German Police Conduct Actions to Investigate Climate Activists | News

The authorities announced that actions were carried out in seven states to investigate seven people between the ages of 22 and 38 on suspicion of creating a criminal organization.

Police in Germany have carried out actions in seven states targeting activists of the climate protection group Letzte Generation, which recently led street blockades involving protesters sticking to the asphalt.

According to a joint statement by Bavarian police and prosecutors, the actions were aimed at investigating seven people between the ages of 22 and 38 on suspicion of supporting or attempting to create a criminal organization.

“The suspects are accused of organizing a fundraising campaign to finance the criminal acts committed by ‘Last Generation’, promoting these acts on their website and collecting a sum of at least 1.4 million euros (1.5 million dollars) in donations,” the police said.

Two suspects are also suspected of attempting to sabotage the Trieste-Ingolstadt oil pipeline in the southeastern state of Bavaria in April 2022.

“The purpose of the raids is to find evidence of Last Generation’s membership structure, further clarify their funding and seize assets,” authorities said.

Police officers take an activist to "last generation" (Last Generation) who previously stuck to a street in the Steglitz district to protest against climate advice, speed limits on motorways as well as accessible public transport, in Berlin, Germany, 16 May 2023.
Policemen take an activist from the Letzte generation away [File: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters]

Fifteen properties were searched, two accounts were seized and an asset freeze was ordered, they added.

Environmentalists say Germany’s climate policy has taken a backseat as Europe grapples with an energy crisis triggered in part by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In March, an economic research company said climate change could cost Germany up to 900 billion euros ($970 billion) in cumulative economic damage by 2050.

Dozens of climate activists from the group have appeared in court in recent weeks over their actions blocking traffic. In the past year, they have also targeted various artworks and exhibits.

Letzte Generation’s controversial tactics, from hunger strikes to throwing mashed potatoes at paintings in museums, have led to the group being described by some German politicians as “climate terrorists”.

The group said in a Twitter post on Wednesday: “National assault. #completelynutty.” “Searches of Lobbying Structures and Seizures of Government Fossil Money – When?”

Although Last Generation acknowledges that its protests are provocative, it claims that by causing friction it can encourage public debate about climate change.

The group’s activists accused the German government of failing to take serious action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, while instead further investing in fossil fuel infrastructure.

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