ARCHIV - 02.06.2022, Berlin: Franziska Giffey (SPD), Regierende Bürgermeisterin von Berlin, nimmt an der Pressekonferenz nach der Ministerpräsidentenkonferenz teil. Nach einem Fake-Telefonat eines vorgeblichen Vitali Klitschko mit Berlins Regierender Bürgermeisterin Giffey ermittelt der für politisch motivierte Straftaten zuständige Staatsschutz der Kriminalpolizei. (zu "Fake-Telefonat mit Bürgermeisterin Giffey - Staatsschutz ermittelt") Foto: Michael Kappeler/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Berlin’s Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) is pushing for a tougher line in dealing with street blockades by the “Last Generation” group.

“There is absolutely no doubt that these are criminal offenses,” Giffey said on Tuesday after the Senate session, emphasizing that he was speaking for the entire Senate.

With a view to the actions continued on Tuesday, some of which lead to significant traffic disruptions, Giffey continued: “I do think that the corresponding criminal proceedings should be accelerated and that intensive fines should be imposed”.

Interior Senator Iris Spranger (SPD) has Giffey’s “full support” in examining “the extent to which higher penalties can be applied here,” she said, adding: “The judiciary is responsible for criminal proceedings.” The day before in turn, Justice Senator Lena Kreck (left) rejected any attempt to politically influence the work of the courts.

Giffey, who emphasized that even in the case of the blockades justified by the protest against climate change, the end does not justify the means, was reacting to criticism from the CDU, FDP and police circles, among others. On Tuesday, they accused the Senate of “dodging” when dealing with the activists and demanded that the blockers be charged for the costs of the police operations.

“The precautionary detention would be a way to prevent further blockade actions,” demanded Frank Balzer, spokesman for domestic affairs for the CDU parliamentary group. Benjamin Jendro, spokesman for the police union in Berlin, explained: “Our capital is currently an absolute feel-good biotope for road blockers.”

In fact, the activists continued their actions Tuesday morning. According to the police, lanes were blocked in four places near the motorway exits, including in Pankow and Reinickendorf. Some of the around 40 activists glued their hands to the asphalt.

On several sections of the motorway, traffic jams formed, some of which were very long, during rush hour. An ambulance with a patient had to turn around and find another way past the traffic jam, a police spokeswoman said.