Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Germany’s Intelligence Agency Is Observing the Climate Strikes

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution in the German state of Bavaria is working to denounce left-wing activists in the climate movement. The Marxist Youth of Munich explains why it won’t be intimidated. 

Left Voice

September 23, 2019
Facebook Twitter Share
Headquarters of the Bavarian intelligence agency in Munich.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency calls itself the “Office for the Protection of the Constitution” (VS in German). It presents itself as a “democratic” agency. But in reality it was established by former Nazi officers. This secret police agency has been deeply entangled with the “National Socialist Underground” (NSU), a right-wing terrorist organization that murdered nine immigrants over a period of nine years. In line with its history, this agency regularly denounces left-wing activists and groups whose only “crime” is working toward a society based on solidarity. 

Every year, Germany’s intelligence agency puts out public reports. The Bavarian State Office for the Protection of the Constitution has just identified a new supposed threat to democracy. According to the spies, “left-wing extremists” are allegedly “instrumentalizing” the Fridays For Future (FFF) demonstrations for anti-capitalist aims. As proof, the State Office published this photo showing flags of the Marxist Youth of Munich and Linksjugend Solid (the youth wing of the left party Die Linke) at an FFF demonstration in Munich: 

Screenshot taken from: Verfassungsschutzinformationen Bayern, 1. Halbjahr 2019, Linksextremismus. p.6.

Particularly bizarre is that despite the intelligence agency’s statement that FFF, “as a democratically supported environmental and climate movement,” is not subject to its “observation mandate,” it does not prevent the agency from publishing its very own photograph of one of the FFF demonstrations. In other words: Of course they are observing FFF—and they would like everyone to know it as a way of intimidating people. 

We staunchly oppose this attempt at intimidation—and we will not be intimidated. This is far from the first time that the intelligence service has attempted to criminalize parts of the environmental movement. In the German city of Aachen, close to the borders with the Netherlands and Belgium, police “warned” high school students against taking part in a climate strike. They did this by resorting both to false allegations and threats—a “deliberate attempt at division,” according to the Aachen FFF group. In Vienna, the police used extreme violence, including staging a mock execution, against peaceful climate activists. And this is hardly news. Since the late 1970s, when there were mass protests against nuclear power, organs of the state have carried out extreme repression against the environmental movement. 

Neither the intelligence agency’s denunciation nor threats and violence by the police diminish the legitimacy of the climate protests. On the contrary, these measures call into question the legitimacy of state authority . We will continue to take to the streets and fight for our future, for climate justice, and of course against capitalism, which in its incessant pursuit of profit is destroying our lives.

The case of Kerem Schamberger showed how the intelligence agencies attempt to criminalize left-wing activists—and fail. The Bavarian Office for the Protection of the Constitution initially denied the Munich PhD candidate a university position  because of his membership in the German Communist Party. Public pressure and indignation at the university, however, forced the “protectors of the constitution” to cave, and he was able to take up his post. 

The “Office for the Protection of the Constitution” has proven, especially since the scandal surrounding the NSU, which side it is on: the far right. Intelligence agencies are anti-democratic institutions. They do not protect the populace—they protect right-wing terrorists. We demand their abolition! 

First published on September 12 on Klasse Gegen Klasse.

Translation: Marco Blechschmidt

Facebook Twitter Share

Left Voice

Militant journalism, revolutionary politics.


A group of protesters, in the front of whom are a line of protesters wearing red vests. In the front right corner, a white sign reds "vive la retraite," with a skeleton wearing a red hat in the middle of the sign on a black background with a text bubble on its left that reads, "oiv a bosse, c'est pas pour en crever!"

“French March”: The Right to Revolutionary Optimism

Evoking memories of '68, the students enter the fight against Macron. In our chaotic world, the future can only be built in the streets.

Eduardo Castilla

March 26, 2023

On Monday, Germany Will Experience a “Mega-Strike”

On March 27, German railway workers and public sector employees will shut down the whole country. All trains are being canceled. Airports, freeways, hospitals, and daycare centers will all be affected.

Nathaniel Flakin

March 25, 2023

France: On the Frontlines of the War Against Austerity

The French masses have raised the banner of class struggle in what is becoming the first major battle against austerity after the pandemic. Working people across the world should pay attention.

James Dennis Hoff

March 25, 2023

Despite Threats of Arrest, Refinery Workers in France Refuse to Break Strike

As energy strikes continue, France is faced with a kerosene shortage that’s creating an urgent situation at the country’s airports. With capitalist profits on the line, the government has attempted to force Normandy refinery workers back to work through an anti-strike legal weapon called requisitions. In their first victory, refinery workers forced the police to withdraw in an incredible demonstration of solidarity.

Nathan Erderof

March 24, 2023


“Lesser Evil” Biden Wants More Border Patrol Than MAGA Republicans

Over the weekend, Biden bragged about his support for even more resources than “MAGA Republicans.” to “secure the border” on Twitter. This is “lesser evilism” in action.

Molly Rosenzweig

March 28, 2023
Customers clear shelves of water Sunday at Fresh Grocer in West Philadelphia.

A Chemical Plant Just Poisoned Philadelphia’s Water: A First-Hand Account of the Crisis

A company dumped thousands of gallons of poisonous chemicals into Philadelphia’s drinking water. This is an on-the-ground account by a Philadelphia worker and socialist.

Jason Koslowski

March 27, 2023

Joe Biden Is Deporting Russians Who Escaped Putin’s Draft — Let Them All In!

The United States is deporting Russians who sought asylum following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is a heinous attack against war resisters and shows that the proxy war in Ukraine is about capitalist rivalry first and foremost.

Sam Carliner

March 26, 2023

“We Need Action Committees Everywhere”: Building the General Strike in France

Workers across France are organizing action committees to build a general strike to take down the Macron government and the Fifth Republic.

Arthur Nicola

March 24, 2023