Climate activists in Germany accused of 580 offences

Germany has recorded that climate activists from the Last Generation or Letzte Generation have allegedly committed 580 criminal offences, reported German weekly Bild am Sonntag, citing the country’s interior minister. This comes weeks after the German police carried out raids across seven states targeting activists from the climate advocacy group. 

What can they be accused of?

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told the German weekly that the country’s Federal Criminal Police Office in its first-ever report of the situation has said 580 criminal charges can be assigned to the Last Generation since the beginning of last year. This comes as some 740 people have “come to the attention of the police,” Faeser told Bild. 

The climate activist group has been using controversial methods of protest in Germany which have included glueing themselves on the road. Faeser also told Bild that most of the potential charges are “mainly about coercion and property damage”. 

Interior minister criticises group’s method of protest 

During the interview with the German newspaper, she spoke about how it is unacceptable for the activists to “violate the rights of others”. 

Speaking about their method of protest, Fraser also said it is not helping climate protection and on the contrary activists are “massively damaging” to their chances of being accepted or raising awareness. 

However, the Last Generation activists have previously said that their rights are being violated by companies, lawmakers, and people who are not doing enough to protect the environment. 

The group has been making headlines in different countries with protests like road blockades to throwing soup on famous artworks, the steps which have garnered both support and criticism. Additionally, last week, a member of the climate advocacy group was charged a $430 fine for damage to property after a protest at the Audimax of Hamburg University. 

Police crackdown last month

The police in Germany, in late May, conducted raids shortly after the group’s street blockades which aimed at investigating seven people aged between 22 to 38, for allegedly supporting or attempting to create a criminal organisation. In a statement, the police said that the suspects have been accused of “organising a fundraising campaign to finance the criminal acts committed” by Last Generation. 

It added that by “propagating these acts on their website and collecting a sum of at least 1.4 million euros ($1.5 million) in donations”. According to environmentalists in the country, the lawmakers in Germany have put their climate policies on the back burner as Europe was grappling with an energy crisis. 

Speaking of their demands from the German government, Last Generation told WION, shortly after the raids, there is a need for a “social council that leads us out of the climate crisis in a socially just way.” 

(With inputs from agencies) 


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