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German Chancellor condemns climate protesters who “stopped” emergency services reaching injured cyclist

A female cyclist suffered “life-threatening injuries” in a collision involving the driver of a cement lorry in Berlin on Monday

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has criticised the environmental activist group Letzte Generation after its members were blamed for causing a traffic jam which prevented an emergency services vehicle from reaching a critically injured cyclist in Berlin.

On Monday, protesters from Letzte Generation, or ‘Last Generation’, glued themselves to the road at a busy junction in the west of Berlin. The protest formed part of an ongoing, almost daily attempt to blockade the German capital in order to draw attention to the group’s demands for a national speed limit and cheaper rail fares, the Telegraph reports.

Climate change activists block Berlin road (Letzte Generation)

[Credit: Letzte Generation]

The traffic jam caused by Monday’s protest has since been blamed for delaying the rescue attempt of a female cyclist who was trapped under a cement mixer following a collision with the lorry’s driver in the Wilmersdorf district of Berlin.

A special truck, designed to lift heavy vehicles, was requested by the Berlin Fire Brigade, but was unable to reach the incident in time, forcing the emergency services at the scene to improvise to eventually free the stricken cyclist. The woman was then taken by helicopter to a local hospital, where she remained in intensive care on Tuesday.

The driver of the truck involved in the collision is also being treated in hospital for serious injuries after he was stabbed by an unidentified person who attacked him when he got out of his vehicle following the crash. Both the collision and the subsequent attack are currently being investigated by Berlin police.

In the wake of Monday’s incident, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that it was “very regrettable” that the activists from Letzte Generation appeared to have hindered the attempt to rescue the injured cyclist.

He appealed to the activists to “always bear in mind” that their protests “should not endanger others”.

The city’s Tagesspiegel newspaper also argued that the protests had now moved from being “irritating” to “life threatening”.

While Tagesspiegel warned that public opinion in Germany could soon turn against the climate activists, the Berlin Spectator noted that a representative from the Berlin Fire Brigade told the regional radio and TV network RBB that motorists on the Autobahn did not form the required ‘rescue lane’, which would have allowed the emergency services to access the scene more quickly.

> “They’re protesting about a good thing”: Tour de France riders, organisers and journalists react to climate protest

A spokesperson for Letzte Generation admitted that the rescue truck’s delay may have been caused by the group’s protest, but added that the organisation was “dismayed” by the news.

“We are dismayed that a cyclist was injured by a truck today. We sincerely hope that being late has not worsened her health,” said Carla Hinrichs. “In all our protest actions, our first priority is to ensure the safety of all people taking part. Of course, this also applies to all road users.”

“We do not interrupt everyday life lightly,” the group’s Aimée van Baalen added. “We wish such a disruption wasn’t necessary to get the government to act on the climate crisis.

“We decided on this means of protest because all the means previously attempted, such as demonstrations and petitions, did not bring the necessary success. The safety of everyone on our roads, and also in the future, is the fundamental motivation for our actions. As soon as the government takes the first security measures against the impending climate collapse, we will immediately stop all protest actions.”

Formed last year, Letzte Generation – like Just Stop Oil in the UK and France’s Dernière Rénovation (who twice attempted to disrupt this year’s Tour de France by blocking the road) – has tried to alert the German government and public to the climate crisis by stopping traffic and focusing on stunts involving significant cultural objects.

On Saturday, two activists glued themselves to the handrails of a dinosaur exhibit at Berlin’s Natural History Museum, while last month two other members threw mashed potatoes at Claude Monet’s painting Les Meules (Haystacks) before gluing themselves to the wall of the Barberini Museum in Potsdam.

Ryan joined in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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cqexbesd | 1 year ago

An update of sorts. The cyclist died in hospital. The doctor in charge at the scene said that the protest had no impact on the care the patient received. The protest was several kilometers away. The lack of Rettungsgasse by the car drivers did cause delays to the ambulance (but not the emergency doctor so probably not significant?). The person who stabbed the driver is receiving psychiatric care.

JustTryingToGet... | 1 year ago

Just did a bit of googling.

2 protesters are facing charges
The protest group itself said they won't rule out they caused delay but they do keep emergency lanes clear

So we can all have a nice cup of tea instead of arguing and see what courts decide, as they will know more than us. We could run a book on the outcome. My bet is, at most, a conviction for some form of public nuisance. I don't think obstruction of assistance will stick.

Brietbart shares views with the resident trolling prick but won't sully the site with that.

cqexbesd replied to JustTryingToGetFromAtoB | 1 year ago
1 like
JustTryingToGetFromAtoB wrote:

see what courts decide, as they will know more than us.

Your faith in the German justice system is both both endearing and quaint  3

JustTryingToGet... replied to cqexbesd | 1 year ago
cqexbesd wrote:
JustTryingToGetFromAtoB wrote:

see what courts decide, as they will know more than us.

Your faith in the German justice system is both both endearing and quaint  3

Ignorance and optimism
I know nothing of the German system butI hope for the best

marmotte27 | 1 year ago

The despicable, hypocritical playing against each other of two victims of our destructive system, the cyclist and the climate...

ktache | 1 year ago
1 like

It's the attack by stabbing of the driver that I would like to know more about.

JustTryingToGet... | 1 year ago

This reads to me that protesters did their thing. On a connected section of road, someone was harmed. The harm may or may not have been caused by a motorist, and if so may or may not have been due to a failure to do the job of driving to a decent standard. Normal and, so it seems, unconnected to protests.

Congestion being a normal event and cyclists being harmed being a normal event.

The harm was then worsened by motorists failing to abide by the rules of the road required in the event of congestion, regardless of the cause of congestion. That's why the rule exists.

Yet there is a shit-ton of debate on the culpability of protesters. Honestly, the apologists for dickheads in tin cans harming people is sick. We've a long way to go to normalise an attitude where it is socially unacceptable for someone who shows any disregard for the rules of yhe road to drive a killing machine on the road. Until that cultural change happens, the bodies will keep piling up.

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