The racist police selection on New Year’s Eve in Cologne must be followed by political consequences

In its press release of 10.01.2017, the Antirassistische Initiative e.V. strongly condemns the racist segregation of visitors to the Domplatte on New Year’s Eve and their denigration by the Cologne police and demands consequences for those responsible.During the night of December 31. on 01.01.2017, the Cologne police cordoned off the area of the Cologne Central Station and the Domplatte extensively. People who flocked to the usual New Year’s Eve celebrations were divided into different groups based on their appearance and skin color. Those who were classified as white by the police officers were allowed to use the left exit of the station and enter the celebration area uncontrolled, but those who were male and had dark hair or dark skin were segregated and directed to the right exit. There, police detained non-white people for hours, corralled them, controlled them, and deprived them of their civil rights. To top it off, she racially insulted them.

“Such an approach is not a protection against sexualized violence at major events and cannot be legitimized with this. The racist practice of racial profiling (police suspect people purely on the basis of their appearance and an ascribed origin and check them without any concrete evidence) came to a head on New Year’s Eve, which must be understood as an attempt to make Cologne’s Domplatte and the surrounding area a no-go area for non-white people. Right-wing extremists refer to such efforts as a ‘national liberated zone’. It is unacceptable that such a racist selection and policy can be carried out by the political and official side in Cologne without any consequences,” condemns Kai Semmler of ARI the actions of the Cologne police on New Year’s Eve.

The North Rhine-Westphalian police are reinforcing their racist approach by denigrating the victims in public. In a tweet on social media, she insulted those she had singled out and detained for hours as “Nafris” (so-called North African intensive offenders). With this use of language by the Cologne police, those affected by racist police actions are not only suspected without evidence, but are immediately turned into perpetrators, even intensive offenders. Thus, the Cologne police are neither waiting for concrete results of investigations nor for the constitutionally competent judiciary to do so, but see themselves as judges for the conviction of alleged suspects without evidence or trial and even more so without
Presumption of innocence.

“People who differ from others only by the fact that police officers of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia suspect them on the basis of racist ideas and fantasies are then defamed by them in public as perpetrators: In this way, the police obviously value their post-factual gut feeling more highly than the constitution and human rights, which must take a back seat”, criticizes Kai Semmler from ARI the actions of the Cologne police.

There is little opposition to this racist approach; rather, in the days following New Year’s Eve, politicians* from the Greens to the NPD rallied behind the Cologne police leadership. There must be no criticism of their racism.

Right at the beginning of 2017, the Cologne police made clear what is possible in a supposedly democratic Germany: the comprehensive segregation of people according to their skin color and ascribed origin. Those who are not white have no right to respect for his or her civil rights.

The Antirassistische Initiative e.V. demands the immediate suspension of the responsible officials and politicians and the respect of the human rights of all people in this country.

Stop the racist citizen mob, racist politicians and executing police officers
* in dividing society along ethnic attributions!
* in inciting groups of people against each other!
* in the destruction of democracy and human rights in Germany!

When, if not now?

With kind regards
Antiracist Initiative e. V.

— ARI Berlin – Antirassistische Initiative e.V. Mariannenplatz 2 A Haus Bethanien – Südflügel 10997 Berlin e-mail: Internet: