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29 Oct 2020, 13:51
Benjamin Wehrmann

Protesters occupy Green Party headquarters in Berlin in bid to stop Autobahn expansion

Berliner Zeitung / Clean Energy Wire

Activists calling for a halt of a highway project have occupied the Green Party's headquarters in Berlin, arguing that the environmentalist party is complicit in allowing the expansion of the Autobahn 49 (A49) in central Germany, the Berliner Zeitung reports. About 30 protesters of activist group Ende Gelände together with protest movement Fridays for Future entered the party headquarters and unfolded banners demanding a halt to the A49 project in the Dannenröder Forest in the federal state of Hesse. The protesters' banners accused the Greens of being a "car party" due to their consent to the project in the Hessian government coalition along with the conservative CDU. "Those who want to build a new Autobahn in 2020 ignore the climate crisis' cruelty," Ende Gelände's Kim Solievna said on Twitter. Fellow activists of Ende Gelände have set up camps in the Dannenröder Forest north of Frankfurt for several months now in a bid to prevent the clearing of the forest to prepare the A49's expansion. Police arrested several activists earlier this week after they abseiled onto highways in Hesse, causing major traffic obstruction in the region, the Berliner Zeitung reported

The Green Party leadership earlier this month said it would advocate for a moratorium on the construction of new highways and state roads and called for a "fundamental review" of the country's transport policy. Yet despite the party's clear positioning in the run-up to Germany's 2021 elections, some climate activists have begun to take issue with the Greens' readiness to find compromise with other political parties when it comes to climate policy projects. This has led to an initiative of climate activist groups who want to get small and niche parties in Germany to unite as one political camp to overcome the 5 percent threshold to gain seats in parliament after the 2021 national election and establish a political force that pushes for intransigent climate action.

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