Say NO to the new police law for Saxony! #NoPolG
The Saxonian state government of the CDU and SPD coalition seeks to expand possibilities for government and police intervention through their draft for a new police law. This law, which may be seen as coming from a direct line of former CDU-led authoritarian-style governments, will greatly diminish democratic rights and liberties. We will take a stand against these developments! We reject the drafts for a new police enforcement and police agency law and demand of parliament not to pass these laws under any circumstances!
We criticize the following aspects of the laws:
1 Expansion of video surveillance including facial recognition
The law will allow the expansion and blanket coverage of public spaces with video surveillance technologies. In addition to that, the installation of automatic license plate scanners in a 30 km radius to the Polish and Czech borders will be allowed. Through this measure, entire cities such as Zittau and Bautzen may be put under full surveillance, which will include the possibility of creating detailed movement profiles of subjects. Videography of border areas will include creating video material of any citizens as well as drivers and passengers.
2 Measures against so-called dangerous subjects (“Gefährder”) as well as their contacts
All persons who police consider may possibly commit a felony or terrorist act at some point in the future will be at risk of additional measures through the new police law. Police will be able to give out orders pertaining the place of residence and restrict or prohibit contact to certain other persons. Long-lasting surveillance measures including surveillance of telecommunication data will be possible as well. Persons considered “suspicious” may be forced to wear electronic ankle bracelets as a preventive measure. Anybody coming in contact with “suspicious” or “dangerous subjects” may become subject to surveillance measures themselves. The new law will allow police to put apartments of acquaintances, friends, and family members of any “suspicious” person under surveillance as well. As the last years have shown, Saxonian police are unfortunately quite happy to quickly and indiscriminately use measures similar to the ones mentioned above. Several preliminary investigations against democratic activists as well as soccer fans that had included a huge surveillance effort of the defendants and their personal contacts had to be cancelled when it became clear that allegations of creating a criminal organization could not be verified or proven in any way. In the past, even the requirement of a judicial decree could not stop such events from happening.
3 Re-definition of concepts of “danger”
Police are responsible for averting all dangers. What police are permitted to do depends on the kinds of dangers they may be dealing with, such as abstract or concrete risks or dangers. During the last years, concepts of what is considered a risk or a danger have been expanded, allowing for police to apply a wider range of interpretations of these concepts, usually leading to earlier interventions and police measures. Usually there is no set definition of what a “danger” actually means. This also applies to “abstract dangers”, allowing police to rate a situation as fitting a “typical danger-set”. Aligning with the expansion of who or what a “dangerous subject” may be, police would be able to take action long before a concrete danger may be predicted. Criteria for individual actions that may be considered “dangerous” by police have not been made public so that anybody might become a target of police actions.
4 Preventive surveillance of telecommunications
During preliminary proceedings of felonies or similar crimes, it is already possible currently for police to listen to and record communications such as phone calls, texts, etc. With the new police laws, police will be permitted to listen to and read communications if they think a crime may be committed in the future – concrete or reasonable suspicion will no longer be necessary. This applies to data such as name and birth-date, as well as connection data and phone records.
5 Armament and militarization of police
Special police squads such as SEK (“Spezialeinsatzkommando”) will be permitted to use hand grenades and machine guns. As the armored police vehicle Survivor R has already been set with a machine gun mount, the growing militarization of police has become apparent. Furthermore, special police squads such as SEK have repeatedly been used to monitor public demonstrations. This can no longer be considered reasonable as it blurs the lines between police and military and prevents civil protests as the public will be intimidated by the way police present themselves. This could be seen during the protests in Wurzen of September 2017. Riot police have been part of the growing militarization as well. The new “police agency”, as the Departments for Public Order are now called, have already received further permissions: in addition to being permitted to verify a person’s identity, they are now permitted to use force and will be permitted to use clubs and tear gas or pepper spray.
6 Weakening of secret carriers’ protections
People who are protected according to laws of professional secrecy such as medical doctors, psychologists, or journalists, will have less rights with the new police laws. With the new laws, people who may claim professional secrecy may be targets of surveillance without being informed long before any crimes have been committed. In the past, police in Saxony has been know for ignoring the rights of professional secrecy.
Stop the way towards an authoritarian regime – claim democracy and freedom for Saxony!
The new police laws will cut back on our basic rights and may target all of us. You may just have to be at the wrong place at the wrong time to become a target. However, some groups will be targeted first and hardest: groups that have already been targeted by police action. The expansion of dragnet controls combined with AI video surveillance and preventive measures against certain groups will make racial profiling easier. Homeless people, people with mental illnesses, political activist, drug addicts, workers on strike, soccer fans, and many other groups will be targeted even more. New judicial terms that are not clearly defined and may be interpreted freely by police add to this risk.
2017 saw the lowest crime rates for Germany of the last 25 years. Nevertheless, new police laws have been passed very quickly in several German states, moving the country more and more towards a surveillance state. State governments claim vague fears of terrorism or general threats of crime to expand all laws that will permit blanket surveillance. Other important issues such as shortage of teachers and nurses, affordable rent in the cities, the lack of infrastructure in rural areas, as well as growing disparities in society have remained unsolved for years. However, when it comes to racist attacks and Nazi riots, police and the Department of the Interior of Saxony have consistently failed to act. Organizations of the public sphere have been left alone to deal with the issues while the state government cozies up to right-wing voters using law and order rhetorics.
Through the new police laws, the Saxonian state government, similar to other state governments and the CSU-led Federal Department of the Interior, seek to make their mark and demonstrate their capability to act. This paves the way for an authoritarian police- and surveillance state! People who are subjects of constant surveillance are no longer free and change the way they act.
We fight for freedom without surveillance. We need a different style of politics in Saxony as well as democratic measures to control police! We want a fair society and socially minded answers for the issues we are facing instead of an authoritarian security apparatus!
Polizeigesetz stoppen! (Stop the police law!) as an alliance calls for all civil organizations and persons in Saxony to sign the call to action and support our protest. The following organizations are part of the alliance „Polizeigesetz stoppen!“:
Aktionsnetzwerk Leipzig nimmt Platz
AKuBiZ e. V.
Antifaschistischer Aufbau Zwickau
Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Arbeitnehmerfragen Leipzig
Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Arbeitnehmerfragen Sachsen
Autodidaktische Initiative e. V.
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen Chemnitz
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen Leipzig
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen Sachsen
Bündnis Privatsphäre Leipzig
Bündnis Sachsens Demokratie
Die Linke. Erzgebirge
Die Linke Leipzig
Die Linke. Sachsen
Die Linke.SDS Leipzig
Erich-Zeigner-Haus e. V.
Grüne Jugend Basisgruppe Leipzig
Grüne Jugend Sachsen
Initiative für Versammlungsfreiheit
Internationalistisches Bündnis Leipzig
Kritische Jurist*innen Leipzig
Linksjugend [’solid] Erzgebirge
Linksjugend [’solid] Sachsen
linXXnet e. V.
Macht Los e.V.
Prisma – Interventionistische Linke
Republikanischer Anwältinnen- und Anwälteverein e.V. (RAV)
Rote Hilfe – Ortsgruppe Leipzig
say it loud e. V.
Selbstorganisierte Basisgewerkschaft (SelBa)
Solidarische Jugend [Le]
Stadtbezirksverband DIE LINKE. Leipzig-Süd
other 70 signing organizations
Freifunk Dresden e. V.
Internationalistisches Zentrum Dresden
Undogmatische Radikale Antifa Dresden
Klub Solitaer e. V.
Die Urbane-eine Hip Hop Partei Landesverband Sachsen
GG/BO Soligruppe Leipzig
Sozialistische Jugend - Die Falken, Landesverband Sachsen
Grüne Jugend Basisgruppe Chemnitz
Linksjugend [’solid] Meißen
Bündnis Polizeigesetz stoppen Oberlausitz
Black Wok – KüfA Kollektiv Dresden
Ende Gelände Dresden
BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN in Dresden
Ende Gelände Leipzig
Kardamom Kollektic e.V. / Café HotSpot
Wächterhaus Am Postplatz 6 e.V.
zickzack-kollektiv / kolle-mate
BO Wilder Osten
RM16 Wohn-und Kulturprojekt
linksjugend ['solid] Sachsen
Kontaktcafé für Geflüchtete
Dresden / Chemnitz
Chaos Computer Club Dresden
Henriette e.V. , Wohnprojekt
Bündnis Nazifrei! Dresden stellt sich quer, Gruppe von Einzelpersonen
Student_innenRat der Universität Leipzig
Protest LEJ - Aktionsnetzwerk gegen Abschiebungen
Die Linke.SDS Chemnitz
Augen auf e.V. Oberlausitz
Recht-Auf-Stadt Gruppe Löbtau „Unsere Straße - Unsere Stadt“
Wernerstraße 21 01159 Dresden
Spektrum360 - Libertäre Linke Erzgebirge
PlatzDa! - Nachbarschaftstreff Dresden-Löbtau
Bündnis gegen Rassismus
Hole of Fame e. V.
Infoladen "Tierra y libertad" Plauen
Roter Stern Leipzig '99 e.V.
RAA Sachsen e.V.
Kulturbüro Sachsen e.V.
Nav-Dem e V.
Demokratisches Gesellschaftszentrum der KurdInnen in Deutschland e. V.
Entwicklungspolitisches Netzwerk Sachsen e. V.
Freak Out Connection (FOC)
BEL - Beratungszentrum Ess-Störungen Leipzig
objekt klein a
further 1996 signing persons
continue → to the complete list of signatures