Left-wing extremists abused “socially broadly-accepted or widely-discussed issues in order to come into contact with establishment initiatives to establish their anti-constitutional positions,” he told German daily Die Welt.
Violence-oriented groups such as the Interventionist Left (IL) are therefore focusing on issues such as environmental protection and the fight against high rents. For example, they could “invade democratic society via popular topics, like a creeping poison,” according to Voss.
That is a challenge to democracy that should not be underestimated, since more than 70 percent of left-wing extremists in the Hanseatic city are considered to be violence-oriented. The issue of the rescue of migrants is exploited by left-wing extremists. There have also been attempts to subvert the “Fridays for the Future” movement.
Already in April, the Hamburg Office for the Protection of the Constitution – German domestic intelligence – accused the left-wing extremist scene that it was not concerned about protecting the climate, but rather about spreading its own messages. At the time, the constitutionalists explicitly mentioned the IL, its spokeswoman Emily Laquer and the alliance Ende Gelände.
In March, Laquer launched the student strike in Hamburg which Greta Thunberg had been invited to. There she demanded the expropriation of the energy supplier Vattenfall.
The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, confirmed that groups like the IL were trying to gain a foothold in the “Fridays for the Future” movement. Already in October 2018, the intel authority warned: “Since the end of 2014, the topic of ‘climate protection’ has increasingly come into the focus of left-wing extremists due to the political debate over a planned energy transition and the planned decommissioning of coal power plants.”
And further: “Especially young people are targeted on popular themes such as ‘climate protection’ as well as the protests against the ‘profit maximization of large corporations’, both politicized and long-term issues of the left-wing extremist scene.”
The IL, which is one of the most influential left-wing alliances in Germany and is known for its violence and militancy, tried for years, through “targeted tactical-strategic alliance work with non-extremists” to advance left-extremist agitation beyond their own scene.
It acts as “a link both within the left-wing extremist spectrum and between extremists and non-extremists”, the Federal Office warned and spoke of a dangerous “hinge function”.
Laquer posted photos of themselves at the Hamburg school strike on Twitter and demanded: “expropriate Vattenfall”. The IL official sees her movement as the spearhead of the current climate protests. “Who would have thought, when we brought the first climate camp to Germany in 2008, that eleven years later, a new generation of activists enforced the coal exit,” she cheered on social media.
The IL already wrote on their homepage in 2016: “With the Ende Gelände we have created an incredibly big thing.”
The primary goal for the extremists is to use day-to-day political issues with the help of coalitions for action “in order to ensure that it can be integrated into the democratic spectrum”.
The IL played a leading role in the protests and riots in the Hambach Forest. Acording to Federal Ministry of the Interior, it counts among the most influential left-wing alliances in Germany. In 2017, it was largely responsible for the serious riots during the G20 summit in Hamburg.