While British cops do nothing, German police raid protester properties
THAT’S how to tackle the eco mob! While British cops arrest frustrated motorists, German police raid properties nationwide in response to public fury over protesters glueing themselves to roads
- Today’s raids were carried out following public outcry and complaints to police
- The activists are known for glueing themselves to roads and blocking traffic
German authorities on Wednesday provided a stark contrast to British policing after they carried out raids on properties in connection with a group of climate activists known for glueing themselves to roads and blocking rush-hour traffic.
Police deployed 170 officers across seven of Germany’s federal states to search 15 properties as part of an investigation into protests by climate activist group the Letzte Generation (Last Generation).
The raids were carried out following public outcry and complaints received by police following the havoc created by the protesters, the Munich public prosecutor’s office said.
Prosecutors said they are investigating seven of the climate activist suspects – aged between 22 and 38 – on suspicion of forming or supporting a criminal organisation, police said in a statement.
The German force’s toughened stance against the activists comes as British police earlier refused to clear Just Stop Oil eco-zealots from the road where they blocked a busy highway.
Police officers leave with materials gathered during the search of a building in Berlin’s Kreuzberg distrct in connection with The Letzte Generation earlier today
Police officers carry a cardboard box to a vehicle following a raid in Berlin on properties connected to the eco group The Last Generation today
From glueing themselves onto the asphalt to flinging mashed potatoes on paintings in museums or blocking airport runways, the activists have in recent months enraged the public with their protests to push the government to do more to tackle climate change.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz has blasted the climate activists as ‘completely nuts’.
Wednesday’s raids were ordered over suspicions that the activists were ‘forming or supporting a criminal organisation’, said a joint statement by Bavaria’s police and prosecutors.
Fifteen properties were searched, two accounts seized and an asset freeze ordered.
The suspects are accused of ‘organising a donations campaign to finance further criminal acts’ for the group via its website.
At least 1.4 million euros (£1.2 million) had been collected in the campaign, said the authorities, adding that ‘these funds were according to current information mostly used for the committing of further criminal action of the association’.
The authorities did not specify the ‘criminal action’ they were referring to but said two of the suspects are alleged to have tried to sabotage an oil pipeline between Trieste, Italy, and Ingolstadt, Germany, deemed ‘critical infrastructure’ in Bavaria.
London: Protesters from Just Stop oil slowly march on Monday as they block traffic in the City of London. The eco group said they will continue their campaign until the government stop issuing new oil and gas licenses
London: Eco protesters are allowed to block a busy road in Notting Hill as they continue their slow march
Police officers work to free a Letzte Generation (Last Generation) climate activist after he glued himself to the asphalt during a climate protest in Berlin on Monday
A Last Generation protester is carried away amid a demonstration in Berlin on Monday
Multiple German police officers work together to carry away a climate action group protester who was blocking a busy road in Berlin on Tuesday
Activists of the Last Generation climate action group, their hands glued together, block Puschkinallee avenue in Berlin yesterday
Police surround activists of the Last Generation yesterday after they glued their hands on asphalt to block the central highway A100
Two Last Generation activists glue their hands together as they block the central A100 highway in Berlin
At a press conference following the raids, the activists said they would not be cowed.
Spokeswoman Aimee van Baalen admitted that she was terrified when she learnt about the raids targeting her friends.
‘They frighten us, but we must not persist in this fear. The government is steering us into a climate hell with our eyes wide open,’ she said.
‘We must continue our resistance,’ she said, calling a demonstration next Wednesday.
Dozens of climate activists from the group have found themselves before the courts in recent weeks over their traffic blockade actions.
Most have received fines for disrupting traffic or obstructing police work but some courts have begun toughening their sentences to also hand down jail time.
Scholz and his coalition partners including the Greens have also expressed frustration at the activists.
Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck of the Greens has said the street blockades were ‘not a helpful contribution to climate protection’ because they don’t win consensus but they ‘irritate people’.
Scenes of angry motorists shouting at the glued activists or dragging them off the streets have accompanied many of the street blockades.
Members of ‘Letzte Generation’ (Last Generation) gather in Berlin today for a press conference amid the police raids. From right: Steve Rauhut, Aimee van Baalen, Marion Fabian and Joel Schmitt
Aimee van Baalen (right) and Marion Fabian, spokespersons of the Letzte Generation climate activist group, address a news conference in Berlin today following raids by police on activists
Climate activist Aimee von Baden (right) speaks to a journalist during a news conference following police raids against the group in Berlin today
Police officers leave with boxes of materials gathered during the search of a building in Berlin’s Kreuzberg distrct in connection with the Letzte Generation
German police today carried out raids across seven states targeting climate activists of the Letzte Generation
The activists argue, however, that their protests are vital in the face of inadequate action taken by the government and society in general to protect the environment and prevent catastrophic global warming.
‘We, who are alive today, are the last who can still hinder the irreversible collapse of the climate,’ the group said.
Berlin has relatively ambitious climate targets, including plans for carbon neutrality by 2045. It is also aiming to produce 80 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
But Letzte Generation believes that that would be too late to stop Earth from tipping into irreversible warming.
Besides Letzte Generation, Germany has seen a host of other climate activist groups carrying out audacious protests in the last years.
Another group, Scientist Rebellion, hurled cake at Volkswagen bosses at the German carmaker’s annual shareholders’ meeting earlier this month.
Across Europe, dramatic action has also become more frequent.
On Tuesday, protesters briefly disrupted air traffic at Geneva airport while dozens of activists blocked a business jet convention taking place nearby.
On Sunday, Letzte Generation activists turned Rome’s famous Trevi Fountain black, saying that floods that have killed 14 people in the country’s northeast were ‘a warning’.
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