Leading politicians have sharply criticised the Last Generation climate action group for their large-scale protest on Austrian motorways, which resulted in 57 arrests.
On Monday, members of Last Generation’s Austrian chapter glued themselves to the motorway, blocking strategic commuting points into Vienna and causing traffic jams up to 10 kilometres long. The last Generation is known for glueing themselves to roads and defacing yachts and paintings.
“Like many other people, I have no sympathy for blocking motorways by climate activists with glue,” explained Chancellor Karl Nehammer on X.
Aside from causing economic damage, the activists “poison the societal climate,” he added.
But the activists said they had been subject to violence akin to “massive aggression” by drivers, with the group saying it “understands the frustration of drivers” but that “violence is not the answer.”
To tackle the activists’ new approach of cementing themselves onto roads, Nehammer told Kronen Zeitung that police forces would be equipped with heavy-duty equipment.
As for the police, they said they had arrested 30 activists in Lower Austria and another 27 in Vienna and confirmed they were investigating a driver who tried to run over an activist.
Meanwhile, the German chapter of the activist group is considering a change of tactics as key members are imprisoned, and the hoped-for mass uprising sparked by their protests has yet to materialise.
(Nikolaus J. Kurmayer | Euractiv.de)
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