Sunday, June 4, 2023

Germany toughen tone against civil disobedience by environmentalists

Two officers load boxes into a police vehicle after a building was searched during a campaign against members of the Última Generación environmental movement in Berlin, May 24, 2023.

German police carried out several operations on Wednesday against members of the environmental movement “Last Generation” (“Letzet Generation”) responsible for controversial civil disobedience actions this week criticized by government chief Olaf Scholz

As a result of “suspicions of crimes committed by members of the last generation” in the framework of an investigation against “seven members” of the movement for “forming or supporting a criminal organization”, police “searched fifteen locations throughout the region”. . They said. This Wednesday at the Munich Prosecutor’s Office, South.

The age of those examined is between 22 and 38 years, the same source added.

They are accused of “organised fundraising” for “1.4 million euros” ($1.51 million) in order to “advertise on the Internet” and to carry out illegal operations.

Two members are suspected of “attempting to sabotage the Trieste-Ingolstadt oil pipeline in April 2022”, which passes through Bavaria (south) and is considered by German authorities as “critical infrastructure”.

According to prosecutors, the raids were carried out in “seven regions” of the country, including Berlin, Bavaria and Hesse (centre).

“Accounts and assets were frozen,” he explained, stressing that the process began as a result of “numerous criminal complaints filed by the population since mid-2022.”

– ‘Climate hell’ –

In response, the environmental movement called on citizens to participate in protest marches this Wednesday in cities such as Berlin, Dresden or Hamburg.

“They scare us, but we must not give up. The government blindly leads us to a climate hell and backs us on the accelerator,” said “Last Generation” spokeswoman Amy van Baalen during a press conference upheld. ,

The “Past Generation” is the most active environmental group in Germany and has attracted attention in recent months for civil disobedience actions aimed at prompting the government to step up its fight against climate change.

Among his actions, traffic obstruction or defacement of works of art in museums are counted, which gave rise to the opening of hundreds of legal proceedings for disturbance of public order.

Recently, the Heilbronn court (south-west) sentenced three activists to effective prison terms of five, four and three months, the most severe punishment to date for this type of act.

The German executive, which activists accuse of not doing enough to stop climate change, has rejected such protests.

“The rule of law does not allow itself to be trampled on,” Interior Minister Nancy Feser said in Funke Press Group newspapers.

According to German police, environmental activists took more than 1,600 actions deemed criminal last year, most of which involved blocking roads.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz remarked this week that “sticking to one square or street seems utterly silly”, and even the Greens, members of the government coalition, disagreed with such methods, noting that They are not in favor of mobilizing the population to demand measures. against global warming.

“On the contrary, it angers people, it divides society,” said Robert Habeck, an environmentalist, and Minister of Economy and Climate.

In recent months, similar actions have been recorded in other parts of Europe, such as in Geneva (Switzerland), where dozens of activists temporarily disrupted air traffic on Tuesday; Or in Rome, where protesters painted the water of the Trevi Fountain black.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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