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Ultrà Sankt Pauli – Season review 2014/2015

FC Sankt Pauli in 2015

For a long time at the club it appeared to be a bit of a battle. For many years things ran pretty chaotically, for years flirting with financial disaster. Even once the club was brought back onto an even keel, you would still occasionally find yourself studying the team sheet at the beginning of each season, wondering who all the new players were, as loan players and journeymen dominated the side.
Leading up to, during and shortly after our last adventure in top division in 2010/11, we also had a long fight for the character of the club. It is important to note that you can fight for your club. The top flight features the likes, Bayer Leverkusen (Bayer), Wolfsburg (VW) and recently sold HSV (now backed by Beiersdorf and Kühne & Nagel). RB Leipzig will surely join them soon enough. It would be easy to retreat to the pub, moaning about “modern football”, but whilst the odds are stacked against the fans, some victories can be won. Sankt Pauli is a good example of this. A few seasons ago, we campaigned against the continued commercialisation of the club with “Sozial Romantiker” movement, turning the stadium red with banners and flags. At the same time outsiders would often claim that Sankt Pauli had lost its soul. Occasionally it was hard to claim otherwise. VIP Lounge events that contradicted the ethos of the club, LCD screens in the ground to display fans text messages for a tidy sum, a ground where many fans didn’t seem that interested in the football anymore, and a board and president that seemed open to dialogue but didn’t really appear to be normal fans. There were in essence times, where on a matchday, you felt the only thing that really was “Sankt Pauli” was the few thousand fans standing on the terrace in the Sudkurve.
Since the time of the Sozial Romantiker campaign though, things have slowly changed for the better. Club Presidents at Sankt Pauli have often had a hint of social conscience, but have seldom been people you could imagine having a pint with after the match. This season our president resigned. He was replaced with Oke Göttlich. Oke is someone who regularly attends matches, he has been involved with the fanzines in the past and more recently turned up for an interview wearing a “Refugees Welcome” jumper. In other words, for the first time we appear to have a president who isn’t just open to dialogue but actually “gets” fans. In the supervisory board at the club, there are at least two fans who travel home and away to matches, and have represented fans voices both at Sankt Pauli and further afield in the past. They inherit the reigns of a club that is now in a relatively healthy state, with an extremely well graded youth team setup. That is an ideal situation for a club like Sankt Pauli. We will never be well off, but we could be in a position to compete, using young, home grown players, who can, once they move on, generate transfer funds.
This season in the stadium itself has been mixed but with a positive end. We started off very poorly indeed, and by halfway through the season, were even playing in the relegation zone, with one end of the ground missing following the demolition of the Nordkurve. By Christmas though we had a new coach in charge, Ewald Lienen. The change was almost instant. He insisted on changes to the way players behaved, creating a better spirit. At the beginning of every match, he walks along the front of the terrace, pumping his fist, stirring the crowd up. Interviews with him suggest he didn’t just choose Sankt Pauli for sporting reasons, but believes in what the club stands for. The stamina of the squad appears to have been dramatically improved too. Whereas morale might have kept the team battling until the 70th minute, we often found ourselves conceding late on. Yet in the final, hard fought, run in towards the end of the season, and with us desperate to avoid relegation, the team was now in a position to dominate matches for the full 90 minutes. Teams such as RB Leipzig and Kaiserslautern were beaten, despite them challenging for promotion. The Nordkurve is almost rebuilt, and elsewhere in the ground fans have woken up. The Gegengerade in particular has graced several matches with fine choreos, something normally only expected from the Ultras in the Sudkurve.
On the final day of the season, away in Darmstadt, we finally secured confirmation that we would stay in the second division. Fans celebrated on the pitch. The key moment though was still to follow. The coach was conducting a TV interview, when the president came over. He apologised to the camera, and explained that the interview would have to stop. The reason? Because they both needed to catch a tram to the station, before boarding the football special back to Hamburg with the fans. The spirit of Sankt Pauli is back!

Darmstadt

 

Ultrà Sankt Pauli in 2015

As most of you know, our group was founded back in 2002. This is now more than 10 years ago. Today it’s difficult to sum up who we are as a group. The opinions held within the group about what we should be, are wide ranging and people naturally focus on different things. But that makes us who we are, that is also what has made the big melting pot Ultrà Sankt Pauli so interesting and unique for so many years.
There is a big team of cooks working on this pot and everybody does his or her best to find the right ingredients to provide a good meal. The basic ingredient, of course, is the love of FC St. Pauli and its unique and down to earth fan base. It brought all of us together.
But we also have to focus on the different chefs: The meal starts with a crazy mix of international cuisine with many influences. Creativity is essential for our meal. Where, in the past, we have just cooked the same dish as the day before, we have failed. We are always looking for new flavours, to mix them with the good old ones. One cook would like to have a little more politics simmering away, like anti-racism (an example being our support for refugees). But the fight against discrimination will be always part of the menu at Ultrà Sankt Pauli.

Another cook would like to add more of the fine Italian cuisine from the 80s, some cooks maybe want to cook a Polish meal and others are keen to cook something completely different. Some people want to cook with only a select few chefs, some want to cook with music and some want to do a BBQ with beer.
That’s what Ultrà Sankt Pauli is – a small and unique meal cooked by a small numbers of cooks at a backyard of a bar in the St. Pauli district. We always cook “learning by doing” and will chance the ingredients as much as necessary. Our meal is never boring but always spicy and tasty.
We always need new cooks to help in the kitchen too. Even when sometimes external influences make it hard, we always place trust in our people. It’s the people that add all the spices and the taste, and the people that cook the great meal of St. Pauli. An international, political and delicious meal.
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The games in Season 2014/2015

We started the past season with a great opening barbecue at a small park near the stadium in the shadow of he most famous church of Hamburg. With a few hundred fans, flags, banners and smoke we had a great march along the harbor. Unfortunately we finished the match against FC Ingolstadt with a draw.
Ingolstadt

Before our away match in Aalen we visited a beautiful lake to enjoy some time in the water and the sun. After entering the stadium we celebrated a 2:0 victory. We also said‘thank you’ to a small fan club in southern Germany called ‘Province Fanatics’. For the second time they organized an antiracist party at the evening before our match in Aalen and donated the profit to USP Antirazzista for our antiracist refugee support every home match.
Aalen

In the first round of the German cup we played against ‘Optik Rathenow’, a 5th division club from a small village in Brandenburg. In the small stadium in between trees and next to a lake we won the match with a safe 3:1 victory.
Rathenow

At the home match against the next small club from southern Germany Sandhausen we celebrated the German world championship trophy in our way. With thousands of destroyed German national flags, a burning police car and a burning jail we showed, that there is no home country, to be proud of. Fuck patriotism and nationalism! After that great, smoky, chaotic choreography we celebrated a 2:1 victory of our brown-white team. Days after this match the Squatting Days started in Hamburg. With supporters from all over Germany and Europe there were many workshops and actions. Also a house between the Hamburg harbor and our stadium was squatted by some activists. For some years this has been the first time a squatted house was defended in a very militant way. After that action an activist and St. Pauli fan got arrested and placed in custody for many months without a proof. Luckily the activist is at least free again.
Sandhausen

After our 0:3 failure in Fürth the team manger Roland Vrabec was fired and the former player Thomas Meggle took over his job. But the following matches against 1860 Munich and Aue were lost as well. Not until the match against Braunschweig St. Pauli could win again.
Fürth

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Aue

Braunschweig

Before the draw against Frankfurt, sadly we had to learn, that Hamburg’s most famous and notorious graffiti sprayer OZ died in the train yards of Hamburg. After displaying some banners in Frankfurt we bade farewell with a colorful choreography at the match against Berlin. Thousands of balloons, his famous smiley and some of his slogans filled our south stands. OZ – free like a bird!
St. Pauli won the match with a 3:0 victory.
Frankfurt

Berlin

But the following two games against Düsseldorf and Karlsruhe we lost again.
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Karlsruhe

 

And then the next opponent in the second round of the German cup was Borussia Dortmund.
Obviously this match was one of the past season’s highlights – it was the first home match in the German cup since 2007. Many weeks before we started to prepare what was to become the greatest choreography ever at the Millerntor Stadium. A huge banner covered almost the hole south stand including the seats. And even the other stands had some great choreographies as well. For the north stand it was the very last match – the next day workers began to dismantle the stand. Before the second half we displayed quite a lot of pyrotechnics.
As expected Dortmund won the match with 3:0.
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Dortmund

 

The next great mark in this season was our match in Leipzig against redbull. Many German fan scenes decided to boycott their matches in Leipzig. But we decided to organize a great away tour there and enter the stadium together with a lot of St. Pauli supporters. For the kick-off we covered all fan club banners with the slogan ‘St. Pauli is the only way’. During the second half we also showed a great banner with ‘all bulls are pigs’. In German ‘bull’ is a common name for a cop, so the slogan is similar to ‘ACAB’. So both, the red bulls from RB Leipzig and the cops got a little slap. Unfortunately we lost the match with 1:4.
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One day before our match against Bochum we welcomed a contemporary witness to hold a panel in our fan rooms Fanräume. Our guest Esther Bejarano is a Jewish survivor of the concentration camp Auschwitz. The way in which she told us about her life in Nazi Germany impressed us all a lot.
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Until the end of the first half of the season we gained only one more point. So after the first 17 matches we ended up on the very last place with about 13 points. So, the current team manager Meggle changed into a different position in the club to make room for Ewald Lienen the new team manager of St. Pauli. Though the first match under Lienen ended also in a failure, in the following match against Aalen we won and gained three important points. With this little high we spent the winter break on the 17th place.
Aalen

 

The new year started with a draw in the away match against Sandhausen, a very unlucky loss against Fürth at home and a also very unlucky draw in Munich against 1860 Munich. Followed by another draw at home against Aue. Thus coach Lienen got six points from the past six matches, which was already half of the points we had gained from the first 17 matches before.
Sandhausen

Fürth

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In the away match against Braunschweig Lienen got his second victory. It was clear to almost everybody, that St. Pauli is close to a relegation to the third division. Every point was crucial. Therefore, this victory was celebrated accordingly.
Braunschweig

 

For the home match against FSV Frankfurt we called for a match-day motto: Millerntor Roar. With this manifestation we wanted to bundle all energy for this season’s ultimate goal: to stay in 2nd division. Before the match we met in a park nearby and celebrated a colorful, smoky corteo to the stadium.
A smaller group invited about 60 refugees to the stadium to enjoy a nice match day with us. The day started with a collective breakfast in the squatted house and social center Rote Flora. Afterwards we went to the stadium and enjoyed the match, which ended in a 1:1 draw. After that we had a well tasting lunch in the Rote Flora, as well. Apart from inviting about 15 refugees to every home match each season, this “Migrants Welcome Day” is an activity we organize once a season.
FFM

 

The following home match against Düsseldorf hosted another important action day. The Rote Flora squat, which is the iconic center of left wing politics in Hamburg, is undergoing a big renovation, which takes several months. For the summer the activists plan a construction month with many volunteering crafts(wo)men coming from all over Europe. To help support this big construction site we collected money and used our many ways to inform about this project in every part of the stadium. Even the club’s official crowd funding campaign ‘Kiezhelden’ started a funding site. To top it all of the match ended with a superb 4:0 victory.
düdo

 

After the next away loss in Karlsruhe, St. Pauli won the following home match against Nürnberg by scoring a goal in the very last minute. In this moment, five games before the end of the season, Ewald Lienen had gained as many points as Vrabec and Meggle in their 17 matches combined. Unfortunately, all the other clubs in the lower tier of the table scored as well, so we were still in danger of being relegated.
karu

 

On the way to the away match against Heidenheim one of our buses broke down, so we had to find another way to get there.In order to do so we had to rent some cars in a nearby town and spend a lot of money to support our team. Unfortunately we lost the match 1:2.
heiden

 

The next opponent was Leipzig, and they wanted to keep their slim chances for relegating to the Bundesliga alive. So, everybody expected the match to be a tough one. But soon after our colorful, smoky and shining intro, which covered all of the Südkurve in smoke, flags, confetti and paper rolls, Kalla scored the 1:0 and we won this awesome match.
rbhome

 

Everybody gained new spirit for the end of the season. But the next match would be the away match against Kaiserslautern. Which, in the past had always won the important matches. The only time we had won a match in Kaiserslautern, they had already been qualified for the play-offs. So, nobody expected one single point.
After the first half no team scored and everybody would have been happy about this draw and one point. But then, in the second half, Kalla and Halstenberg scored for St. Pauli. After 90 minutes we had won against Kaiserslautern, who played for the promotion to the first league. If St. Pauli could win against Kaiserslautern, chances were they could also hold off relegating to 3rd division.
lautern away

 

We started the following home match day against Bochum with a collective boat trip. After a short walk we entered the stadium for the season’s final home match – we all wanted to avoid the relegation and even the play-offs. But unexpectedly Bochum scored the first goal and took the early lead. But luckily and amazingly St. Pauli turned the whole match around and won with a solid 5-1! Unfortunately almost all teams below us in the league scored as well, so we had to wait until the very last match of the season to reach a safe place.
usp

 

For the last match we took a football special to Darmstadt. For the most of us it was the first time at the Böllenfalltor. Darmstadt had just moved up from the 3rd division and aimed for the promotion to Bundesliga, so they would give everything for a victory. And so, in the second half they scored the first goal which meant their safe promotion. Which put us in a tight spot since whether or not we could remain in 2nd division depended on the results of the other ongoing matches. Until the very last minute Aue came close to score and win their game to safe their own ass and put us into the play-offs for relegation. But luckily for us they missed their chance and in the end St. Pauli managed to stay in the 2nd division.
darm

mob

 

Now we’re very lucky to stay in the league. But, we have to remember, that during the last year a lot of racist people formed a movement by the names of Pegida and Legida and marched week after week in several German cities. On top of that brutal racist hooligans founded a network called HoGeSa (hooligans against salafists) and attacks on refugees or refugee camps are happening more and more frequently.
There haven’t been any big right-wing demonstrations in Hamburg yet, but some events have already been announced for the late summer.
antifa!

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New groups/Filmstadt Inferno 99 left network

We have good and bad news. Bad ones first. Filmstadt Inferno 1999 left the network for capacity reasons. Watch out their homepage for a statement.
But since last Antira Tournament (2014) we have three new members:
– Republica Internationale
– Vamos Bien (since 2012 – we just added them to the blog)

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Susma Haykır Passolige Hayır

Various Alerta groups have shown banners with „Susma Haykır – Passolig’eHayır!“ which means: „Do not be quiet – say NO to Passolig“.
In Turkey there is a law called 6222 which is based on a claim that prevents violence in terraces and it’s result is the card called Passolig. Fans have to buy this card to enter the grounds. At same time they have to give all their personal information to the state. Fans always have to fear this information could be used against them. Moreover this card is created by a private bank and if they buy it they are directly counted as the customer of this bank. Now most of fans move against this situation and they reject to get this card and so to enter the games. At the same time, constitutional process continues. While this process was continuing in consumer court, now it is carrying on supreme court on the grounds that the card violate the human rights. The fans are waiting for beginning of this court. Until the beginning they are doing demonstrations, protests, talks etc. They want and need to increase awareness of people about this card.
As members of Alerta Network, we want to join the protests and to show our solidarity with our comrades in Turkey. This so-called fan card will completely distroy Turkish football is a development agianst fan culture. We would like to express our full solidarity with the Turkish fan culture and support the fight against these unacceptable change in the allocation of tickets to football games.
No to Passolig !

Ultrà Sankt Pauli (LINK)
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Brigata Giallorossa (LINK)
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Here you can find a link to a english text about it from Rebel Ultras.

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8th Antiracist Tournament Sankt Pauli

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In the end, organizers, participants and visitors were unanimous: The 8th Antira Sankt Pauli was a great success. It was held from 30 May to 1 June in Millertor Stadium.

The tournament had different winners: For men it was a mixed team of Ultrà Sankt Pauli and Green Brigade.
In the women’s the teams of Republica Internationale (Leeds) and the Easton Cowgirls (Bristol) separated in the final with a friendly draw. The game of Antira All-Stars against FC Lampedusa on Saturday afternoon was also very important.

We were very happy about a guest from Sweden: Showan from Malmö. He was invaded by Nazis in March this year and he is seriously injured. He took the opportunity to travel to the tournament to Hamburg.

But not only football was played over the three days. The entire event was marked by networking. Numerous workshops with fans and ultras from all over Europe, Israel and Turkey took place. All of us were able to exchange our experiences and activities. Central topics were the rise of the right wing in Europe, the role of football fans in social conflicts and the displacement of fan groups who work against discrimination in the stands. During the weekend it was the anniversary of the outbreak of Gezi protests in Turkey. The Turkish comrades hold a very moving memorial speech for those who were killed.

An impressive sign was set by the participants with the big march towards anti-racist concert in the Rote Flora on Saturday. It stood for the political solidarity of European anti-racist football fans with the Rote Flora in Hamburg.

Because of the positive feedback it will be discussed to maintain the one-day football break in future tournaments and to focus more on the content of the framework program. In addition the organizers want to increase the number of women’s teams at the tournament and further enhance networking among female participants in the Antira as well as in the European anti-fascist ultrà network Alerta!

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SANKT PAULI ALERTA CHOREO

SANKT PAULI ALERTA CHOREO: A spectre is needed once more to haunt Europe …

Most of you will have noticed it at the beginning of the second half versus Kaiserslautern. A spectre appeared, surrounded by red flags and a banner (in German) proclaiming the sentence in the title above. Some of you will know from where the inspiration for the banner came, others perhaps won’t. For those who don’t know, then I have a little reading tip for you. The book is called “Communist Manifesto“, written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The sentence actually goes:
„A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies.“
Ok, it was written in 1848, so isn’t exactly up to date. Or perhaps it is? Why could we find ourselves in a position where we want the spectre i.e. communism to return?

Perhaps before we start, it would be sensible to explain what we mean when we talk about communism. It’s quite simple really: a better world. That sounds like Hippie shit at first, but we aren’t talking about flowers, VW buses and drugs (well I guess that could play a part to a degree ;-)). But really we are talking about a liberated society, a society which is built around the needs of people, and where competition and exploitation no longer exist. For us that means a clear rejection of the cornerstones of capitalism, in other words trading, money, wages and profit. Furthermore we believe that everyone should be involved in the decision making process, in other words, radically democratic.

Unfortunately though, we do not live in a liberated society. We live under capitalism. In a system based on competition and rivalry. There is no real freedom in this system. There is more freedom than under a dictatorship, however instead of surrendering to the tyranny of the power hungry, we instead succumb to the power of the market. Everything in our society can be sold, in fact exactly that is essential for our current system to work. That begins with the act of going to work, applies to drinking water, and even stuff like the USP-scarves that end up on ebay. People in this society are left on their own and end up only looking out for themselves. They do that, not because they are evil, or cannot stand other people though, but because the system forces them to. Whether you work in a bank, are a student, or work down at the harbor, we ALL succumb to the same logic of usability. Most of the madness of this world stems from this same logic. The people who flee Africa for Europe, via Lampedusa, are forced to do so because of capitalism. War, starvation and lack of prospects are not things that occur out of nothing, but are all logical effects of the system. You end up competing with your colleagues at work for the best position or tasks, and in the same fashion, on a greater scale, so do the states and continents of this world. And because we are better off here in Europe, Africa must lose out. Every nation wishes to be the winner in this competition, and therefore each nation must ensure the game continues. For it all to function, there must always be “the others”. Put simply, that means people will always hate other people. A reason to do so will always be found, whether it’s religion, sexual preference or skin colour.

Worldwide Communism as a concept was created to smash all of this. Its aim is to return us to treating each other with respect and to act with solidarity. We would only produce what we need, rather than what happens to be sold on the market. That has advantages for us and the environment
. There would no need to produce the masses of food that we currently throw away each day, and the food we would actually eat would be healthier, as it wouldn’t require the additional ingredients currently needed to compete.

All people would own the basic materials and factories etc. There would no longer be the need to worry whether a company might go bust or be taken over. Currently many people are excluded from wealth because they don’t own a factory or apartment house. Were we to share these things though, we would all be wealthy. That would save us all a lot of stress, as we would no longer feel the need to keep up with the race or face losing out. It would also mean we could decide together what should be made. That would be advantageous, as so many things produced today are incredible dumb or ugly.

Communism would establish a fair, level playing field for all. The current system doesn’t help us. We all have the same rights, but some have more funds to uphold those rights than others. Not all of us can afford the same lawyer, or a lawyer at all, and so we can end up losing a decision in court, even when perhaps we were in the right. We want a situation where everyone is protected to the same degree, and the situation is not influenced by something like age, gender, level of education etc.

Perhaps the idea sounds good to you too, and you would like to live in such a society. The question remains however, how do we achieve such a society?
Well actually, it’s not as difficult as it might first appear. We must organise, we must act with solidarity, and above all we must be prepared to live differently. We put a lot of the theory into practice in the way that we act as a group with USP. We organise as a group, and we look after each other when there is trouble with the cops or the state (if you read that sentence from Marx, you will realise that they had that back 1848. It’s nice to know, we weren’t the first people who couldn’t stand the police). We work, without the expectation of reward e.g. for choreos or when we decorate the streets. We just need to carry that over into the greater society. Imagine a company organised like USP. It would be extremely productive, everyone would meet regularly and discuss important matters at hand, and when a worker was down on his or her luck, the others would look after them.

With USP it is irrelevant where you are from, what you look like or how well off you are. It is irrelevant whether you left school at 16 or did your A-Levels. All of these differences are artificial differences created by the market. Therefore we don’t need to pay any attention to them. More important is that we join the struggle, that the people have always fought – the struggle for a better life. Marx and Engels did their part in 1848.

Today, the aim of a liberated society seems a long way away. We are constantly confronted by racist politicians, Nazis and coppers. Nevertheless, whilst the struggle for communism may be hard, it is worth it. That is what we wanted to say with our choreo, as part of the Alerta-Actionday.
We need a spectre to haunt Europe once more. We need communism.

ALERTA SANKT PAULI

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