Action against short-haul flights – at four German airports

“Exit at the last second”

Climate activists protest against short-haul flights

Airplanes were unable to take off at several airports on Monday – climate activists from Extinction Rebellion wanted to attach themselves to planes with superglue or get out before take-off. They were verbally harassed by passengers.

Activists of the climate protection movement Extinction Rebellion protested against domestic air traffic at several airports on Monday. The actions in Munich, Lübeck, Berlin and Düsseldorf were intended to draw attention to the fact that short-haul flights make a “significant contribution” to Germany’s “harmful CO2 footprint”, the alliance said. According to the Lübeck police headquarters, 18 people were taken into custody there until Monday morning.

Extinction Rebellion spoke of “targeted and peaceful actions” at four German airports. “We have no choice but to peacefully advocate immediate measures to protect the climate,” said Susanne Egli, marine biologist and part of the Extinction Rebellion local group in Munich.

One of the activists first boarded a plane at Düsseldorf Airport, but then demanded to be allowed to disembark immediately before take-off. A video, published by Extinction Rebellion, shows the action. In the video, the flight crew announces over the loudspeakers that the plane has to return to its starting position to let the man get off.

In the video you can hear how other passengers insult the activist and ask him to sit down again. On Twitter, too, many disparaging comments gathered under the video.

Extinction Rebellion argues that leading scientists have predicted “that the Earth is likely to warm to over three degrees by the end of the century,” said spokeswoman Egli. “Our society as we know it now will collapse under this,” she warned. The climate protection activists described it as “a duty to the coming generations to do everything possible and necessary now, in 2020, to do something about it, such as specifically disrupting air traffic”.

In Lübeck, where scheduled flight operations resumed on Monday for the first time in years, five people tried to climb a ladder over the outer fence of the airport grounds early Monday morning, according to police reports. Police forces had been able to prevent this.

Fixed with superglue
Another 15 people were thus able to get through the fence at another location and were taken into custody by police forces on the apron. Three of them tried to fix themselves with superglue, the police explained. This could also have been “prevented in time“.

Three activists reportedly had tickets for a flight to Munich. One passenger had tried to fix himself to the plane to Munich with superglue, the officials further announced. This could be prevented by a passenger as well as the police officers present and the airport security service.

The man was therefore also taken into custody. According to the police, the 18 arrested men are now facing preliminary proceedings. Seven of them were released after their personal details were established.

>> See the report from German Spiegel

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