After the nationwide raid against the “last generation”, spokeswoman van Baalen called for protests. The activists are not criminals. Interior Minister Faeser defended the mission: “Don’t let yourself be fooled.”
The climate activists of the “last generation” have strongly condemned the nationwide crackdown on some members and announced that they would continue their actions. At a press conference, Aimée van Baalen, spokeswoman for the activists, called on all citizens to take part in protest marches in many cities in a week’s time on Wednesday. The first demonstrations are to take place in Berlin, Munich and Augsburg today.
“The 15 house searches have hit all supporters hard. They scare us, but we must not remain in this fear,” said van Baalen. “Do we first have to experience a drought in Germany, suffer from food shortages (…) before we understand that the ‘last generation’ is responsible for all of our lives and that this is not criminal?” the spokeswoman continued to criticize.
Investigations against seven suspects
During the raid, 15 properties in seven federal states were searched, accounts confiscated and assets secured under the leadership of the Bavarian State Criminal Police Office (LKA) and the Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office. About 170 officers were deployed.
Investigations are being carried out against seven suspects between the ages of 22 and 38 for forming or supporting a criminal organization under Section 129 of the Criminal Code.
As the LKA further announced, the accused are accused of organizing a fundraising campaign to finance further crimes for the “last generation”, advertising them on their website and thus having collected at least 1.4 million euros in donations so far. According to the information available so far, this money was mainly used to commit other crimes committed by the association.
According to the LKA, two suspects are also suspected of having tried to sabotage the Trieste-Ingolstadt oil pipeline in April 2022. The apartment of spokeswoman Carla Hinrichs, who is known nationwide after many TV appearances, was also searched in Berlin-Kreuzberg.
In Berlin-Kreuzberg, police officers carry a box from an apartment after a search of a member of the “Last Generation”.
Baalen: “We don’t enrich ourselves”
According to the public prosecutor’s office, the investigations and searches are based on numerous criminal charges. 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 climate protection activists themselves vehemently denied being criminals. Protests were exclusively non-violent.
Regarding the allegation of the criminal organization, spokeswoman van Baalen said: “We do not enrich ourselves.” All actions, structures, names and donations are public. Van Baalen did not confirm the sum of 1.4 million euros in blocked donation accounts that the public prosecutor’s office said, but the order of magnitude could be right, she said. For 2022, the group had given the sum of 900,000 euros in donations received.
Activists describe measures as “completely crazy”
Despite the searches, blocked websites, Twitter channels and bank accounts, the group wants to continue its blockade actions and protest marches. There will be new bank accounts for supporters’ donations, said van Baalen. New mail channels and websites should also be created. “The raid does not mean that the resistance ends.”
“We are not afraid of a trial,” she continued. “We believe in the rule of law.” The fact that apartments were searched and accounts blocked was “completely crazy,” she said, referring to a statement by Chancellor Olaf Scholz about the “last generation”.
“Police and judiciary do not accept crimes”
Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser defended the action against the climate group. “Today’s measures show that the rule of law cannot be fooled,” said Faeser of the Funke media group. “Police and the judiciary do not accept crimes, but act – as is their duty,” added the SPD politician.
“The red line in the rule of law is very clear – legitimate protest always ends where criminal offenses are committed and the rights of others are violated,” said Faeser. “If this red line is crossed, then the police have to act.” With regard to road blockades, for example, Faeser showed “not the slightest understanding of these actions and the crimes committed”.
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