German Surveillance Agency Labels AFD Youth Org as “Extreme Right”
In late April, Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BFV), designated the AFD (Alternative for Germany) party youth wing, Junge Alternative (JA), as a “certain right-wing extremist endeavor.” John Cody of Remix News noted that BFV is Germany’s domestic intelligence service.
This new classification will effectively give the government the power to surveil JA. On top of that, this move is designed to take a swipe at JA’s parent party, AfD, which has been surging at the polls lately.
In 2019, the BFV previously classified the AFD youth organization as a “suspected case” and the agency is currently allowed to use all intelligence tools to snoop on the JA after its new classification. On top of that, confidential informants will be used, in addition to telephone tapping and covert observation to track the JA, per the German newspaper Die Welt.
The BFV justified the move on the grounds that JA’s viewpoints go against the German constitution, which is known as the Basic Law. For example, JA’s stances on mass migration have earned it stern criticism and calls for government intervention against it.
“The JA’s understanding of the people, which is clearly evident in its statements and pronouncements, contradicts the understanding of the people expressed in the Basic Law and is capable of excluding members of supposedly other ethnic groups and devaluing German citizens with a migration background as second-class Germans,” the agency declared in a press release.
The BFV is particularly concerned about the AFD’s pro-immigration restriction stances. It believes that they are prejudiced in nature and go against Germany’s constitutional principles.
On top of that, BFV asserted that the AFD has repeatedly expressed itself in an anti-democratic fashion. The agency declared that members of the JA attack “political opponents, but also the state and its representatives per se.” This allegedly demonstrates that the Young Alternative is not concerned with democratic discourse, “but with a general disparagement of the democratic system of the Federal Republic of Germany.”
According to the government’s data, the AFD is the party that has received the most attacks in Germany. Its members have been subjected to multiple arson attacks, and the majority of the political establishment — from left to the center-right — have called for completely banning the party.
The AFD is facing numerous legal challenges that could result in the party receiving a “right-wing extremist” designation from the BFV. The party believes that the BFV has taken the steps against the JA to strengthen its case against the AFD. Should the AFD receive this designation, it could lay the groundwork for the party’s complete prohibition in Germany.
Undeniably, there’s a war against the political Right across the Collective West. In Europe, where there are weaker free speech protections, this is a very stark development. It’s one of the many reasons why the Right can’t gain much momentum.
If populists — from the US to Scandinavia — want to come out victorious, they must defend free speech at all costs. It’s what will guarantee that their ideas finally get a fair shake in the marketplace of ideas.