Actions by climate demonstrators are currently almost daily in Berlin. These often cause traffic jams – and anger among drivers. After an accident, the discussion comes to a head.
Despite the growing criticism of their actions, climate demonstrators in Berlin have continued their protest actions. According to the police, three people stuck themselves to the facade of the federal office of the Greens in Berlin-Mitte on Wednesday. In addition, the facade and a car were smeared with orange paint.
A police spokeswoman said a total of six people were involved. Around the same time there were actions at the party headquarters of the SPD and FDP in the late morning. The climate protest group “Last Generation” announced that the headquarters of all government parties had been sprayed with orange paint.
“Orange color is associated a lot with the last generation through safety vests and banners, but also with orange prison overalls,” the group said. “The death spiral from climate tipping points is already starting to turn and neither party has a plan to get it under control,” the protest group commented on its actions.
Exterior facade of the Willy Brandt House smeared
At the Willy-Brandt-Haus in Kreuzberg, two women had emptied a fire extinguisher and smeared the exterior, as the police spokeswoman described. At the FDP in Berlin-Mitte, two people would have stuck themselves to the house entrance. Police officers are on site at all locations.
The actions of the “Last Generation” are increasingly causing a lack of understanding nationwide. A serious accident in Berlin, in which a cyclist was run over by a truck last Monday, contributed to this. According to the fire brigade, a special vehicle that was supposed to help free the 44-year-old was stuck in a traffic jam on the city highway – because of an action by climate activists on a sign bridge.
“We assume that this delayed the rescue by several minutes,” said a fire department spokesman again on Wednesday. However, the formation of a rescue lane was also problematic given the size of the vehicle. According to the police, the 44-year-old is still in critical condition and is in the intensive care unit of a hospital.
The police are investigating two 63 and 59-year-old climate activists for failing to provide assistance or for the disability of people providing assistance. A spokeswoman said that the causal connection to the blockades had to be checked – also with experts.
Buschmann: Prison sentences are also possible
From the point of view of Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP), prison sentences for climate activists would also be possible in certain cases. “Anyone who throws works of art can be prosecuted for damage to property. A road blockade can be punished as coercion. And if ambulances are slowed down, criminal liability for negligent bodily harm can also be considered,” he told the “Bild” newspaper (Wednesday). “In addition to fines, laws also provide for imprisonment in certain cases.” These laws must also be enforced.
CDU General Secretary Mario Czaja also called for tougher dealings with climate activists: “Why don’t blockers end up in subsequent custody for several days and are billed for the full costs of the operation?” the “Bild” newspaper quoted him as saying. The Berlin public prosecutor’s office has so far received around 730 cases (as of October 25) on the ongoing actions. According to the police, there have been more than 240 actions by climate protesters in the capital since January 24. In 102 cases (as of October 21), activists were asked to pay by the police and had to pay a fee of 241 euros each.
In response to a question from a journalist, the federal government emphasized that it did not consider the actions of climate activists to be terrorism. “I would be a bit careful with my choice of words,” said government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit on Wednesday in Berlin. The recent graffiti is a misdemeanor, but he doesn’t want to endorse the term terrorism.
Künast: Form of protest leads to “dead end”
Green politician Renate Künast said that this form of protest leads to a “dead end” because the core of the problem is no longer discussed, only the question of whether the protest is legitimate. “I don’t think it makes any sense. It’s a dead end,” she told RBB Inforadio.
The climate protest group wants to attract attention with their actions. This also includes sensational disruptive maneuvers, such as a week ago in the Barberini Museum in Potsdam: there, mashed potatoes were thrown at the painting, which cost more than 100 million euros, but nothing happened to the work of art behind glass.