state and the Israeli state are democratic!!! Not an easy task!!!

It is supposed that the prosecutor will bring international “terror experts” as their witnesses. The advocates of the defence will bring international experts on PFLP and FARC and critical Danish journalists from Latin America and The Middle East – to witness that FARC and PFLP are not terror organisations!.

As far as PFLP is concerned it is supposed that the state prosecutor will “prove the terrorism of PFLP” by referring to the killing by PFLP of the Israeli tourism minister Ze’evi and to a number of suicide killings which the PFLP – according to Human Right Watch and others – is responsible for!
Also as far as FARC is concerned, the prosecutor is supposed to use information from primarily Human Right Watch.

Freedom struggle or terrorism
On November 14,15, 16 and 19 this year, the trial against the Fighters and Lovers activists will continue, among others with the hearing of experts from both sides. This means that there will be big discussions in Denmark and abroad about the question: Freedom struggle or terrorism – with focus on the two liberation movements FARC and PFLP.

Both the Association Oproer and The firm “Fighters and Lovers” stand up for the defence of human rights and freedom of speech and the right to make solidarity work, and against the terror lists.. They are supported by groups and individuals in and outside Denmark. Let us hope the Danish state will loose the case – which will be a big victory to all progressive forces! But there are plenty of reasons to be sceptical – since we know the role of the judicial system in capitalist countries!

Freedom struggle is not terrorism!