The President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, does not see the Last Generation climate activist group as a case for observation by his agency. "In any case, I currently do not see that this group is directed against the free democratic basic order, and in this respect it is not an object of observation for the protection of the constitution," said Haldenwang at a discussion event organized by SWR and the Hambacher Schloss Foundation.
The activists were committing crimes, he said, citing road blockades and attacks on artworks. "But committing crimes doesn't make this group extremist now."
"Climate RAF"? "I call that nonsense"
Haldenwang criticized statements by CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt, who had demanded in connection with actions by the last generation that the emergence of a "climate RAF" must be prevented. "When I hear this comment from Mr. Dobrindt, I can only say, from my professional perspective: I call it nonsense," said Haldenwang at Hambach Castle in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse. Dobrindt used the expression to refer to the Red Army Faction (RAF), which for decades was the epitome of terror and murder in the Federal Republic.
With regard to the actions of the last generation, Haldenwang said that criminal offenses must be punished and that is what the courts are there for. "It doesn't work that way, you can't impose your will on the general public with such instruments. That's not the essence of democracy either, that one side imposes something on the other side, but you have to discuss it in discourse with one another."
However, he objected that extremism is when the state, society, the free democratic basic order is called into question - "and that's exactly what people don't actually do". He pointed out that the group's climate activists are calling for government action. "So there's really no other way to express how much you actually respect this system when you're asking the officials to act."