German climate activists raided over oil refinery protests

BERLIN (AP) — German investigators have carried out raids on members of the Last Generation climate activist group over actions against an oil refinery in eastern Germany, authorities said Tuesday.

Cyrill Klement, a prosecutor in Neuruppin, north of Berlin, said that 11 premises across the country were searched, German news agency dpa reported. He said that “somewhat more than 11 people” are under investigation on suspicion of disrupting public operations, and that investigators also are looking into suspicions that they formed a criminal organization.

Klement said that the investigation centers on actions against the PCK Schwedt oil refinery on Germany’s border with Poland since April, which in some cases resulted in oil flows being interrupted. Activists achieved that with protests at pumping stations in eastern Germany which supply the facility — a key source of oil for that part of the country.

Last Generation wrote in posts on Twitter and social network Mastodon that devices such as laptops and cellphones, as well as posters, were confiscated in raids that started at 5 a.m. The group said that the government is leading the country toward “climate collapse” and it is drawing attention to that. It vowed that “we will continue to do so unchanged, because we are the last generation that can do it.”

The group has drawn attention and controversy in recent months by briefly disrupting air traffic, and staging frequent road blockades and protests in which art works were targeted.

Opposition leader Friedrich Merz, whose center-right bloc has been particularly critical of the group’s actions, welcomed the “house searches against so-called ‘climate activists.’”

But Luisa Neubauer, an activist with the more moderate Fridays for Future climate movement, complained on Twitter of “an infinitely disproportionate and absurd action” against Last Generation.