Joke Kaviaar, activist/ publicist, under attack by Dutch state – solidarity needed

Joke Kaviaar, writer/ poet/ anarchist/activist, had been put on trial by the Dutch state for íncitement against public order’. The charge is based on four articles she wrote and published on het website, in which she strongly criticized the oppression, detention and deportation of migrants/ refugees/ people without papers, and called for active resistance aganist these policies

These are policies that get more inhuman every day, almost irrespective of which governmental combination is in office. Lots of repressive laws and practices have been introduced, and more often than not the PvdA, a so-called left wing party comparable to the Labour Party, has played an active role in introducing these laws and practices. Joke calls for resistance, and is very active around solidarity with refugees/ No Border-activism. That is why, obviously, the state is now trying to silence her.

The attack on Joke has been going on for a long time. On September 13, 2011, authorities forced a close-down of her website. To no avail, fortunately: she refused to withdraw the articles – originally five, now four – what caused the state’s attack. She was arrested and held in jail without contact to the outside world for three days, and then released. Her house had been turned upside down, with all kinds of items photographed in what clearly was an intelligence operation that went way beyond the preparation for a trial. Activists did not sit idly by: mirror sites of the Joke Kaviaar website appeared, her articles appeared on other websites. Then… mostly silence, and waning.

After months upon months of uncertainty, a trial was finally announced for January 8, 2013. Radical sympathizers of Joke and of the struggle she so strongly supports had by that time started a solidarity campaign, wrote articles about aspects of the case, all the time connecting the free speech issue with the radical refugee struggle, the fight against borders, deportation and detention of migrants/ refugees, and with the broader legitimacy of active resistance, whatever the law may say.

On the trial itself, Joke read a long and impressive statement in which she explained that not she, but the state and its accomplices, should be attacked. Dozens of sympathizers were present in or around the court building to show support, hand out flyers to passers-by. I was on the outside because, typically, authorities did not let in people without a valid ID. Police was on show around the building. In the meantime, the public prosecutor had made clear her point of view: she called for a six months prison sentence. Intriguing: during the investigation, a suggestion was being made that they suspected Joke of incitement with terroristic design or purpose. In the final indictment, this terroristic connection was dropped. Apparently, that connection came in handy to legitimize a very extensive investigation into Joke’s activities.

The attack on Joke is clearly an attack both on the refugee solidarity/ No Border activism, and more broadly on anarchists and other radical activists, and on the right to radically criticize state polices. It is a free speech issue, but at the same time it is much more. If they succeed in putting Joke behind bars, more victims of state repressions may suffer a similar faith. The court will pronounce sentence on 22 January. Activists, the Steungroep (support group, formed around the case) and others, are trying to raise an outcry that puts Dutch authorities, not Joke, on the defensive. Let that outcry cross borders and sound way outside the Netherlands as well.

Solidarity is needed. Support is needed. Not Joke Kaviaar, but the powers and policies she attacks should be under relentless and ferocious attack themselves.

Website Joke Kaviaar:
Website Steungroep: with the “inciting” articles.
Getting in touch: This contact formula is in English, the rest is mostly Dutch.

by rooieravotr (originally posted at libcom)