Climate activists in Bavaria make police custody their strategy


um to understand why the placement of climate activists in preventive custody in Bavaria is currently a political issue, going back to 2018 helps. At that time, tens of thousands demonstrated against the Police Tasks Act (PAG), more precisely against an amendment that provided for a tightening of the legal situation in one point in particular: the maximum duration of preventive detention should be increased from 14 days with a view to Islamist threats who cannot be deported quickly be extended for a potentially indefinite period. A judge should only check every three months whether the conditions for detention are still met.

The law, which the state parliament approved in May 2018 with a CSU majority, came at a time when the ruling party was neglecting its liberal roots. This did not only apply to the PAG. In its original version, the Mental Health Assistance Act provided for an accommodation file whose personalized data could also be sent to the police to prevent criminal offenses. Above all, however, the asylum dispute boiled up – the CSU insisted to Chancellor Angela Merkel on being able to turn refugees back at the border.

Judge decides on reasonable duration

The opposition in Bavaria took advantage of this. They forged an alliance that not only included the usual suspects from the extreme left, but also those FDP. These actors managed to give the impression that Söder, Seehofer and Co. are the greater danger to society than the perpetrators. This is one of the reasons why the CSU narrowly avoided embarrassment in the 2018 election. In 2021, the PAG was also relaxed on the basis of the recommendations of a commission of experts, and preventive detention was shortened to a maximum of two months.

As the Augsburg law professor Josef Franz Lindner told the FAZ, this is still the longest period of time compared to other countries – apart from Schleswig-Holstein, where no maximum period is regulated. However, his colleague Michael Kubiciel points out that in Bavaria, too, it is up to the judge to “determine a reasonable period of time within the framework set by the maximum limit”.

Jesuit Joerg Alt looks at his hands together with activist Wolfgang Metzeler-Kick after the blockade in downtown Munich, Germany, October 28, 2022.  Both had glued themselves to the asphalt with superglue.


Jesuit Joerg Alt looks at his hands together with activist Wolfgang Metzeler-Kick after the blockade in downtown Munich, Germany, October 28, 2022. Both had glued themselves to the asphalt with superglue.
:


Image: Tobias Schmitt


In any case, the recent history of the PAG was controversial – and the climate activists are now building on that. They deliberately made blockades in front of the Munich Palace of Justice in order to relate climate protection and the rule of law. They see the politicians as the actual lawbreakers, after all, according to a ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court, a lack of climate protection is a violation of the Basic Law.



Source link