Germany: Police raids the homes of climate activists
The German police carried out house raids against climate activists of the organization ”Last Generation” in many different federal states of Germany, accusing the activists of supporting and forming a criminal organization on the basis of the paragraph 129 of the law of the Federal Republic of Germany. The raid was called for by the Center for Combating Terrorism and Extremism of Bayern. The Last Generation is a climate organization which uses methods of non-violent civil disobedience, like blocking roads, to demand the German federal parliament to take different measures to reduce CO2 emissions. A spokesperson of the organization described that 25 police officers carrying guns entered her apartment by breaking down the door on Thursday morning, and said that the measures taken were unproportionate. Seven activists are accused of making a campaign to gather money for criminal activities of the organization. Because this was done through the website of Last Generation, the website was also taken down. Two of the activists were also accused of trying to sabotage an oil pipeline.
The minister of interior Nancy Faeser of the social-democrats said that the house raids show that the ”legal state” or ”rule of law” (Rechtsstaat) does not let anyone make fun of it. The idea of a “Rechtsstaat” is an ideal of the bourgeois state in which the State is based on the supremacy of the constitution, both in that it protects the constitutional rights of the citizens but also that it does not let anyone attack the constitutional order. Also the federal chancellor Olaf Scholz said that the ”Rechtsstaat” cannot ignore multiple criminal offenses committed by the organization, but did not want to comment if the Last Generation itself should be declared a criminal organization, saying that the court has to decide this.
However, the Last Generation does not attack the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany, and is not one of the organizations observed by the ”Office for the Protection of the Constitution”, and in fact say they are “protecting the constitution”. They base themselves on the fundamental right guaranteed by the German Basic Law (Grundgesetz), the freedom of assembly. According to the law, all German citizens have the right to assemble freely unarmed and without prior notice. However, there is some limitations to “protect public order”. The organization has typically carried out frequent actions where activists glue themselves to the street, stopping the traffic. For these protests, the State has convicted activists for “coercion” – which means to coerce someone to do something or prevent someone of doing something by force or threat of “serious evil”, and resisting authorities. Now the State is using these “multiple criminal offenses” to set an example, to attack the right to protest.
The organization demands the politicians to carry out decisions in the framework of bourgeois legality like making a speed limit of 100km/h on the highways or providing the people with more affordable public transport. With a larger perspective, the organization demands to ”build the democracy so, that we as a society can participate better to it”, more concretely through citizens’ councils which would plan how to stop using fossil fuels until year 2030 alongside and in cooperation with the parliament. These demands are not in contradiction with the Basic Law.
Even though the organization causes the police the inconvenience of un-gluing the activists and dragging them to jail, they do not actively resist arrest or the police in any way. They are ”absolutely violence-free, in speech and in action” and are against using violence even when others use it against them. However, a representative of the CDU party Christoph de Vries claimed that the organization has planned multiple violent criminal actions and therefore should be monitored by intelligence service in protection of the constitution.