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Bizarre runway protest by climate activists disrupts dozens of flights

Bizarre runway protest by climate activists disrupts dozens of flights


July 14, 2023 | 7:27 p.m

Climate activists in Germany blocked aircraft at two airports on Thursday by sticking themselves to the runways in protest of mass transit pollution, causing hours of delays and scores of cancellations.

“The last generation is not protecting the climate, they are involved in criminal activity,” said Transport Minister Volker Wessing.

The Last Generation group, which is behind the protest, has demanded tougher government action to cut greenhouse gas emissions and immediate plans to cut emissions in the transport sector, accusing officials of lacking a strategy to tackle the climate crisis.

Adding to the airport unrest, activists on Friday targeted traffic in Munich.

Reuters reports that one member of the group abandoned himself in the street while others clung to him, using what appears to be the same method used in the airport disturbances on Thursday.

It follows a similar protest in April during which the group plastered itself onto the streets of Berlin to block traffic to the Alps, again seeking to disrupt any residents and travellers’ holiday plans.

Instead of presenting a concrete plan to prevent this and reach the emissions reduction target called for by the law, the DOT is relying on “technological flexibility,” the group wrote in a statement following the airport protests.

Climate activists in Germany have plastered themselves on the runways to protest against trans-pollution.
The last generation is the group responsible for the protest.

A spokesman for the Federal Police said that Hamburg Airport grounded flights at around 6 a.m. after nine unauthorized people entered the airport and eight of them stuck themselves to the runway.

Seven people entered the airport at Düsseldorf Airport, and they all managed to stick onto the runway, but after several hours the authorities dismantled half of the demonstrators.

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Germany’s DW reported that Hamburg delayed, canceled or changed 46 flights. The protest came as the first day of the summer school holidays began in the city.

The activists are accused of “dangerous interference with aviation”.
The activists targeted traffic in Munich on Friday.

Police said the activists would face charges of disturbing the peace, coercive conduct and dangerous interference in aviation affairs.

Transport Minister Wessing and Justice Minister Marco Buschmann accused the demonstrators of dividing society by “ruining the annual holidays for others that people have long deserved and looked forward to”.

The Associated Press reports that Wessing has blocked several proposals to cut emissions from air and road travel in recent years.

Last Generation insists its protests are peaceful, if disruptive, though motorists sometimes face delays when the group blocks roads and attacks activists.

German prosecutors raided the homes of several members of the group in May on suspicion of forming or supporting a criminal organisation.

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