Majority of Germans condemn the protest methods of climate activists
After a series of protests against sluggish government climate policy, a survey has found that a large majority of Germans are unsympathetic to activists’ tactics.
Majority of Germans condemn climate activist group’s protest methods
After a month of ongoing protests by the German climate activist group Letzte Generation (Last Generation), a survey has found that the majority of Germans are not sympathetic towards popular climate activism methods such as blockading roads and motorways.
81 percent of those asked condemned climate activists’ methods and 86 percent said that they believed the actions of Letzte Generation were damaging the public perception of the climate movement. Just 14 percent of those asked said that they believed the protest methods were right.
Opinions were also clearly divided based on political leanings. 40 percent of Green voters and 34 percent of those voting for The Left Party condemned the tactics. Among CDU / CSU voters, 97 percent condemned the actions.
What protest actions have the activist group been doing?
Letzte Generation has drawn much media attention over the past month. At the beginning of autumn the activist group addressed a letter to the German coalition government calling for greater action against climate change, “a speed limit of 100 km/h on German highways and the introduction of public transport made affordable through a 9-euro ticket”. When they did not receive a response they began the series of protest actions on October 10.
Near the end of October the group threw a can of mashed potatoes on a Monet painting at the Barberini gallery in Potsdam, just outside Berlin, echoing the actions of other climate protestors who poured tomato soup over a Van Gogh painting in London. Since the painting in Postdam was covered with glass it was not actually damaged.
Last week the group was heavily condemned after it was widely reported in the media that one of its blockades stopped an ambulance from reaching a cyclist who had been run over in Berlin. Despite the accusations, a paramedic told Buzzfeed News Germany that the blockade didn't conclusively impact the patient's outcome. In an interview with German magazine SPIEGEL, the sister of the cyclist asked activists to reconsider their methods.
On Wednesday, two activists from the group also mounted Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate and hung a sign from the iconic quadriga of the monument that read, “We wish for everyone to survive. On the day of solidarity. We are the last generation.” The slogan was a reference to Germany’s Schicksalstag (Day of Fate) on November 9, which is also the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall.
Thumb image credit: Letzte Generation / (C) Walter Debuih / CC-BY-4