German Union Asks Members to Spy On Populist AfD Party Supporters
The German United Services Trade Union (Ver.di) has asked members of the union to spy on and gather information about other members who may support the anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) or have “right wing” views.
The information comes from a document leaked from the trade union entitled: “Aid for dealing with legal populations in enterprises and administration”. The document shows a checklist of different methods union members can employ to observe, isolate, and report potential AfD sympathisers to the union.
The members are told to look for warning signs like a colleague talking about provoking left wing supporters or voicing homophobic views in the workplace. They are also told to look out and see if fellow union members have been reading right wing publications like newspaper Junge Freiheit, Compact magazine, or the website Politically Incorrect.
Support for the hipster-right Identitarian youth movement, who stage elaborate protests against mass immigration and Islamisation, is also to be observed and reported on. The youth movement’s most famous staged event in Germany was a protest against open borders on the Brandenburg gate in Berlin last year.
The union also advises their members to follow their colleagues’ social media accounts, like Twitter, Facebook, and even the Whatsapp messaging service for signs of right wing sympathies.
Ver.di offers multiple approaches for dealing with right wing sympathisers including contacting their staff council, as isolating them from the union, and stopping official communication between the member and the union.
The most troubling recommendation is to “out” any AfD sympathisers to those within the company and the public and denounce them. Ver.di is clear to be careful, though, to not make the populists “martyrs”.
AfD member of the European Parliament Beatrix von Storch reacted with anger to the leaked document on Twitter calling the union “an official criminal organisation. A threat to our democracy. Enemies of the Constitution.”
The document also mentions using information gathered by the “antifascist scene” who go by “Antifa”, for short. Antifa has previously released the names and addresses of members of the AfD. Some blame them and other far left extremists for physical attacks on AfD members including politicians.
Last year, the AfD said they had recorded hundreds of attacks on their members and supporters. Frauke Petry, one of the leaders of the party, had her car torched in a suspect arson by extremists in 2016.