German police have launched nationwide investigations against climate activists from the Next Generation group, who have become known for blocking roads in a bid to force the government to take stronger action against climate change.
According to the German prosecutor’s office, police searched 15 locations in seven federal states. The target of the investigations are seven individuals aged between 22 and 38 who are suspected of “forming or supporting a criminal organization”. According to the American news agency AP, the investigation against the members of the group was launched in the middle of last year after receiving several criminal reports.
According to prosecutors, the individuals are accused of organizing and promoting a campaign to “finance further criminal acts” by the group. For this purpose, they are supposed to collect 1.4 million euros. Two of them are also accused of attempting to sabotage the oil pipeline connecting Ingolstadt in Bavaria with Trieste in Italy.
The investigations took place in the federal states of Hessen, Hamburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, Bavaria, Berlin and the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein. 170 police officers took part in the raid, and according to the instructions of the public prosecutor’s office, the activist group’s website was also disabled.
The tactics of the Last generation group have repeatedly been the target of harsh criticism. In recent weeks, traffic has been stopped almost every day in Berlin and stuck to road signs or the asphalt.
On Monday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he thought it was completely crazy to stick to the pictures or the road. In his opinion, such actions will not contribute to changing people’s thinking about climate change, but will only make people angry. “It’s an action that I doubt will help,” Scholz said.
The Last Generation admits that their actions are provocative, but claim that their purpose is only to stimulate a discussion in society about climate change.