Members of the group Last Generation descended upon Berlin earlier this week, gluing themselves to streets all over the German capital, where they blocked roads in an effort to pressure the government to take more drastic action against climate change. (So they want the nuclear plants back online?)
“We will no longer accept that the government has no plan to stop the destruction of our livelihoods,” said Last Generation in a statement, adding “We are resisting now.“
More than 30 roads were blocked according to German news agency DPA.
According to the Berlin police, up to 500 officers were on the streets in the city all day to prevent the blockades or end them quickly, dpa reported. A police helicopter was hovering over the city to alert colleagues on the ground about the blockades as well.
According to the report, “In some cases, it took more time than in the past to detach protesters from the streets because some of them used a different kind of glue this time. Instead of using oil to detach the protesters’ hands from the streets, officers had to use tools and damage the asphalt to remove the protesters.”
Last Generation is demanding that German cease the use of all fossil fuels in the next 6.5 years, and want short-term measures in the meantime, including a 62-mph (100 km/hr) speed limit on highways in order to curb transport emissions.
Government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said on Monday that the current administration has done a lot to curb emissions.
“We are a parliamentary democracy. There are possibilities to express criticism. I have my doubts that such massive disruptions of public order and the like serve the intended purpose,” he said. “Naturally we don’t support such forms of protest.”
Asked whether Chancellor Olaf Scholz plans to meet with the activists, like other politicians have and are planning to, Hebestreit said he wasn’t aware of any appointments.
“Such talks make particular sense if one wants to exchange views and not if the aim is to force through maximum demands,” he added.
Transport Minister Volker Wissing, who has rejected the demand for a speed limit, plans to meet activists on May 2. He has sharply criticized the group for its road blockades in the past. -AP