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2000 criminal proceedings in Berlin against climate glue

Berlin's chief of police, Barbara Slowik, complained that the protests of the "last generation" caused her officers to have an "extreme additional workload".

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2000 criminal proceedings in Berlin against climate glue

Berlin's chief of police, Barbara Slowik, complained that the protests of the "last generation" caused her officers to have an "extreme additional workload". She told WELT AM SONNTAG: "The Berlin police are working on the streets and in the State Criminal Police Office with all the means available to us under the rule of law to free our city from the stranglehold of these protests," said Slowik.

Since the wave of protests began at the beginning of the year, the police have already identified 576 cases and handed them over to the public prosecutor. In total, almost 2,000 criminal proceedings were initiated in the context of the climate protests in Berlin. In addition, 224 penal orders have already been issued to climate activists. Work is currently underway to issue fee notices to the climate activists for the operations they have carried out. There are currently 457 ongoing procedures and 59 completed ones. According to the police, the hard core of the climate protesters in Berlin consists of 400 people.

Since the beginning of the year, Berlin police officers have worked more than 130,000 hours in connection with the climate protests. Slowik said this extra workload meant the police had to defer or reduce other duties. This applies in particular to traffic surveillance, the fight against clan crime and the fight against crime in the local police departments. Due to the increased workload, fewer police officers could be present in local transport. The implementation of search warrants and arrest warrants is also suffering.

In view of the increased strain, Slowik also called for an expansion of the possibility of detaining activists. "It doesn't have to be the same as in Bavaria, but Berlin had also planned four days of detention until 2021 to avert danger. That would help us.” The possibility of detention for up to seven days would help “even more,” Slowik said.

The Berlin police law currently allows detention at most until the end of the day after the arrest. In Bavaria, on the other hand, so-called preventive custody can be ordered for up to one month, with an extension to a total of two months being possible.

In the current wave of protests, which started in early October, the police brought activists before a judge 37 times. "In seven cases, custody was decided, in the other cases rejected," said Slowik.

At the same time, Berlin's police chief criticized the fact that politicians like the district mayor of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Clara Herrmann (Greens), showed solidarity with suspected criminals. Herrmann visited a "Last Generation" roadblock in June this year and signaled support. Slowik takes a very critical view of this. "With many emergency services, we enforce the rules that society has given itself, our laws. Against this background, I find it difficult to show solidarity with criminals.” In a democracy, there are other ways of expressing protest.

A judgment by a Berlin magistrate was also announced this week, according to which a street blocker from the "last generation" was not punished. The judge declined to impose a fine. Slowik currently sees this as "a single judicial legal opinion" that was made within the framework of judicial independence. “I very much hope that other judges will give different verdicts. If such actions remained generally unpunished, that would not be compatible with my understanding of the rule of law and democracy," said Slowik.

She also expects an even clearer consensus from society that these actions should be viewed as criminal offenses and rejected. And: “I also expect this consensus from the judiciary. Democratic resistance must look different.”

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