Germany: environmental activists break into airport runways in Berlin and Munich

Environmental activists entered the tarmac of German airports in Berlin and Munich on Thursday morning, without causing any flight delays or cancellations, to protest against the German government’s climate policy. “Activists (…) stuck to the runway at Munich airport (…) several demonstrators are going to Berlin airport”, warned Thursday in a press release the collective “Letzte Generation” (Last generation).

No impact on traffic

This is the latest punchy action for these climate activists, at the origin of several civil disobedience operations in museums or on the roads.

In Munich, the country’s second airport, the north runway was “blocked for three quarters of an hour” by “four people who stuck” to the tarmac floor, a representative confirmed to AFP. No flights were canceled, however, as scheduled planes were able to depart from the “southern runway”, he added. The demonstrators were “taken off” by the police, before being taken into custody.

In Berlin, “several people” entered a track, said a spokesperson. This “had no effect on traffic”. Activists from “Letzte Generation” are targeting aviation, “a heavily subsidized sector, co-responsible for the climate catastrophe”, they said.

Actions that multiply

Berlin’s BER airport, the country’s third largest, has already been targeted by activists. At the end of November, the activists had blocked a track by sticking their hands on the asphalt. This action had provoked the indignation of several political leaders, even within the government, in which the ecologists occupy key positions.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser had criticized actions that “destroy acceptance within society of the fight against global warming”. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also criticized these actions, calling on environmentalists to use “other modes” of protest. At the end of October, the blocking of a road by activists, accused of having delayed the arrival of help after a road accident which caused the death of a cyclist, caused a lively controversy in Germany.

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