300 days in prison – mother should go to prison because of a technicality

January 10.01.2023, XNUMX - Sonja Manderbach in front of the Tiergarten district court (c) Last generation
January 10.01.2023, XNUMX - Sonja Manderbach in front of the Tiergarten district court (c) Last generation

When Sonja Manderbach appeared at the Tiergarten district court on Tuesday, she was prepared for a main hearing. The church musician and mother of a 15-year-old daughter has taken part in several protests and blockades that brought traffic to a standstill. There is an accusation of coercion - an offense that, according to the police union, is also possible depending on the situation can be assessed as a minor crime

Out of nowhere, the presiding judge then announces: Sonja's objection will be rejected due to a formal error. The signature on the objection was not correct. The digital signatures do not fully comply with the regulations - it is better to choose the classic postal route. The judge apologizes that she “missed it” last time. 

Due to this formal error, the six penalty orders are now legally valid. As a result, Sonja has to pay 300 daily rates of 40 euros each - 12.000 euros or 300 days of substitute imprisonment in prison. 

Sonja Manderbach remains clear in court: “I won’t pay a fine. Either they acquit me or I go to prison. The headwind from the courts only strengthens me. It will not go unnoticed by society that I and others of the last generation will be punished disproportionately harshly because we want to save our fellow human beings from the deadly consequences of unchecked climate catastrophe.”

Sonja Manderbach | Photo: (c) Stefan Müller
Sonja Manderbach
Photo: (c) Stefan Müller

The legal situation is far from clear. Similar allegations led to an acquittal in a trial in Freiburg. In three cases in Berlin, several judges refused to issue punishment orders to supporters of the last generation - in their detailed reasons they see such protests and Road blockades are “not reprehensible” in view of the “objectively urgent situation” in view of the climate catastrophe. Demonstrations are “annoying, but essential for the democratic constitutional state”.

From her Daughter gets Sonja Manderbach Support and support for their protest. Based on her favorite film, she encourages her mother: “It is as Dumbledore says: there are dark, difficult times ahead. Soon we will all have to choose between the right path and the easy path. You have chosen the right one. That is not always easy. But it’s right that you do this.”

This morning, supporters of the last generation are also peacefully blocking car traffic in Berlin and risking fines and prison sentences for doing so. They do this in the knowledge that it is right to resist continuing the climate catastrophe and thus knowingly destroying our livelihoods.

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