Climate protests in German cities: criticism of the “last generation” is growing

Status: 04/21/2023 12:21 p.m

The “Last Generation” climate activists are expanding their protests. In the next few days they want to paralyze traffic in Berlin. Federal Justice Minister Buschmann and ADAC boss Reinicke consider the actions excessive.

Paralyzing the capital Berlin is the goal of the climate activists of the “last generation” in the coming days. Again and again they had stuck themselves on the streets of other cities to draw attention to the climate crisis – to the annoyance of drivers who suddenly got stuck in traffic. Criticism of climate protection is getting louder.

“Criminal offenses are not used to promote climate protection”

Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann explained in the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland” that the “last generation” had “exaggerated, aggressive ideas about the implementation of their goals.” Criminal offenses do not promote climate protection. The FDP politician drew a historical comparison with street protests from 100 years ago:

In the 1920s and 1930s there were street fights in Berlin because people on the left and right of the political fringe felt empowered to place themselves above the legal system and assert their own ideas with their fists. That must not be repeated.

Buschmann defended the court rulings against climate activists. In a constitutional state, the same rules apply to everyone. “If we were to accept that part of society does not feel bound by the law in the name of a higher purpose, I’m sure more and more groups would claim that,” he said.

ADAC criticizes the type of protest

ADAC President Reinicke expressed understanding for the concerns of the activists, but not for the nature of their protest. The head of the largest German automobile club told the “Augsburger Allgemeine” that the activists represent goals behind which “everyone can gather”. However, he doubts that the climate glue chose the right means to achieve their legitimate goals. “You don’t have to get stuck and throw mashed potatoes at artwork.” You understood their goals.

“Stricter laws not necessary”

Meanwhile, the German Association of Judges does not consider it necessary to tighten the law. Federal Managing Director Sven Rebehn told the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” that the existing laws give the courts sufficient leeway to appropriately punish cases of coercion, property damage or interference with road traffic. “Freedom of expression and assembly end where criminal law begins.”

Even a good purpose such as climate protection does not justify every means.

Meeting with Transport Minister Wissing planned

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach appealed to the “last generation” not to endanger human life with their actions. The SPD politician told the Funke media group that it would be irresponsible if rescue workers and patient transport were obstructed by road blockades.

Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing has arranged a meeting with activists from the “last generation” for May 2nd. The FDP politician told the television channels RTL and ntv that the “Last Generation” had asked him to meet. He accepted that. “A lively democracy is characterized by a willingness to talk,” said Wissing.

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