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Climate change activists block Hamburg port bridge

February 21, 2022

"Uprising of the Last Generation" is protesting Germany's high level of food waste, among other issues. The group said they have taken to more drastic measures after years of marching the streets and signing petitions.

Hamburg Klimaaktivisten blockieren Kreuzung im Hafen
Activisits targeted the harbor because a huge amount of Germany's food imports pass through itImage: Christian Charisius/dpa/picture alliance

A group of young activists blocked a busy road in Hamburg on Monday, as rush-hour traffic was underway, to raise awareness about environmental issues.

The organization, known as "Uprising of the Last Generation," is comprised of climate change and environmental activists who have chosen to highlight the need for change through hunger strikes and road blockades. 

In Hamburg, protesters glued their hands onto the pavement to block the Köhlbrand bridge, while others barricaded the onramp as well as the nearby Kattwyck bridge.

What's behind the demonstrations?  

On Sunday, Uprising warned they planned to carry out disruptive protests, targeting airports and ports if the government does not commit to more legal measures aimed at preventing food waste. 

Climate activists blocking a busy road in Hamburg, gluing their hands to the pavement
The activists are urging the German government to do more to reduce food waste Image: dpa

Germany throws away more food per capita than any other EU nation.

"We wish such a step were not necessary," Carla Hinrichs, a group spokesperson, told an online press conference, adding that if the government did not give a specific date to introduce a "food rescue law" in the Bundestag, the group would be forced to "stand up for everyone's survival" through what it described as civil resistance.

Demonstrators have said they also plan to target airports, not only in Hamburg but in Berlin and Munich as well.

Another group spokesperson, Aimee van Baalen, told Deutschlandfunk radio that they had decided to move to more drastic measures after years of "signing petitions and marching on the streets" had done little to bring about the changes necessary "to save humanity from environmental collapse."

jcg, es/wd (dpa, EPD)