Denmark T-Shirt Terrorism Trial

The following article is from the website of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Marxist-Leninist organization that has been heroicly waging armed struggle against U.S./Israeli occupation for more than 40 years. This article is about the Danish group, Fighters+Lovers, being charged with breaking “anti-terrorism” laws by selling t-shirts to support Colombian Marxist-Leninist guerrillas, the FARC-EP along with the PFLP. Fighters+Lovers has also released some PDF pamphlets about the FARC and the PFLP.

Danish t-shirt activists face second trial for support for national liberation movements

Update as of September 19, 2008: The Danish appeals court convicted six of the “Fighters + Lovers” activists on September 18, 2008, overturning their lower-court acquittal. The lower court found that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine were not “terrorist organizations” under the law; the higher court, however, ruled that both were “terrorist groups” under the law, convicting the activists and confiscating the money they raised.

Two of the activists were sentenced to six months in prison, while four others were sentenced to shorter, suspended prison terms, the Eastern high court in Copenhagen said in a statement. A seventh activist was acquitted. Thorkild Hoyer, the lawyer for “Fighters + Lovers,” said that they would appeal against the verdict to Denmark’s highest court.

“The Danish judicial system reveals today that it stands on the side of the occupying power Israel and of a Colombia that kills its people and tortures prisoners,” Michael Schoelardt, the head of Fighters and Lovers, said. “We must continue our fight for peace and justice in the world and develop our solidarity work… despite this (Danish judicial) system that wants to criminalize it.”

“We have done this to draw attention to the fact that fighting for your freedom is not terrorism, and that solidarity shouldn’t be a crime,” said Ulrik Kohl, a spokesperson for “Fighters + Lovers,” emphasizing the activists challenged the entire notion of “terror” and “anti-terror laws.”

The Danish t-shirt company and activist group, “Fighters + Lovers,” faced a new prosecution after their November 2007 victory. The Danish activists were acquitted of violating anti-terrorism law in their trial; they were accused after selling t-shirts and grassroots fundraising for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The seven activists were acquitted in November 2007 after the court found them innocent of any violation of the anti-terror law, ruling that the FARC and the PFLP were not engaged in “terrorizing the population.” The four judges hearing the case unanimously ruled that the PFLP was not a “terror” organization under Danish law.

The state prosecutor appealed the decision, and the appeals court is expected to render its decision on September 18, 2008. The case has been a pioneering challenge to attempts to criminalize liberation movements by labeling them as “terrorists.” Fighters + Lovers has continued to produce t-shirts bearing the “FARC” and “PFLP” images and to publicize its campaign to end the criminalization of national liberation movements.

The prosecutor has urged that the activists be imprisoned for two to nine months; the defense attorney has noted that this prosecution has cost the government nearly $1m kroner.

In addition, on September 8, 2008, in solidarity with Fighters + Lovers and the national liberation struggles of the Palestinian and Colombian people, a group of Danish resistance fighters, veterans of the anti-Nazi struggle of World War II, sent $1000 to the PFLP. In the past, the same group also sent $1000 to the FARC. Comrade Khalida Jarrar, member of the Political Bureau of the PFLP, stated that “We are very pleased with the economic and political support. It also means much to us that the money comes from the Danish resistance fighters who fought against the Germans during the occupation of Denmark.”

The organization informed the government of its actions, noting that it was proud to support resistance to occupation.

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