GERMANY: Senator of Interior Attacked with Red Paint

Photo: Hamburg Senator of Interior Andy Grote’s car after being targeted with red paint bottles

By Felipe Vera

Earlier this month, masked activists attacked Senator of Interior Andy Grote’s car in St. Pauli, a neighborhood in Hamburg, with red paint bottles.

The paint was launched at his vehicle during Grote’s morning commute to his office, breaking one of his car windows in the process. After the attack, the police closed off the perimeters surrounding the car until the afternoon, unable to catch any of the masked activists.

In an effort to inflate the severity of the attack the police propagated the lie that activists hurled stones at the car. Grote and bourgeois news sources were quick to pick up this lie, and also claimed that he was taking his two-year-old son to daycare at the time of the attack.

In a letter written by the activists, they explained that they closely monitored Grote’s whereabouts, such as his schedule and his seat preference in his car before carrying out the action. It also clarified that Grote does not regularly transport his child, and that if he was that day, which is still unverified, it would have been a rare exception. The activists stated clearly that the attack was directed at Grote himself; his claims are most likely desperate pleas for sympathy.

Grote was targeted due to his role as a representative of the ruling class who presides over Hamburg’s repressive police force. To further emphasize this, the action took place on December 13 (13-12) signifying the popular slogan “ACAB” which stands for “All Cops are Bastards.”

Grote is a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the same long-standing reactionary party which was responsible for the execution of revolutionaries Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht in 1919, as well as having former Nazis within its ranks such as Helmut Schmidt, who served as Hamburg’s Senator of the Interior during the 1960’s. Today, the SPD remains a part of Germany’s imperialist ruling class.

Abusing his position as Senator of Interior, Grote has utilized the police to harass and arrest working-class residents in an effort to repress the masses’ anger and rebellion against gentrification efforts in St. Pauli. Grote has worked to ease the process of gentrification by collaborating with developers and receiving money from Köhler von Bargen, a real estate company, to approve these development projects.

In 2017, Grote oversaw the police crackdown on the mobilization and rebellion against the 2017 G20 Summit, a meeting of the world’s ruling class leaders taking place in Hamburg. Over 30,000 police were deployed and a no fly zone was enforced over certain parts of the city. A year after the mobilizations, the German state continued its repressive measures, conducting several raids on alleged activists and participants, even outside of Germany.

The masked activists who carried out the action against Grote demonstrated a sound tactical approach and scored a great propaganda victory for the working class in Hamburg against a representative of the repressive state and enemy of the people.