The activists of the “Last Generations” block roads and damage works of art. For Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann, clear boundaries have now been crossed.

The outrage in the country is growing. And Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) is increasingly critical of the actions of self-proclaimed eco-activists.

“Representatives of the ‘last generation’ are breaking the law with their actions, for example when mashed potatoes were thrown at a Monet in the Potsdam Barberini Museum,” the minister told the Berlin news magazine FOCUS.

“Apparently there was considerable damage, at least to the frame of the picture. Something like that can not only have civil law consequences. It is a criminal offense to damage the property of others.”

Buschmann finds the action in which rescue workers were recently held up by road blockers in Berlin even more questionable. It is “possibly negligent bodily harm. Anyone who undertakes such sticking actions runs the risk of having to answer for the consequences. And that’s right. The freedom to demonstrate also has limits,” says Buschmann.

The Berlin police have now filed criminal charges against two of the climate activists. The obstruction of the rescue workers in Berlin has meanwhile caused a broad alliance of criticism.

A spokesman for the police union warned: “Now at the latest you should say goodbye to the fairy tale of harmless protests.”

So far, Berlin has been the hotspot for German climate activists, who have recently threatened to expand nationwide. On Wednesday they daubed the party headquarters of the traffic light partners SPD, Greens and FDP.

“The death spiral from climate tipping points is already beginning to turn,” the activists said in a statement. “And neither party has a plan to get this under control.”

Minister of Justice Buschmann clarified to FOCUS who is now in demand: “Defending against danger is the task of the police and therefore the responsibility of the federal states.” The FDP politician is also clear: “The number of incidents is growing.”

The examination of the cases by the responsible public prosecutor’s office will take some time. And the judiciary must do its work independently. At the same time, Buschmann warned: “We as the Federal Ministry of Justice are monitoring the situation closely. If we get the impression that there are loopholes in the criminal law, we would act.”

On another issue that is important to him, he wants to defend the freedom of German citizens: Buschmann is currently also taking on his cabinet colleague, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser from the SPD, when it comes to data protection. A dispute in the traffic light coalition is almost programmed.

Background: In September, the European Court of Justice overturned the German data retention of telephone data for the investigation of crimes without cause. Buschmann is now proposing the quick freeze process as an alternative.

In the event of an initial suspicion, the telecom companies should be able to be obliged in the future to “freeze” the data of individual users for a certain period of time. That’s not enough, Faeser attacks the plan. Buschmann is now tough on FOCUS.

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For prosecutors, his suggestion is “an additional investigation option. If there is a suspicion of a serious criminal offense in the future, potentially relevant data can be frozen for the time being.

Investigators can continue working without having to worry about this data disappearing.” That is “a significant improvement. At the same time, the basic rights of our citizens are only encroached on when it is really necessary.”

That’s what the coalition agreement says. It was “very clear: only occasion-related storage with the reservation of a judge.”

Buschmann told FOCUS: “My request to everyone is: we must not block each other endlessly again, otherwise the investigators would have no additional leverage. I think that’s bad.” The liberal’s goal: “In a society as data-driven as ours, we have to defend the sovereignty of individual citizens over their personal data.”

His credo: “In the rule of law, we cannot put everyone under general suspicion.”

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