German police deliver swift response to climate protesters
Climate activists in the UK have staged a number of demonstrations in recent months with authorities facing challenges in managing such protests. While Downing Street is looking to push through new anti-protest legislation, Germany has taken a more direct approach.
German police have conducted raids in the homes of members of the German climate protest group Letzte Generation (Last Generation), as part of a probe into campaigners suspected of forming or backing a criminal group because of their controversial activities.
Some 170 police officers took part in the raids on Wednesday, May 24, in 15 properties across seven German states.
No arrests have been reported but possessions belonging to members were seized. Seven individuals are being investigated for having collected €1.4million (£1.22million) in fundraising mainly to finance “further criminal acts”.
Police and prosecutors said that the raids aimed to establish the group’s membership structure and financing. Munich’s general public prosecutor’s office said that the searches took place at the request of the Bavarian state criminal police office.
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The police action was well received by the German Conservative Party and some politicians from the two ruling parties, the FDP and centre-left SPD.
German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said: “Today’s measures show that the rule of law does not allow itself to be danced around…The police and judiciary do not accept criminal acts, but act — as is their duty.
“Legitimate protest always ends where crimes are committed and other people’s rights are violated. When this red line is crossed, then the police must act.”
However, some Green party politicians claimed that while they disagreed with the behaviour of activists they thought that the police raids may have been too heavy-handed.
So what do YOU think? Should UK police follow Germany’s lead when dealing with climate activists? Vote in our poll and join the debate in the comment section below.
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