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Activist of the »Last Generation« at the Hotel Miramar in Westerland on the island of Sylt

Photo: Jonas Gehring / dpa

Several climate protection activists of the "Last Generation" have been temporarily arrested after a paint spraying action in a five-star hotel on the North Sea island of Sylt. The four activists are now at large, said a spokeswoman for the public prosecutor's office in Flensburg.

The authorities are investigating the women and men between the ages of 19 and 63 for property damage and trespassing – the latter because they did not leave the hotel when asked. They did not comment on the matter after their arrest. No information could yet be given on the amount of damage, the spokeswoman said.

The activists had soiled walls and inventory in the foyer and bar of the hotel with paint from bags and fire extinguishers prepared for this purpose. "We are deeply shocked and saddened by what has just happened," wrote the affected Hotel Miramar in Westerland on Instagram. »Years of tradition, memories and the hard and honest work of several generations have been destroyed by an act of vandalism.« Currently, the hotel's Instagram page is not available.

Drawing attention to the role of the rich

It was only on Tuesday that members of the "Last Generation" cut through the fence of the airport on Sylt, entered the site and sprayed a private jet with orange paint. The public prosecutor's office is also investigating this matter.

The mayor of the municipality of Sylt, Nikolas Häckel (independent), was relaxed: "Two actions of the 'Last Generation' in the municipality of Sylt do not worry me personally," he told the dpa news agency.

The group said the hotel's bar had been bathed in "orange warning paint." The 'Last Generation' demands that the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz fulfills his constitutional obligation and begins to protect our livelihoods from the overconsumption of the super-rich," the initiative wrote in the statement. She had announced targeted actions "against the rich" for this week. The climate catastrophe is being made "primarily by the rich," and the group said it wanted to draw attention to it.

Habeck criticises climate activists

Meanwhile, Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck has been critical of the "Last Generation" campaigns. This process prevents a majority for climate protection," said the Green politician on Friday at the Protestant Church Congress in Nuremberg. It's no help with climate protection."

He also warned against subordinating everything to climate protection. "If we put the climate issue above all else... what does that lead to?" asked Habeck. Energy was also used for the Kirchentag, for screens, light and the arrival of the tens of thousands of visitors. But is that why it is better not to hold the Kirchentag, he asked. "The question of guilt basically leads to the fact that one becomes incapable of acting and also thinking."

It is important to take as many people as possible with us on the way to better climate protection, Habeck said: If politics stops addressing people and taking them with them, does not work to ensure that there are majorities, then this opens up space for populism.

"No and Amen"

In this context, he also acknowledged communicative omissions in the debate about his controversial heating law. His approach "didn't get through" at first, he admitted. But in the meantime, he says, the company is "back on a path of solution orientation". Habeck emphasized again: "This is a decisive law."

The spokeswoman for the "Last Generation", Carla Hinrichs, replied to Habeck's criticism during a panel discussion: "Since when has the government evaluated the protest against itself as right or wrong?"

Shortly before the discussion, members of the »Last Generation« had glued themselves to the street in front of Nuremberg's main train station. In part, the asphalt was cut out around the eight activists, as a police spokesman said. On Twitter, the climate protection group wrote about this action: "No and Amen."