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German authorities conduct series of raids to investigate climate activists

GERMAN authorities raided 15 properties across the country and seized assets in an investigation into the financing of protests by the Last Generation climate activist group, prosecutors said today.

Munich prosecutors said they were investigating seven people on suspicion of forming or supporting a criminal organisation. 

They launched the inquiry following numerous criminal complaints they received since mid-2022.

Members of Last Generation have repeatedly blocked roads across Germany in an effort to press the government to take more drastic action against climate change.

In recent weeks, they have brought the traffic to a halt on an almost daily basis in Berlin, glueing themselves to busy intersections and highways. 

Over the past year, they have also targeted various artworks and exhibits.

Their tactics have been sharply criticised by politicians including, on Monday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who said he thought it was “completely nutty to somehow stick yourself to a painting or on the street.”

Prosecutors said the people under investigation are accused of organising and promoting a campaign to “finance further criminal offences” by the group and collecting at least €1.4 million (£1.2m).

Two of the activists are also suspected of trying to sabotage an oil pipeline that connects the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt with the Italian port of Trieste.

Wednesday’s searches, accompanied by orders to seize two bank accounts and other assets, aimed to secure evidence on the membership structure of Last Generation and its financing. No arrests were made.

Last Generation has acknowledged that its protests are provocative, but it argues that by stirring friction it can encourage debate within society about climate change.

In a Twitter post on Wednesday, the group wrote: “Nationwide raid. #completelynutty.”

The post added: “Searches of lobby structures and seizures of government’s fossil money — when?”

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