Despite the sharp increase in criticism of its actions, the climate movement Last Generation has announced an expansion of its radical protests. “We will take our protest to all areas that will be affected by the climate catastrophe,” said activist Carla Rochel on RTL on Sunday. The Union advocates tightening criminal law for climate activists. However, this met with rejection in the traffic light coalition.

Rochel said on the program “stern TV am Sonntag” that her movement was not in a “popularity competition”: The activists “are not about being liked – but about making society aware that we are in a climate catastrophe race”.

When asked, the 20-year-old did not rule out blockades at German airports. In Amsterdam, climate activists partially paralyzed Schiphol Airport on Saturday.

The Last Generation group recently caused a stir with blockades of road traffic and attacks on famous paintings. However, the political dispute over the actions of the climate activists has intensified since a cyclist was run over by a cement mixer during a protest blockade in Berlin last week.

A special vehicle from the fire brigade was stuck in a traffic jam on Monday due to the blockade and therefore arrived late at the scene of the accident. The Berlin police therefore filed criminal charges against two protesters, including for failure to provide assistance. The cyclist succumbed to her injuries in hospital on Thursday.

However, representatives of the traffic light coalition opposed the Union’s demand for tightening of criminal law for climate activists. FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai told the “Tagesspiegel” (Monday edition) that the “continuing radicalization of parts of the climate movement” was causing him “great concern”. But there are already enough legal instruments available “if the limits of peaceful protest are exceeded”.

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The legal policy spokeswoman for the SPD parliamentary group, Sonja Eichwede, made a similar statement. She fears a “further radicalization” of the activists. But the criminal law already offers numerous possibilities to take action against it. She called the Union’s demand for tightening of criminal law “populist”.

The “Bild am Sonntag” (“BamS”) had reported that the Union faction wanted to introduce a bill for tightening criminal law in the Bundestag this week. Road blockers who obstruct the passage of the police, fire brigade and rescue services should therefore face a minimum prison sentence in the future, and activists should also be able to be arrested as a preventive measure if there is a risk of repetition. According to “BamS”, the Union is demanding a minimum prison sentence for damaging cultural assets instead of the fine that has been in force up to now.

Climate protest should “not be a license to commit crimes,” said CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt the newspaper. “Significantly tougher penalties for climate chaos are needed to counteract further radicalization in parts of this climate movement and to deter imitators”.

The CSU member of the Bundestag Andrea Lindholz, chairwoman of the interior committee, told the “Welt” (Monday edition) that the danger to people from road blockades and the damage to historical works of art “crossed red lines”. The rule of law must react more harshly than before. “We will not stop the increasing radicalization with fines,” warned the CSU politician.

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