High prices for energy and food: The Russian war against Ukraine also has consequences for the Germans. Experts fear a wave of radical protests and warn of a "winter of rage". But the Office for the Protection of the Constitution is now giving the all-clear.
According to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the "hot autumn" of protests expected by some politicians has proved to be a phenomenon that is limited in terms of location, numbers and time. "I didn't see the bad scenarios of a 'hot autumn' or 'angry winter', as many had outlined, coming," said the President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang.
In fact, "the current protests are more of a gentle breeze." He added: "It blows mainly in Saxony and Thuringia"; but the number of participants is also declining in these two federal states.
It should also be noted that the bourgeois milieu, which was still strongly represented in the Corona protests, is withdrawing more and more. "There is currently a mixture of right-wing extremists, such as representatives of the New Right, conspiracy theorists, 'Reich citizens' and 'self-administrators', delegitimizers, but also parts of the state association of the AfD in Thuringia, which is classified as proven extremist, or right-wing extremist parties such as the Free Saxony." There is hardly any demarcation between the individual groups. In 2021, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution defined a new phenomenon area "delegitimization of the state relevant to the protection of the constitution".
From the point of view of the President for the Protection of the Constitution, the climate protests have so far given no reason for the Office for the Protection of the Constitution to observe them. Referring to the actions of the "Last Generation", Haldenwang said that they were "a numerically small group that is now resorting to more drastic methods of protest". The group is now also committing serious crimes, such as blockades at airports. These would have to be pursued and punished by the police, public prosecutors and courts.
However, climate protection is a legitimate concern, emphasized Haldenwang. He said: "Not only do we, but also the state offices for the protection of the constitution, currently see no sufficiently weighty actual indications of anti-constitutional efforts in the 'last generation'." The protection of the constitution only comes into play when extremists radicalize or influence the protests. As far as the "last generation" is concerned, he sees a certain danger "in the fact that there are left-wing extremist groups trying to undermine this movement".