The grass is greener on the other side because they paint it at the border
I was born into dictatorship. Back then it was the dictatorship of one party that was falling apart. Later on I ended up living in another dictatorship in Republic of Belarus. So most of my life i spent in dictatorship. Most of my political life I spend as well in dictatorship. When you are born and live in the world of dictatorship, you believe that what is happening in your world is horrible and people outside are not helping because they don't have any idea on what is going on. The same dynamic happens all around the human society. The prisons, the working places, the borders. Wherever you end in hard times, you think the reason for this injustice to exist is the fact that the world doesn't know. After all, what kind of intelligent person can allow this to happen.
So it was the same for me with repressions against anarchists and antifascists in Belarus. It was important to talk about the hardships we are going through in our political work. The cruelties that belarusian regime is dropping on our shoulders.
For sure some people didn't give a damn, but there were many people who were genuinely outraged by injustice perpetrated in Belarus. They were asking on how they can help the struggle, what they can do to bring down dictatorship. Many of them forgot about the conversation the moment they got out of the room. But there were some who were helping.
Now let me make it clear. I'm not a naïve person. I know that there is a lot of shit going on in the world. But traveling through Western Europe I always had a feeling that there is more freedom for the people here. That state and police have less power over population and what they think. That brutality happens in Russia, Belarus, Libya, South Africa, but not in Germany, where cops are so good educated in dealing with conflicts. It didn't make Germany a good state, but it was the place where activists can breathe at least.
However, this perspective was very fast gone when I moved to Germany for a longer stay. At a certain point I actually started wondering if the people who were so angered by dictatorship and were offering help were aware of what is going on in their backyard. State violence in this country has a long history. The nazi scumbags never left and are still quite a big force inside of the state. Foreigners are getting beaten up by the police on the daily basis. There are constant cases of dead immigrants in the police custody. This shit is crazy.
I mean if the cops kill someone in Belarus in a police station it goes all around – everybody should know how dictatorship is killing its own people. UK, US, France, Australia – media in all the liberal world writes about brutality of belarusian regime. The cops burning a migrant from Sierra Leone in the bloody police station 100km away from Berlin and everybody plays the game that he did it by himself. For sure there is a small group of friends and relatives who are still fighting for him, but this is it for liberal democracy. The state protects its own cops in the same way it does in Belarus.
So all those liberals and leftist are super angry about the shit going on in Kurdistan or in Hong-Kong, but rarely are interested in the home affairs. That might be the reason why many of the people I spoke to didn't know so much about repressions in their own country. Of how people are beaten up, tortured and eventually murdered.
There is a lot to discover in Germany. There are books written on sophisticated structures that way surpass blunt methods of Soviet Union and belarusian republic. Repressive steps are not made directly to crash your life, rather they are starting with a soft push in the “proper” direction. However, as soon as you keep on insisting the situation can get really ugly. It is true that there are not so many anarchist prisoners in Germany, but many activists are getting broken before they come to the point of getting into the jail.
All these things of loosing your job because of political activism, or kids taken away from parents for their political views. Or being observed, recorded and evaluated on the regular basis by the secret services – it's all there not only in Belarus. And they are not hiding it. Every federal state is making a yearly report on political activism that doesn't fit liberal “middle”. In those reports they are in the same manner describing extremist organizations, extremist musical bands and extremist chairs, that are providing their service to anarchists and other dodgy characters. And those reports are becoming a basis for political work for years to come. The fight against the radical part of the society is way more open out here because liberals don't fucking care.
You might be a freedom fighter against dictatorship in Belarus, but in Germany you are a fucking threat to the status quo of generational politicians, nazis close to power apparatus and Horst Seehofer, a fucking Darth Vader of this country.