In an indication of growing resentment with the disruptive protest tactics being used in other European nations, German police raided 15 residences connected to the Last Generation climate activist group on Wednesday and seized assets as part of an inquiry into its finances.
To put pressure on the government to take more severe action against climate change, members of the organization have frequently blocked roads throughout Germany. They have recently glued themselves too busy crossroads and motorways in Berlin, causing traffic to halt practically daily.
They have also targeted several exhibits and works of art during the past year.
The raids, ordered by Munich prosecutors, come days after Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he thought it was “completely nutty to somehow stick yourself to a painting or on the street.” Leading members of the environmentalist Green party, a member of his governing coalition, have also said the group’s actions are counterproductive.
The police searches, according to a Last Generation representative, significantly impacted the group and its supporters, but they wouldn’t stop their activities.
They scare us, but we shouldn’t let that fear paralyze us, Aimee van Baalen told reporters in Berlin.
“With its eyes wide open, the German government is leading us toward a climate-related hell. Even pressing the gas pedal counts,” she remarked. “We must go on.”
She urged people to join forthcoming protest marches in Berlin and other German towns.
Last Generation has already recognized its protests as provocative, but it contends that igniting controversy might stimulate societal discussion about climate change and the measures required to halt it.
Following a ruling by Germany’s highest court two years prior that the previous administration was unfairly burdening young people with the effects of global warming, then-Chancellor Angela Merkel tightened climate targets.
Although Germany now has some of the most aggressive goals for reducing emissions of the planet-heating greenhouse gas, experts claim that the nation isn’t on course to reach those goals.