About this booklet

This booklet gives an overview over the trial against eight people who were arrested
in August 2013 and charged with §114 Fremdenpolizeigesetz (FPG), the so called
„Schlepperei“ (human smuggling) paragraph. Their trial started in March 2014 at the
regional court in Wiener Neustadt. On 4 December seven of the eight accused were
found guilty.
We – the editors of this booklet – are a group of people who have been supporting
the accused in this trial. We see this case as one out of many that show the effects of
the European migration policy. We want to critically emphasize the social context in
which such a paragraph exists from a perspective that claims freedom of movement
for everyone. Over all, we think that the legal grounds of the accusation and the power
relations which are reproduced in this case are representative for a justice system which
maintains state hegemony and a capitalistic system. We refuse prisons as a part of this
system, the question of legal guilt or innocence is not the base of our support.
For us, the support we have been trying to provide during the last year is one possibili-
ty to respond to the racist normality.

Since summer/autumn 2013 we have been in contact with the accused who had still
been held in investigative custody at that time. We tried to support practically during
the remand and the trial. Through regular attendance in court we have been watching
the trial, documenting it and reporting from it. Additionally we have been trying to
scandalize this court case and its embodiment in the context of the European border
regime through actions and demonstrations.
Fortunately, we haven’t been the only ones supporting. Without the many people who
joined in and have been supporting from different sides, took action on their own
initiative and have been demonstrating strong persistence, this court case would have
looked completely different. Anyways, we know that not always everything was going
well and that there are still many things that we could have done (better).

Most articles in this booklet result from the support during the last year. This booklet
is a revised and extended edition of a version published in November 2014, which itself
was based on a booklet that was already spread in March 2014.

You will find articles giving background information on this case, more general texts
about the paragraph and the Austrian and European border regime, as well as state-
ments by and interviews with the accused.

Vienna, December 2014

Connection with the Refugee Protest Movement

Even though in general, migration of many people is criminalized it is clear that state
authorities are even more focused on protest movements. The moment when the eight
accused were arrested was short after the deportations of eight activists from the pro-
test movement. This doesn’t seem to be a coincidence but a strategy to delegitimate the
protest. In the middle of the parliament’s election campaign, the accusation of human
smuggling served to criminalize the movement and legitimated its massive surveil-
lance.We see the accusation and the paragraph on which it is based in general as part
of the criminalization of migration in a system in which “legal” border crossing is vir-
tually impossible for many people. The paragraph against human smuggling (“Schlep-
perei”) is thus used to repress movements which attack this logic of migration policy.
The investigation in this case got quite a lot of attention from the media and repressive
state institutions because of its reference to the refugee movement. For us it is especial-
ly important to point out this particular connection. Anyways, we see this trial as one
out of many in the reality of the European border regime.