Climate change activists from the German environmental organization “Letzte Generation” took to the streets of Berlin on April 24, demanding that the government take urgent action on climate change. The group resorted to a unique form of protest, gluing their hands to major roads across the city, resulting in partial paralysis of Berlin’s major highways and difficulties for ambulances and emergency vehicles to reach their destinations.
According to Reuters and German broadcaster DW, the activists used adhesive to attach their hands to the roads in a demonstration calling for the government to take more aggressive action against climate change. As a result, traffic on major roads, including Berlin’s A100 highway, was briefly disrupted. Firefighters said that more than 15 ambulances had difficulty reaching their destinations due to the protest. A citizen reportedly assaulted one of the protesters, leading to clashes between the activists and civilians.
To deal with the situation, Berlin police deployed over 500 officers, including helicopter units, to clear the roads and remove the activists. In total, more than 40 people were arrested and 20 roadblocks were dismantled.
The “Letzte Generation” activists are demanding that Germany cease all fossil fuel use by 2030 and reduce transport emissions by limiting the maximum speed limit on highways to 100 km/h. They have stated that they will continue to paralyze Berlin until their demands for climate action are met. In a statement released on the day of the protest, the activists said, “We will no longer sit idly by while the government fails to uphold the constitution and fails to provide us with the basic conditions necessary for our lives. We will resist.”
Responding to the protest, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said, “We do not support this type of demonstration. The German government has taken many steps to protect the climate. While there is room for criticism in a democratic society, it is doubtful that such a massive disruption of public order will contribute to this goal.”