Climate activism: Police union sees "fanaticism" in the last generation - will the activists soon be faced with claims for damages?

The police union (GdP) accuses the last generation of fanaticism and, with a view to the actions of radical climate protectionists, advocates a nationwide coordinated approach.

Climate activism: Police union sees "fanaticism" in the last generation - will the activists soon be faced with claims for damages?

The police union (GdP) accuses the last generation of fanaticism and, with a view to the actions of radical climate protectionists, advocates a nationwide coordinated approach. General decrees of the cities to prevent road blockades by climate protectors are correct, but not sufficient, says GdP federal chairman Jochen Kopelke of the German Press Agency.

The threat of high fines and possible imprisonment in the event of an infringement could be an effective reaction – "These are always a noticeable sign of the rule of law," he adds. From his point of view, this approach would be even more effective if there were soon nationwide coordinated action by the states and municipalities on these forms of protest.

Kopelke says, "The last generation is antagonizing people. The group's growing fanaticism is a matter of great concern to the police." With its "criminal actions and obtrusive ruthlessness," the climate protection group failed to increase acceptance of climate protection. With a view to media reports about individual police employees who participate in the last generation, the GdP chairman said: "Such a commitment is highly problematic, and there are highly probable legal consequences."

Climate activists of the last generation had again disrupted road traffic in several German cities at important points with blockades on Friday. In Nuremberg, they violated a general decree that prohibits unregistered protests.

On Thursday, activists paralyzed the airports in Hamburg and Düsseldorf for several hours by overcoming the fences, running onto the runways and sticking themselves near the runways. In Hamburg, air traffic was completely suspended for a few hours on the first day of vacation. Several flights were diverted or delayed in Düsseldorf.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) had declared that the planned Kritis umbrella law, which her ministry is currently preparing, would deal with the security concepts of airports and other parts of the critical infrastructure. The fence around the premises of Düsseldorf Airport meets "all legal security requirements according to the high German and European requirements," said Airport Managing Director Lars Redeligx of Düsseldorf's "Rheinische Post".

The discussion about the recent actions of the Last Generation also made waves on social media. The deputy chairman of the Greens parliamentary group, Konstantin von Notz, wrote on Twitter: "The sabotage of people's everyday lives is politically simply wrong and counterproductive for the fight against

Activists from the Last Generation group disrupted the premiere performance of the Regensburg Castle Festival on Friday evening. In the meantime, an activist stuck to a part of the stage, as a spokesman for the police headquarters in Upper Palatinate announced. Three other people were stopped by security personnel on their way to the stage.

In the meantime, the climate activists may soon face imprisonment as well as high claims for damages. From a legal point of view, according to experts, the adhesive actions at Hamburg and Düsseldorf airports were a so-called intervention in an established and active commercial enterprise. Düsseldorf Airport, where according to a spokesman 48 flights were canceled and two were diverted, is now examining possible claims for compensation.

"Of course, the question also arises for the injured party as to whether it is economically worthwhile to assert claims for damages," Thomas Rüfer, Professor of Civil Law at the University of Trier, points out. "Because if there is nothing to be gained anyway, such a lawsuit would ultimately only send a signal." And since one has to concede to the activists that they are at least pursuing a morally justified goal with climate protection, it could also be the case that an organization refrains from filing a lawsuit for image reasons.

From Rüfer's point of view, a claim for compensation for intentional, immoral damage would also be an option. The blockade of an airport is probably mostly seen as immoral, he says, but in the case of road blockades it is discussed controversially. The legal policy spokesman for the Union faction, Günter Krings (CDU), is meanwhile encouraging airport operators and airlines to file claims for damages and to offer the passengers affected "to assign their claims to them in order to then sue for them in a bundle". In a motion last November, with a view to actions by radical climate activists in museums, his parliamentary group called on the federal government to "ensure that, in the event of damage to works of art by criminals, federal cultural institutions always also assert their civil claims for damages against the perpetrators and fully enforce their instigators and backers."

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