Climate radicals brought the German capital of Berlin to a standstill on Monday morning as activists glued themselves to roads and obstructed traffic in more than 30 locations.
The Berlin fire brigade confirmed on Monday that at least 15 rescue operations had been hindered in the first few hours of the blockades initiated by the Last Generation campaign group.
The civil disobedience commenced at approximately 7:30 a.m. local time as commuters were brought to a standstill across the city with blockades at Ernst-Reuter-Platz, Hermannplatz, and the main street in Schöneberg among others.
The Bild newspaper reported that around 800 climate activists had taken part in the mass protest.
Local media reported how just 14 of Berlin’s 127 ambulance vehicles were available for dispatch at 10:30 a.m., with many of them stuck in the stationary traffic across the city.
“Due to the increased volume of operations, we are currently unable to send ambulances to all operations,” a fire brigade spokesman told Bild, with Alexander Fröhlich, editor of Tagesspiegel, reporting that Berlin’s emergency services were “in a state of emergency due to climate blockades.”
Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner criticized the group’s actions on social media, claiming that “no motive, no matter how noble, can hide the fact that the Berlin blockade is nothing more than physical violence.
“That must never be a means of democratic debate. Anyone who wants a different policy can found a party and seek majorities for their positions,” he tweeted.
Berlin police announced more than 500 officers were on hand on Monday to clear and prevent blockades, and much of the city had returned to normal by midday.
The mass protest is the culmination of a number of demonstrations in previous weeks, with Last Generation claiming the German federal government is not doing enough to tackle climate change.
On Sunday, climate activists jumped the barriers to disrupt the start of the Berlin E-Prix, attempting to glue themselves to the track.
The stunt left several drivers confused considering the event is motorsport’s flagship net zero event.
British Formula E driver Jake Dennis claimed he didn’t really know “what they were trying to achieve,” while racer Antonio Felix da Costa added: “We are probably the worst category in motorsport for them to come and do this at.
“We are by far the most ecological, sustainable and net zero series that ever existed. We are pushing boundaries in every direction.”