With an action in front of the Federal Ministry of Transport in Berlin, climate activists protested against the Federal Government's transport policy. The last generation group announced on Tuesday that the building had been sprayed with water from a fire engine and that Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) had "taken a cold shower". According to a dpa reporter, orange liquid first came out of the hose, then water. A police spokeswoman said three people drove up in the fire truck around 9:30 a.m. Another rented the vehicle from a Berlin rental company.
"FDP Minister Wissing tramples on the law. It has been proven that he is breaking the climate protection law and is now also blocking climate protection for the whole of Europe," said Jakob Beyer, spokesman for the Last Generation group. He was referring to Wissing's position in the dispute over the end of new cars with combustion engines planned in the EU from 2035. The originally planned EU vote on this had been postponed due to additional demands from Germany. Wissing had said that Germany could not agree to such a blanket ban on combustion engines at this point in time.
According to their own statements, the police issued evictions from the action in front of the Ministry of Transport and initiated criminal proceedings for damaging property and violating the Freedom of Assembly Act. In addition, it will be checked whether the fire engine has been damaged by the paint, said the police spokeswoman.
Someone from the rental company came to the ministry and the vehicle was handed over to him. According to a report by the "B.Z." the lender lent the car to people on Monday who had presented themselves as volunteer firefighters from Brandenburg. They said their vehicle broke down after an accident. They had paid in advance, around 300 to 500 euros per day, that was about, the "Tagesspiegel" quoted the landlord. "We were lied to and cheated, now we have to clean the vehicle so that the pump is not damaged," the owner continued.
Sharp criticism came from the Berlin Police Union (GdP). "It is unbelievable that this criminal organization, with the fire brigade, is abusing a symbol of the democratic constitutional state for its hypocritical fight and would like to create the image that these crimes are being supported by our colleagues," said spokesman Benjamin Jendro.
Most recently, the Last Generation group was criticized for a color attack on the Basic Law artwork in the Berlin government district. The environmental organization WWF described the action as counterproductive. "That's the wrong symbolism. The climate protest is being done a disservice here," said Christoph Heinrich, executive director of WWF Germany, to the newspapers of the Bayern media group (Tuesday).
The Berlin police are investigating six members of the Last Generation for, among other things, property damage and violation of the Freedom of Assembly Act. The state protection responsible for politically motivated crimes took over the case.
The District Court of Heilbronn has meanwhile sentenced two members of the climate protection group to several months in prison without probation because of a road blockade. According to a spokeswoman, it is the first non-parole sentence that activists from the group have been sentenced to. The men were sentenced to three and two months in prison on Monday, a court spokesman said on Tuesday. They were charged with coercion.
The men stuck themselves on a street in Heilbronn on February 6. Several media reported about it. According to the court, three other activists were sentenced to different fines of 60 daily rates each.
The stricter verdict against the two men was necessary to "affect the perpetrator's personality," said a court spokesman. Probationary sentences would be issued if one assumed a positive criminal prognosis, i.e. that such crimes would not be repeated. However, the men had declared in court that they wanted to continue with the actions. The judgment is not final.
After the verdict, the group released a video on Twitter that is supposed to show one of the perpetrators who, according to his own statement, stuck himself to a street again despite the prison sentence imposed on him. "Hi, I'm Daniel, I'm 22 years old and I'm back on a street in Heilbronn today," he said. He cannot accept "that we remain inactive in the face of the climate catastrophe."
SWR report on blockades Tweet from the last generation Tweet on the blockade Tagesspiegel report