Green citizen in blue uniform – politics

Green citizen in blue uniform – politics

He has to go again, for the second time already. Four years ago it was “Hambi”, the large-scale police operation in the Hambach Forest. And now Lützerath – the doomed hamlet at the edge of the opencast mine, where hundreds of climate activists want to defiantly prove from next week: “Lützi is alive!”

You can see it from the police chief: he doesn’t feel any anticipation for what is to come for him and for thousands of police officers. “I wish this eviction could have been avoided,” murmurs Dirk Weinspach tight-lipped. The 63-year-old man folds his slender hands on the Formica table and stares blankly through the window at the gray sky over Aachen. Then he adds: “But, as far as I know, it’s unfortunately inevitable.”

Service is service, he sees that soberly. As chief of police in Aachen, says Weinspach, he is “a specialist officer, not a politician.” And the supreme law enforcement officer for the Rhenish lignite mining area. The fact that he privately has a green party book shouldn’t play a role.

He recently explained this to the two climate-loving visitors who wanted to call on him to engage in civil disobedience in an open letter signed by 32,000 people. And for refusing to evict. The police chief calls such ideas “abstruse.” Where is that supposed to lead, “if every police officer decides according to their own taste whether to enforce laws and regulations”? Weinspach gave the answer himself, loudly and indignantly: “That would be the beginning of complete arbitrary rule!”

Weinspach has made his way from activist to police officer

Ironically, this Weinspach, a graying green man in a blue uniform, has to evacuate Lützerath. A citizen in uniform. One who was often offended himself and liked to protest: As student representative, he denounced the fact that some teachers at his Catholic high school in Bonn-Beuel were still practicing caning 45 years ago. Shortly before graduating from high school, Weinspach was even banned from the house because he had published in the school newspaper how much the director’s doctoral thesis was “interspersed with Nazi ideological elements and war-glorifying ideas”. One consequence of this experience is that he later studied law, the science of domination: “I wanted to be able to defend myself, with my own knowledge and skills.”

Weinspach has made his way from activist to policeman. At the beginning of the 1980s, that meant: conscientious objectors, peace demonstrators, opponents of NATO rearmament. And “Nuclear power? No thanks”. Weinspach was often there: “But I was never ahead.” When asked about violence as a means of protest, he shook his head violently: “Definitely no!”

Weinspach, the policeman, sees himself as a constitutional patriot: “I defend the constitution,” he says with a smile, “not always all political conditions.” Rule of law, democracy, human dignity – “no one should endanger that, for no ideology or political vision”. He joined the Greens in Berlin while studying political science rather aimlessly. “I’m a person who is looking for structure,” says Weinspach. Jura gave him support.

At that time, the Greens demanded finally putting some of their own at the head of a police headquarters

34 years ago, the qualified lawyer then chose law and order as his profession. Also because the father of three seemed more family-friendly than a career in a law firm. Weinspach started at the Cologne district government, moved to the Düsseldorf Ministry of the Interior, and later to the NRW Office for the Protection of the Constitution (VS). Weinspach has been head of Germany’s westernmost police authority since 2014.

Would he have gotten this job without a party membership? “Phew, that’s a difficult question,” Weinspach replies, “for years I was more of a file corpse.” But some Green state politicians did know him: at the time, after the right-wing terrorist NSU was busted in 2011, Weinspach was an expert on all forms of right-wing extremism in the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. And the Greens demanded that their then-red coalition partner SPD finally put some of their own at the head of a police headquarters.

Does a Green make the police different? Weinspach hastily dismisses: “No, mostly no.” But then he adds how he sometimes tries to “set different accents”. Weinspach points to a gray display board in the corner, like those found in many police authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia: “Citizen-oriented – professional – rule of law” is written there. He takes this triad seriously, also and especially with a view to Lützerath: “These are not empty terms,” ​​lectures the head of the agency, “we want to be a transparent police force, we rely on de-escalation and communication.” Then follows a sentence that sounds like a phrase from a leadership educational film: “The word is our first choice resource.” A spokesman for Weinspach would later swear stone and bone that this sentence was “original from the boss”.

So clean up better? Many squatters in Lützerath and some skeptics in the Ministry of the Interior in Düsseldorf consider what Weinspach is aiming for to be impossible: “a peaceful evacuation” without injuries, “as safe and harmless as possible”. The police, he promises, will repeatedly offer the activists “retreat even without identity verification” during the week-long operation – “if no criminal offenses have been committed.”

Weinspach wanted to try it once before: in 2018, in the Hambach Forest. At that time, the chief of police even took part in “walks in the woods” of lignite opponents in the “Hambi”. But in the end he remained a lonely, almost powerless man. Hateful militants dug a grave for “the green bull” with a cross next to it: “Rest in Peace Dirk”. Meanwhile, according to a Green insider, the CDU-led Ministry of the Interior “remotely controlled the entire operation with a very long screwdriver from Düsseldorf”. The black and yellow government at the time didn’t trust the green police chief – and constructed a lack of fire protection in tree houses as an excuse to clear the forest. And the Aachen newspaper quoted Weinspach with the brief sentence: “This is not my mission.”

“A pointless eviction like in Hambach – we must not repeat that”

Weinspach does not want to comment on the quote much longer today. Just so much: “For me, 2018 was a very problematic experience,” he puts it hesitantly, “my room for maneuver was very limited.” Weinspach does not want to replay old battles – but avoid a new one. And above all, prevent a fiasco like the one in autumn 2018: a few days after the largest police operation in NRW history, the Münster Higher Administrative Court banned the clearing of the forest. The “Hambi” was saved.

Now, four years and three months later, Weinspach says: “A pointless evacuation as in Hambach – we must not repeat that.” The mission should start in the middle of next week, after two months of preparation. Nobody knows how it will turn out. Not the Aachen police chief. And neither does the green citizen, whose party is now co-governing in Berlin and Düsseldorf. And their ministers are now demanding Lützerath’s eviction.

Read Original Source Here…

Scroll to Top