Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) has warned the “last generation” climate stickers of high civil penalties in view of their airport blockades.

“Anyone who blocks airports must know that they sometimes cause considerable economic damage,” Buschmann told the editorial network Germany (RND). “There are very large amounts of money coming together.”

Buschmann warned the activists: “If the injured party claims the damage against the polluters, then they may have to pay for this damage for the rest of their lives. Therefore, everyone should refrain from gaining unauthorized access to airfields. Because that not only has a criminal, but also a civil law dimension.”

The FDP politician went on to say that the “last generation” activists are people who are willing to commit crimes in order to achieve a political goal. “That puts them on the sidelines. The law applies to everyone.” Once the public begins to accept such actions, crimes as a means of political debate could set a precedent. “Then lateral thinkers, right-wing extremists and anyone else will invoke so-called civil disobedience. We must not shift our standards here.”

However, Buschmann rejects the preventive detention practiced in Bavaria. “The Bavarian police law allows preventive detention not only for counter-terrorism,” he told the RND. “Nevertheless, I believe that the practice in Bavaria overshoots the mark a bit. Because here someone who only wants to do something if possible has to endure deprivation of liberty with preventive custody, while someone who is already certain that he has done something may only be sanctioned with a fine. I see an imbalance in that.”