Climate protest: “Last Generation” announces interruption of protests

Climate protest: “Last Generation” announces interruption of protests

The criticism of the latest action by the climate protest group “Last Generation” is great. Completely unacceptable, highly risky, unscrupulous, they say. The activists are now announcing a break in the protests.

According to their own statements, the climate activists of the group “Last Generation” will not be taking part in any more protest actions in Berlin and Munich until the end of next week. As the group announced in the evening, they are hoping for action in the last week of the Bundestag session in the current year. At the same time, she warned against restarting the protests with more clout.

The time will be used to “properly train and involve the many people who are currently joining the movement in order to come back with even more people”. The federal government can still act in the fight against climate change. “It’s not a question of ability, but of will, and we can only sincerely hope that she still lives up to her responsibility,” the statement said.

The climate activists of the “last generation” were heavily criticized on Thursday and Friday after some of them paralyzed flight operations at the capital’s BER airport. The activists climbed through the security fence and went onto the airport grounds. Numerous politicians called for consequences, including the expansion of preventive custody in the Federal Police Act.

“I think we all – society and politics – could use a breather to calm the heated spirits,” spokeswoman Aimée van Baalen was quoted as saying.

That had happened before

Activists in orange high-visibility vests snap through a fence at the capital’s airport and march onto the grounds. Some of them stick to the ground – and paralyze operations at BER in Schönefeld. The latest action by the climate protest group “Last Generation” could be followed on Thursday afternoon in the live stream on Twitter – and from the point of view of many politicians it has finally reached a level that is no longer acceptable. Berlin’s Senator for the Interior, Iris Spranger (SPD), wants to address a transnational approach at the conference of interior ministers next week in Munich.

“I can only warn against continuing on this path of escalation,” said Spranger. Her authority will “continue to exhaust all legal means to prevent these dangers and to fight these crimes,” she announced. Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) campaigned for harsh penalties. “I support the full force of the law,” he tweeted.

If lives were endangered and people couldn’t go on vacation, that wasn’t acceptable, Green Party leader Omid Nouripour told the Welt television station. Berlin’s governing mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) called the action “completely unacceptable”. The special representative for international climate policy at the Federal Foreign Office, Jennifer Lee Morgan, warned in the “Berliner Morgenpost” that any action for climate protection must remain within the framework of the laws of democracy.

The CSU in the Bundestag calls for an amendment to the Federal Police Act. “For crimes such as the recent disruption of flight operations at BER by so-called climate activists, preventive custody in the Federal Police Act must also be expanded,” Andrea Lindholz told the newspapers of the Bayern media group. After traffic blockades in Munich, 19 activists are still in police custody for a long time. This is possible due to the Bavarian Police Responsibilities Act. According to this, citizens can be detained for up to one month on the basis of a judicial decision in order to prevent the commission of an administrative offense of considerable public importance or a criminal offence.

Prevent climate protesters from taking action in advance

Berlin’s interior senator has not yet given any details about her plans. A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said that climate demonstrators should, if possible, be prevented from taking action in advance through a joint approach by the federal states.

“We’re not about popularity,” said a spokeswoman for “Last Generation”. “We call on the federal government to finally do its job and take the first security measures against the escalating climate crisis.” Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) also sees an escalation – but on the part of the climate protest group. Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) described the group’s actions as “more and more unscrupulous”.

Sociologist contradicts accusation of radicalization

“I don’t see radicalization, especially in comparison to other protests such as the anti-nuclear movement or the peace movement in the 1970s,” said sociologist Lena Herbers from the University of Freiburg of the German Press Agency. She described the protests as “manageable violations of the law, deliberate, isolated violations of the law”.

Most recently, the protest group was sharply criticized after the death of a cyclist in Berlin. The 44-year-old woman was run over by a cement mixer on October 31 and later died. A special fire brigade vehicle that was supposed to help free the trapped woman was stuck in a traffic jam after a climate protest. The Berlin public prosecutor’s office is also investigating two activists for failing to provide assistance or for the disability of persons providing assistance.

Investigations against six activists

After the disruptive action at BER, the Brandenburg State Criminal Police Office is investigating six activists, among other things, for dangerous interference in air traffic, disruption of public services, trespassing and property damage. Five men and one woman between the ages of 20 and 32 were arrested and taken into custody on Thursday during the action at the airport in Schönefeld, a police spokesman said. One of the men is still there by court order. According to him, the other suspects have been released.

As a result of the action, operations on the runways were stopped for about an hour and a half. According to the airport, five starts had to be cancelled. 15 planned landings were therefore diverted to Leipzig and Dresden.

Operations at BER are back to normal

According to the airport, operations were back to normal in the morning. The airport company announced that it would review the capital airport’s security concept. Federal Transport Minister Wissing called on the police to work through the incident in detail. For the future, the question must be asked what exactly needs to be done to avoid such incidents. The chairman of the FDP parliamentary group, Christian Dürr, called for a security check at all airports.

Airport spokesman Jan-Peter Haak emphasized that the almost 30-kilometer-long security fence along the airport premises complies with the legal requirements of the Aviation Security Act. It is equipped with an alarm system and there is video surveillance for the airport area, which corresponds to around 2000 football pitches.


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