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Police operation against »Last Generation« (in Berlin on 24 May)

Photo: Christoph Soeder / dpa

Internationally, too, the raid against the protest group "Last Generation" has caused some incomprehension. Even the United Nations is now highlighting the importance of climate activists and their actions.

"Climate activists – led by the moral voice of young people – have continued to pursue their goals even in the darkest days. They need to be protected and we need them now more than ever," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric in New York.

At "crucial moments, protesters have been instrumental in persuading governments and business leaders to do much more," Dujarric said. Without them, the global climate goals would already be out of reach. Guterres' spokesman also warned that despite the fundamental right to peaceful demonstrations, governments naturally have a responsibility to enforce laws and ensure security.

The police and the public prosecutor's office had proceeded on Wednesday morning with a raid against the climate protection group "Last Generation". Around 170 officers searched 15 apartments and business premises in seven federal states, according to the Munich Public Prosecutor's Office and the Bavarian State Criminal Police Office. The accusation is of forming or supporting a criminal organization. The activists vehemently deny being criminals.

Demands underpinned with actions

The group regularly draws attention to the consequences of global warming with sit-ins and actions in museums, and its members often glue themselves to streets or works of art. They are also accused of attacks on oil industry facilities. With its protest, the "Last Generation" wants to put the deficits of German climate policy on the agenda – for example, with regard to the immense climate-damaging emissions from car traffic.

The activists are calling for a so-called social council, which should plan the end of the use of fossil fuels in Germany by 2030. They are also calling for a speed limit of 100 km/h on motorways and a 9-euro ticket.