"Letzte Generation" (Last Generation) activists block a road under the slogan "Let's stop the fossil madness!" for an end to fossil fuels and against oil drilling in the North Sea, in Berlin, Germany, July 6, 2022. REUTERS/Christian Mang

Climate protection demonstrators have continued their sit-ins on the streets of Berlin and again caused traffic jams in rush-hour traffic. On Wednesday morning, members of the “Last Generation” group sat down again in several places near the motorway exits in the Berlin city area, as a police spokeswoman said. There were blockades in five places with a total of about 50 demonstrators, some of whom had glued themselves to the asphalt.

Various junctions were affected along the A111, for example on Kurt-Schumacher-Damm. The “Last Generation” wrote on Twitter in the morning that the demonstrators had held up signs saying “Where is the climate chancellor?” The renewed blockades in Berlin were now in their third week.

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From January to March, the demonstrators had repeatedly blocked motorway exits and called for more climate protection. The Berlin public prosecutor’s office has so far been involved in 73 cases. As a spokesman for the authorities said on request on Wednesday, these cases all relate to road blockades in January. The police also have hundreds of criminal complaints.

According to the public prosecutor’s office, however, it has not yet been possible to make a decision on whether charges will be filed in any of the proceedings. The prerequisite for this is a completed investigation by the police. But they still have to clarify important points.

Attorney General Margarete Koppers said that her authority had already explained to the police in the spring what was missing in the investigation and which points required follow-up investigations. She referred to the case law of the Federal Constitutional Court on motorway blockades. “The public prosecutor’s office decides on the initial suspicion, the necessity and intensity of investigations and the maturity of the indictment, according to law and order and not according to political wishful thinking,” emphasized Koppers with a view to demands from politicians for quicker and harsher penalties.

Berlin’s governing mayor Franziska Giffey and interior senator Iris Spranger (both SPD) had repeatedly criticized the protest actions. “I want to reiterate that there is absolutely no doubt that these are criminal offenses,” Giffey said on Tuesday. Spranger had said she expected the judiciary to bring charges and convictions.

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“It’s about difficult legal issues,” explained senior public prosecutor Holger Brocke, the department head responsible for the proceedings. It is important, for example, how many people took part, how long the actions lasted and whether there were any alternatives for drivers. But it is also relevant when and how people who were stuck were removed from the street. Especially in the early days, such details were not recorded by the police officers on site. “Your initial concern was to get people off the streets.”