Following the crackdown on the Last Generation protest group, the United Nations has highlighted the importance of climate activists and their actions. “Climate activists – guided by the moral voice of young people – have continued to push through the darkest days. They need to be protected and we need them now more than ever,” said a spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres in New York.
Guterres spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said protesters played an important role in “critical moments to convince governments and business leaders to do much more”. Without them, global climate goals would already be out of reach. However, Guterres’s spokesperson also pointed out that despite the fundamental right to peaceful demonstrations, governments naturally have a responsibility to enforce the law and ensure safety.
Charge: formation of a criminal organization
German police and prosecutors raided the climate protection group Last Generation on Wednesday morning. About 170 officers searched 15 apartments and business premises in seven German states, according to the Munich public prosecutor’s office and the Bavarian criminal investigation department. The charge is forming or supporting a criminal organization. The activists vehemently deny being criminals. The members of the Last Generation in Austria declared their solidarity with their sister organization.
The group regularly draws attention to the effects of global warming with sit-ins and actions in museums, and its members often cling to streets or works of art. They are also accused of attacking facilities in the oil industry.
Calls for a phase-out of fossil fuels by 2030
With their protest, the last generation wants to put the shortcomings of German climate policy on the agenda – for example in view of the enormous climate-damaging emissions from car traffic. The activists are calling for a so-called social council to plan the end of fossil fuel use in Germany by 2030. They also demand a maximum speed of 100 km/h on the highway and a fine of 9 euros.
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