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In the latest victory against right-wing extremism, police officers pull a 16 year-old girl out of chemistry class and advise her to stop posting Smurf-themed AfD-friendly content to TikTok

In the latest victory against right-wing extremism, police officers pull a 16 year-old girl out of chemistry class and advise her to stop posting Smurf-themed AfD-friendly content to TikTok

I wrote in February about the plans of Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) to combat “right-wing extremism,” by re-purposing the regulatory state to restrict the speech, travel and economic activity of people with inconvenient opinions. She wants to use state resources to intimidate “those who mock the state,” and she has proposed legal innovations to interfere with the bank accounts and finances not only of those who break the law, but also of those who represent “a potential threat” and who exercise undue “social influence.” At the same press conference, Thomas Haldenwang, head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, announced his intention to police the “thought and speech patterns” of the German people, lest uncomfortable ideas and words “become part of our language.” Separately, Green Family Minister Lisa Paus addressed the problem of “hate on the internet” that inconveniently “falls below the threshold of criminal liability.” Something must be done about those “enemies of democracy” who “know exactly what is protected by freedom of expression” and thereby manage to speak without breaking the law.

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These statements proved so disturbing that they drew a highly unusual and critical response from state media broadcaster ZDF. Yesterday, even the New York Times chimed in with misgivings about the disturbing political turn Germany has taken. Somewhere in the midst of the energy crisis, the plummeting approval ratings of the Scholz government, the false Correctiv media scandal and the ensuing regime-sponsored demonstrations “against the right,” wide sectors of the German political establishment and their supporters have become so radicalised and deranged, as to inspire nervousness even among allies.

A story from 27 February illustrates how bad things have gotten. It involves a 16 year-old girl at the Richard-Wossidlo Gymnasium in Ribnitz-Damgarten (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern). She posted an AfD-friendly video featuring blue Smurfs to TikTok, in which she said that Germany was not just a place, but also her home. School officials got wind of the blasphemy and the principle, Jan-Dirk Zimmermann, called the police; subsequently, no less than three officers were dispatched to neutralise this unusual threat to the German democratic order. After first establishing that the girl’s social media posts were totally legal and broke no laws, they took her from her chemistry class and escorted her to a staff room, where they told her to refrain from making such posts in the future, “for her own protection.”

The principle, Zimmermann, turns out to have connections to the SPD – the party of our increasingly unhinged authoritarian Interior Minister Nancy Faeser. As Zimmermann denounced his student, his school was hosting an exhibit on “Strengthening Democracy,” sponsored by the SPD-affiliated Friedrich Ebert Foundation. At the opening of the exhibit, just four days before the police intervention, various local politicians, the town mayor and a Friedrich Ebert representative “emphasised that an increasingly dominant right-wing extremism is … making the culture of debate more difficult … and is … endangering our basic democratic order.”

Today, the Stralsund police have issued a defensive press release, in which they justify their decision “to conduct a preventative educational talk” because “there is sometimes a fine line between lawful and unlawful conduct.” As we saw above, it’s those expressions which “fall below the threshold of criminal liability” that are the real problem. Today, Interior Minister of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Christian Pegel (SPD), also defended the intervention, saying he was “surprised” at the uproar “because there was no arrest and no handcuffs.” He pleaded that the police had only acted “to protect both the pupils and … the school,” and to prevent the girl in question from committing a crime.

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