Letzte Generation raids: UN says German climate activists must be protected
After German police carried out nationwide raids at 15 properties linked to Letzte Generation members, a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said that climate activists must be better protected.
UN calls for better protection for climate activists
Speaking to the dpa in New York Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres, has expressed concern about police treatment of climate activists following raids at 15 properties in Germany with connections to Letzte Generation (Last Generation) activists.
“Climate activists - led by the moral voice of young people - have continued to pursue their goals even in the darkest days. They must be protected and we need them now more than ever,” Dujarric said.
Dujarric added that without activist groups, many increasingly pressing climate goals would already be a lost cause. Protesters have been fundamental during “crucial moments in pushing government and business leaders to do much more.”
Letzte Generation’s favoured protest tactic, glueing their hands to the road to create blockade lines, has earned them the now famous title of Klimakleber. As an addendum, Dujarric said that despite activists having the fundamental right to protest peacefully, governments still have the responsibility to enforce the law and ensure security.
German police conduct Letzte Generation raids
On Wednesday May 25, at 7am local time, 170 German police officers carried out raids at 15 properties with connections to Letzte Generation. Locations in seven German federal states were searched.
Letzte Generation has been carrying out protests across Germany since the autumn of 2022. The group blockades streets in German cities and towns, often multiple times per week, to draw attention to their main demands: a speed limit of 100 kilometres per hour on the German autobahn and affordable public transport by adopting the 9-euro ticket as a permanent policy.
The general public prosecutor's office in Munich has said that the searches were carried out at the behest of the Bavarian state criminal police office (LKA). Police said they are investigating seven members of the group, aged between 22 and 38 years old, due to “numerous criminal complaints received from the population.”
According to The Guardian, the seven members in question have been accused of setting up a campaign where people could make donations to aid any future legal advice the group may need. The fund managed to collect 1,4 million euros in donations. The LKA added that two of the seven defendants are suspected of attempting to sabotage the Transalpine pipeline, which runs through Italy, Austria, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. So far, no arrests have been made after the raid.
Letzte Generation’s regular actions have proven deeply frustrating to Germany’s drivers and the group has been condemned by a swathe of politicians, most recently Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who labelled the activists “völlig bekloppt” (totally daft).
Police treatment of group members has also come under fire, particularly after a video surfaced of a police officer telling a peaceful protestor in Berlin, "If I cause you pain - if you force me - you will have pain chewing and swallowing for the next few days, not just today." The activist in question filed a lawsuit against Berlin police after the incident but it has since been rejected by the Berlin Administrative Court.
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