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Last Generation stages protests across Germany

March 16, 2024

Climate activists changed tactics slightly, blocking streets without gluing themselves to the pavements in Berlin and other major cities, as well as targeting a liquefied natural gas terminal on the island of Rügen.

A group of climate protesters from the group Last Generation sit on a street in Cologne, Germany, as police look on
Opinions are divided over climate activists' tactics and how successful they have or haven't beenImage: Hesham Elsherif/Anadolu/picture alliance

Climate activists from the group Last Generation took to the streets to engage in "civil disobedience" in 10 cities across Germany on Saturday, where they disrupted traffic before being hauled off by police or going home on their own accord.

In Berlin, roughly 130 individuals turned out to block a busy bridge at midday, while similar numbers turned up in the southern cities of Munich and Regensburg, though police say traffic was blocked in neither.

A photographer and a witness watch as a police officer holds a protester by the head and hair as he escorts them from the Warschauer Brücke in Berlin
Last Generation protesters claimed Saturday's call for civil disobedience was 'just the beginning'Image: PRESSCOV/Sipa USA/picture alliance

The western city of Cologne saw protesters gather at a large thoroughfare in the north of the city, and some 30 people showed up in Rügen, not far from a major new LNG terminal being installed near the popular tourist destination.  

Police ejected the Rügen protesters after a few hours despite activists' intentions of staying overnight to draw attention to what they call the "height of fossil fuel madness."

A change of strategy

The group, which has been organizing street blockades in an attempt to force governments to stop using coal, gas and oil, recently announced that it would change strategy and that members would no longer glue themselves to the pavement.

That new approach was evident on Saturday — as soon as police hauled away one person, another quickly took their place.

Though tactics such as gluing oneself to the street to stop people from commuting, or attacking museum artworks with food have garnered much media attention, it is unclear that these have helped win broader support for such groups' causes.

Why do some see Last Generation as a criminal organization?

js/sri (AP, dpa)

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