Friday, February 25, 2005

Bush´s "Freedom" in Mainz


The WSW-site describes the extra-ordinary security measures the German city of Mainz had to put up with during the Bush-visit:

"In advance of Wednesday, February 23, a virtual state of emergency is being imposed in the Rhine-Main area, one of the most heavily populated regions of Germany.

Four motorways are being completely closed, rail travel restricted, navigation of the rivers Rhine and Main halted, schools and local offices closed down. The historical center of the city of Mainz will be totally blocked off. Helicopters will fly overhead, while the city is besieged by police units and snipers.

The rerouting of traffic and closure of the main routes between Frankfurt airport and Mainz will force tens of thousands of employees in the region, including workers at the huge Opel auto works at Rüsselsheim, to change shifts or take a day’s holiday.

Air space over Frankfurt airport is to be closed for nearly an hour. All private airplanes within a radius of 60 kilometres from Mainz are to be grounded for the entire day. For the first time ever, fighter planes of the German Air Force will be on standby to take off and attack in the event of any disturbance of air space.

US snipers will be posted on balconies and roofs along the route from the airport to Mainz and its city centre—this in a country that normally forbids foreign security forces, even bodyguards, from carrying weapons in public. Days in advance, US Secret Service agents have been surveying the region, and huge armoured cars, helicopters and hundreds of American “specialists” have been flown in.

A high security wall has been erected in the Mainz city centre around the historic cathedral, the castle, the regional parliament, the state chancellery and the world famous Gutenberg Museum. The city centre has been criss-crossed with barricades and placed under the control of armed policemen. Thousands of residents and those working in the city centre can leave or gain access only on foot, after showing their IDs. The central link over the Rhine to Wiesbaden, the Theodor Heuss bridge, is to be totally closed, even for pedestrians.

Some 1,300 gully and manhole covers have been welded shut, while free-standing mail boxes, garbage cans, electrical connection boxes, and even bicycles have been removed. City residents have been expressly forbidden from going onto their balconies or looking out an open window. They have been banned from parking their cars either in the street or in their own garages. Many garages have been sealed. The police have warned that they will break into and tow away all vehicles found in the restricted area beginning early Tuesday morning.

Garbage disposal and road cleaning will be halted on Wednesday. The university hospital, including its emergency ward, has been vacated and is being kept free for possible emergency use. Other hospitals have organised onsite overnight accommodation to make sure physicians, anaesthetists and nursing staff can be available for work."

In an interview on public TV German chancellor Schröder explained, in kind of a backhand way, that those measures were ordered by the Americans. He said, that if we want a visitor like this, we have to do the kind of security the Americans ask us to. And then he repeated himself that of course, the American president is very welcome in Germany and therefore we had to comply with American security demands.
Maybe he was speaking for himself, but my guess would be, that at least in the Mainz area, close to a hundred percent of the population were opposed to this visit, after it became clear what kind of paranoid measures the population would have to endure, and in which all the people of Mainz were treated as potentially highly dangerous terrorists.

Maybe the whole thing was good for us. For now we could see, what kind of freedom, Bush and Co actually have in mind for the rest of the world.
Protest-signs at a demonstration, very far outside of Bush’s view, spelled it out: "Bush, we don’t want your "freedom".

Although I doubt, that this incident alone will be a permanent wake-up call, it could be one drop in a barrel that will eventually overflow.
Sure is, that the German government cannot afford to take active part in the Iraq-war or any future wars without risking the population going on the barricades.

Of course, a stunt like 9/11 could be pulled off in Germany. But then, there were at least 20% of the German population, who already knew by last year, that percentage probably has grown in the last year.
If something like 9/11 would happen in Germany, the people who blaming America would soon be the majority. It is not so hard for the one person in five, who already knows, to inform the other 4.

The Bush-people have shown, how paranoid afraid they are of the German people. Only guilt can produce such a big paranoia.
And the Germans have seen, how insane the Bush-administration is, close up with their own eyes.