Police officers hand over open letter to Olaf Scholz

– Tension between
Legality and Legitimacy –

Last Generation supporters read out the signatories' statements (c) Last Generation

Berlin, June 20.9.2023, 14, 25:XNUMX a.m – Supporters of the last generation handed over fifty letters of the same content to Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the Federal Chancellery today. The letters were signed by 50 people in the police profession. 

In it they ask the Federal Chancellor to take seriously the criticism of social movements and also the police officers' concerns about the impending climate collapse “to adequately address the climate catastrophe in every respect”. People with a professional background in the police from all state and federal police departments signed. 

 They write in theirs Letter to Chancellor Scholz:
“We notice that the call for climate protection from all areas of society is becoming louder and louder. Children and young people are skipping school on Fridays for the climate, people are choosing not to have children, experienced adults are quitting their jobs, young people are abandoning their education to block roads, dig up golf courses and flag private jets. Protests for climate protection are increasing.”

You explain:
“The protest is already taking its toll on us police officers. Immense financial and human resources are required. Because of our job, as police officers we will always be the first to be exposed to growing social tensions in the future. These will continue to rise as the dynamism and consequences of the climate catastrophe increase - this worries us very much. For police officers, this means an increasing deterioration in working conditions and a strain on shoulders and souls.” [1]

Before the letter was handed over, some of the signatories explained in front of the Chancellery why they signed the letter and reported on their everyday lives. Some of the statements were read out by other people because the authors feared professional difficulties if they declared themselves publicly.

Here is an excerpt from one of these texts: 
“The police uniform I wear today does not mask the worries and fears that plague me when I think about the legacy we leave behind for future generations. It eats away at me as a father and as a person. 

We are preparing for a future that already seems alarmingly real. For me, the clearance of the Hambach Forest, measures against peaceful protesters and pushbacks at intra-European borders are examples of the instrumentalization of the police in connection with the political failures in climate and environmental protection. Events like these shake me deeply and leave me in a dilemma. 

I feel obliged to protect every single person and the livelihoods of future generations, but the aim of police operations on behalf of large corporations and lobbies is more and more contradictory to the values ​​of our free, democratic basic order. At the same time, the necessary and urgent commitment to climate and environmental protection is being blocked; the government is breaking the constitution, and those who stand up for our constitution are criminalized and denounced - and police officers are used as stooges. This is a worrying development.”

Chiara Malt, federal police officer and coordinator of the police network of the last generation, explains: “Both supporters of the last generation and police officers are fundamentally justice-sensitive people who are committed to preserving and further developing our democracy. Nevertheless, a great area of ​​tension arises between the police on the side of legality and climate activism on the side of legitimacy. The federal government bears responsibility. If she doesn’t act, the gap between law and justice will continue to grow.”

[1] You can find the complete letter in the appendix and at the following link: letztegeneration.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/2022_07_13_Brief-Olaf-Scholz.pdf

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