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Nerves are on edge: Two motorists shout at an activist from the climate protection group Letzte Generation during a blockade in Berlin

Photo: Sebastian Gollnow / dpa

During a road blockade of the Last Generation in Berlin, a man grabbed the irritant gas and sprayed the activists with it – one of them directly in the face.

While most motorists took the blockades calmly or merely scolded, this man in Prenzlauer Berg is said to have tried to remove the demonstrators from the road with kicks. This is what the police announced on Monday. It will now be determined with a video evidence for dangerous bodily injury.

According to police, the last generation had blocked roads in 21 places in the capital. The group itself spoke of about 30 sit-ins. Numerous intersections in Berlin's rush hour traffic were paralyzed, there were traffic jams and delays because the activists glued themselves to the streets. In some cases, they could only be relieved and carried away by police officers after hours.

In the meantime, almost all blockades have been dissolved, the police continued. It is true that the climate protectors received encouragement from some cyclists or pedestrians. In the district of Spandau, however, a man tried to remove someone from the street with his own hands. There, officials intervened, the police wrote. During an arrest at another location in Berlin-Mitte, a police officer was slightly injured in the hand.

Many motorists protested because they had to go to work. On Frankfurter Allee, a man with gray hair shouted to the blockers: "Keep up the good work, with your help the AfD will get over 25 percent. You take motorists hostage and commit crimes." One of the stuck blockers then gave a long lecture on the global dangers posed by climate change and called on all bystanders to protest. A young woman pushed her bike past and shouted to the five blockers: "Thank you for being so brave."

More than 150 blockers on the road

Around seven o'clock, the blockades had begun on thoroughfares in numerous parts of the city. 155 blockers had been identified, said a police spokeswoman. Many had glued themselves to the road. Most of them are now being charged with coercion and resisting the police. Many roads were already clear again at nine o'clock because the police were able to remove the hands of the blockers, which were fastened with superglue, with cooking oil.

In some places, however, according to the police, the demonstrators use a particularly stubborn adhesive mixture, the use of which the Last Generation describes in detail on its website. There, the detachment took longer. "In some places, the road is damaged and still needs to be repaired," the police wrote. Throughout the day, up to 500 police officers were deployed, it said.

Arrests after action at the Brandenburg Gate

On Sunday, activists of the Last Generation smeared the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin with paint. All six pillars of the Berlin landmark were covered with warning paint in yellow and orange – some of them up to a height of several meters. According to police, 14 people were arrested. Investigations had been started for damage to property that was harmful to the public.

The cleaning started on Sunday. By the time of the marathon at the weekend, the color pigments should be completely removed from the sandstone and the gate should be clean again, according to the authorities.

In addition to road blockades, color attacks have long been part of the actions of climate activists. In Berlin, they had smeared the monument to the Basic Law, party headquarters, luxury shops and a private plane, among other things. The group calls for Germany to abandon fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas from 2030. The German government is aiming for a climate-neutral economy by 2045.

At the Berlin public prosecutor's office, the protest has now led to almost 2500 investigations (as of September 15). The Berlin police have collected more than 2022,480 operational hours on the topic since 000. 454 litres of rapeseed and sunflower oil were used to remove the stuck demonstrators.