Five accused climate activists strained the nerves of those involved at a trial in Frankfurt. Instead of commenting on the case, they made numerous applications and held monologues on climate protection. One defendant railed against the system.
After a spectacular abseiling action on Autobahn 5, five climate activists have been on trial before the Frankfurt district court since Friday. The indictment charges the three women and two men with coercion in a particularly serious case.
In October 2020, the accused, who were between 24 and 31 years old, are said to have caused the full closure of the motorway near Frankfurt Airport, which is particularly busy in the morning rush hour, with their action. With the action they demonstrated against the clearing work at the construction site of the A49 in the Dannenröder forest.
On the first day of the hearing, the defendants did not comment on the specific allegations. As reported by the “Bild” newspaper, the defendants alone delayed the reading of the indictment by two hours. They made many requests, demanding, for example, gender-sensitive language and more defenders. In the end there were so many that we had to move to a larger hall.
Four of the accused gave longer lectures on climate protection or the “violent police”, writes the “Bild”. Meanwhile, there was clapping and whistling in the audience area. However, the judge did not intervene.
As the paper continues to write, the accused Hauke L. in particular strained the nerves of those involved in the process. He said: “Courts are disgusting, disgusting, inhumane shit machines that destroy lives every day. I deeply despise your shit club and this shit system. I would just go now if nothing speaks against it.” He had to stay, but didn’t have to pay a fine for his statements, according to the “Bild”.
After the action, they were briefly in custody. According to the public prosecutor’s office, a “particularly serious coercion” can be assumed due to the massive consequences. However, the indictment does not raise the allegation of a dangerous intervention in road traffic. According to the prosecutor, there was no concrete danger to a road user. The court intends to complete the trial next week.
Numerous other activists in Hesse and nationwide had already caused a stir with similar actions. Among other things, it was a protest against the controversial further construction of the A49. Among others, the A3, the A661, the A5 and the A7 were affected. The traffic had to be stopped completely for safety reasons – the result was long traffic jams.
The actions are controversial: Critics accuse the climate protectors of endangering bystanders. According to the police, a driver was seriously injured in a rear-end collision on the A3 in 2020 at the end of a traffic jam after abseiling. In some cases, such actions have already been registered – and approved by the authorities subject to conditions. The activists speak of civil disobedience, which is necessary in view of the climate crisis.