Clapton fans and St Pauli fans, shoulder to shoulder against repression

At the cup game against Letchworth Garden City, the International Committee of Clapton CFC distributed a leaflet highlighting an attack on St Pauli supporters travelling to an away game by the North Rhine-Westphalia state police.

The leaflet was a translation of a press statement released by Braunweisshilfe – a campaigning solidarity project run by fans for fans.

Thanks to the Clapton CFC fans at the game, who donated a total of £60.68 to help Braunweisshilfe. For more information about their work, please visit

Press Release from Braunweisshilfe
5th November 2018

On 4th November 2018, about 300 St. Pauli fans travelled to Bielefeld for the away game. The Police boarded the train shortly after in Osnabrück, and attacked the fans with pepper spray in a enclosed train wagon in an indiscriminate and large scale way. The reason given was an alleged regulatory offence.

Upon arrival at Melle station, St Pauli fans and other passengers wanted to leave the wagon to escape from the pepper spray: which caused many to suffer from shortness of breath, irritated eyes, and even induced vomiting for some of the affected. The police tried to stop the disembarkation by further use of pepper spray and batons (including blows at head height), which led to a panicked crush on the platform.

After further police units arrived, the journey went directly to Bielefeld with almost no interruptions. However, upon arrival, units of the North Rhine-Westphalia Federal State Police and also Special Detention Forces surrounded most of the fans as well as other passengers at the station forecourt – kettling and detaining them without arrest for the following six and a half hours.

The police then demanded personal details from all those detained, and this demand was met by part of the group. Those who refused to provide their details (despite no crime having been committed) were separated from the rest of the group and held in appalling conditions:

  • The group were denied usage of a toilet
  • No food or drinks were provided for another five hours
  • Personal details were extracted under duress
  • Minors were illegally detained and controlled without the involvement of their guardians

Whilst this was happening, the police stationed themselves throughout the away fan area of the stadium, forbidding late arrivals (including those who were released after giving their personal details) from entering the standing section. The police also prevented fans from leaving the stadium at the final whistle. We see this as a calculated effort to deprive the liberty of all fans in the away area.

The Federal State Police has already stated that these measures are meant to “send a message”, but what kind of message are they sending?

  • The undermining of basic human and civil rights
  • The deprivation of liberty of fans both at the train station and in the stadium
  • Physical attacks against fans and other passengers, including repeated use of pepper spray in an enclosed area
  • The mass collection of personal data of people who were not charged with a crime

This is a message from a police state!

We call on the media to not take the police press releases at its face value, and thereby contributing to a narrative that feeds prejudice against, and criminalisation of, football fans.


Contact details:

Braun-Weiße Hilfe
c/o Fanladen St Pauli
Heiligengeistfeld 1a
20359 Hamburg
0049 40 439 69 61

Bank account for legal defence funds:

Account name: Jugend und Sport, Fanladen St. Pauli
IBAN: DE37200505501045210935
Please label donations “Braun-weiße Hilfe”

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