Climate activists glue themselves at Germany airport to protest pollution caused by flying

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Six climate activists were arrested in Germany on Saturday after they broke into the Munich airport and glue themselves to access routes leading to runways, officials said. It caused the airport to be temporarily closed and led to around 60 flight cancellations during a busy holiday weekend.

The activists from the German-based group Last Generation, which has carried out similar protests in the past, were protesting flying, the most polluting form of transportation, said the German news agency dpa.

In a series of posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, the group showed members on what appeared to be a runway or tarmac with protest signs, Reuters reported. The group said six individuals had seated themselves on airport asphalt to block planes.

“Problem is the government, not our holiday,” one of the signs read.

They accused the German government of “downplaying” the negative effects of flying on the environment instead of “finally acting sincerely.”

Incoming flights had to be diverted to other airports, an airport spokesperson said. After a couple of hours, the airport’s two runways were reopened though some disruptions to flight schedules may happen, a statement on the airport’s official website said.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser slammed the protests and called for them to stop. “Such criminal actions threaten air traffic and harm climate protection because they only cause lack of understanding and anger,” she wrote on X.

Fraser also applauded police efforts to bring order back to the airport and called for airport safety measures to be checked.

The general manager of the German Airports Association Ralph Beisel sharply criticized the climate activists’ actions.

“Trespassing the aviation security area is no trivial offense. Over hundreds of thousands of passengers were prevented from a relaxed and punctual start to their Pentecost holiday,” he told dpa.

Beisel also called for harsher penalties for activists who break into airports.

Climate activities blocked flights at Hamburg and Duesseldorf airports for several hours in July.

In January, Last Generation — known for gluing themselves to streets to block traffic which has infuriated many Germans — said it would abandon the tactic and move on to holding what it calls “disobedient assemblies.” Their actions have been widely criticized, and Chancellor Olaf Scholz described them as “completely nutty.”

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