Sticking to streets, color attacks and also sabotage of oil plants: With their actions, the last generation causes a lot of attention. After the raid, the group sees itself “stronger than ever.”
After the raid on the climate protest group Last Generation, the activists emphasize that radicalization is not to be feared and that their protests are continuing. The searches of 15 apartments on Wednesday wounded trust in a state “that treats peaceful protesters like criminals,” the group said on Thursday. There is now a lot of support and protests, blockades and demonstrations will be extended to all of Germany in the coming days and weeks.
SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert doubted that the blockade actions would advance climate protection. The question is whether people with an average income and living situation now look differently at their car, their house, their consumption and are ready for changes. “And I just can’t see that,” he said in the Podimo podcast “Status of Things”, which is produced by the German Press Agency.
Sit-ins on the streets and actions in museums
The group regularly draws attention to the consequences of global warming with sit-ins and campaigns in museums. The members often stick to it – on streets or on works of art. The core demands are currently 100 km/h on all motorways and a permanent 9-euro ticket for public transport.
CDU leader Friedrich Merz rejected a meeting with the group as pointless. “These are criminals and not interlocutors,” he told the broadcaster n-tv. One can protest, and the Federal Constitutional Court has also declared short-term blockades of public life to be permissible. “But massive damage to property, damaging works of art, daubing commemorative plaques, pasting stickers on the freeways, now on the cars themselves, these are quite simply criminal offenses and have nothing to do with legitimate protest.”
FDP Vice: Last generation makes citizens angry
FDP federal deputy Johannes Vogel said in the ARD “Morgenmagazin” that every action by environmental activists leads to “an angry citizen more and more in this country and people are upset against the goal of climate protection.”
Around 170 officers had searched 15 apartments and business premises of the climate protection group in seven federal states during the raid on Wednesday morning, as announced by the Munich public prosecutor and the Bavarian state criminal investigation office. The charge is to form or support a criminal organization.
The extremism researcher Matthias Quent now sees the danger that the investigators’ actions could lead to the radicalization of individual members, as he told the dpa. The group rejected such conjectures and explained: “If yesterday individuals were wondering whether the last generation is now changing, even going underground, then they have not understood what the last generation actually is. The last generation comes from the middle of society.”
Demo in Berlin with 300 to 400 people
Only 300 to 400 people took part in a first demonstration on Wednesday evening in Berlin. The group’s information channel on Telegram also continues to have around 1,700 members, although not much has changed recently.
Berlin’s new Senator for Justice Felor Badenberg (independent) called the street blockades of the last generation “absolutely irresponsible”. Badenberg asked: “Who is responsible if someone comes to the hospital too late?” She told the German Press Agency: “As a society, we cannot approve of the fact that people here want to use violence to enforce their will.”
Scholz calls the actions “completely crazy”
Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD) had declared that the raid showed “that the rule of law cannot be fooled around”. On Monday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz called the group’s sticking actions “completely crazy”.
It is disputed among lawyers whether the last generation can be classified as a criminal organization under Section 129 of the Criminal Code. There is no judicial determination on this yet. However, various public prosecutors are investigating in this direction. Others see no initial suspicion so far.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.