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On blockades, rescue lanes and a staged media outrage [Riot Turtle]

Berlin. On October 31, a woman was seriously injured (This original German version of this article was written before the woman passed away, Enough 14) after being hit by a concrete mixer in Berlin. Such accidents are always a tragedy. It is even more tragic when a rescue truck is stuck because there is no rescue lane in a traffic jam caused by a blockade. In this case a blockade by Last Generation activists. Activists always have a responsibility when they carry out an action. They always have to weigh things up. There is no doubt about that. I sincerely hope that the injured woman will fully recover, but there is no justification for the death threats against climate activists by far-right radicals fed by a dishonest media outrage and political clowns screaming for harsher punishments.

Written by Riot Turtle.

A wave of outrage rolled across the German media landscape in recent days. Those who are primarily responsible for climate change were not at issue. Those who are jointly responsible for the 180 fatal victims of the flood disaster that hit the FRG in 2021. There were also no political clowns at that time who stood up and implemented effective measures against the climate crisis. Instead, politicians in this country initiated a massive rollback to fossil fuels. We remember the thousands killed in the floods in Pakistan. We remember the people who died in the long and severe heat waves in many regions around the world last summer. We remember the people who lost everything in the devastating wildfires in the U.S., Europe, Siberia and beyond. The hopelessness in large parts on the African continent.

I don’t want to set off deaths or injuries against each other. However, I do want to clarify the dimensions we are talking about when we talk about the climate crisis. In the meantime, I use the hashtag #ClimateEndgame, because either we manage to win this battle or we are doomed. And if nothing else, we will drag many other species in the abyss with us.

The number of people who will lose, or have already lost, their livelihoods or even their lives will increase dramatically in the coming years because the fossil fuel industry, with the support of politicians, is doing business as usual. Apart from the massive destruction in Rhineland, RWE is now building terminals for liquefied natural gas by order of the German government. Part of the rollback to fossil fuels. Part of the further exacerbation of the climate crisis. We are now heading for 2.5 degrees Celsius. With all the consequences. The main culprits are known and have names, but I have never heard a politician calling for tough prosecution of the CEOs of these corporations. Not that I am in favor of tough prosecution, but my general rejection of “our” rule of law, which in my opinion simply does not exist, is not the issue here.

The instrumentalization of the tragic traffic accident in Berlin shows the true face of many politicians and parts of the media in this country. An employee of a rescue service from Berlin tweeted: “We rescue workers are stuck in traffic jams DAILY. Every single damn mission!!! The reasons are by far the following: parking offenders, “double parking”, construction sites, missing rescue lanes, in general, way too many cars packed in way too little space. If now all of a sudden all the philanthropists come up and have a vocation to do something for the protection of patients: …then inform people about proper rescue lanes …finally sanction wrong parking …don’t drive alone with a car into the city. To blame climate activists here is disrespectful to the accident victim, hypocritical, dishonest and chivy. And the Berlin fire department, which is now acting outraged, should take a self-critical approach.

Probably several bottles of champagne were opened in some boardrooms when Tadzio Müller posted his tweet. Yes, Tadzio’s tweet was terrible. Sometimes it’s better to sit down and think twice before you post a tweet. Tadzio knows this and deleted his tweet. Good move, I would have done the same. I probably never would have posted a tweet like that, but it’s not like I’ve never posted a tweet and later thought, well, that wasn’t your brightest moment… or even: Okay, that really was a stupid tweet. That’s why I also deleted some of my tweets in the past. We’re humans, we make mistakes. To be honest: In my opinion, mistakes are part of what makes us human.

I just deleted a tweet in which I used stupid & disrespectful wording in reference to a woman whose life is in danger after an accident, sincerely apologize for that wording, & hope she comes through.

Tadzio Mueller (@MuellerTadzio) October 31, 2022

Of course there was a shitstorm and of course many far-right trolls reacted. Tadzio received a number of threats, including death threats, but tabloids like Bild and Welt TV and others, as expected, continued their indignation and criminalization campaign against Tadzio and climate activists in general. Because the fossil industry and their henchmen in the political arena and parts of the media use every opportunity to strengthen their position and to push their interests. That is the reason why they instrumentalize the traffic accident. And only that! They know that the climate movement is currently in a difficult phase and want to break the resistance in order to continue their rollback to fossil fuels.

In a statement on October 31, Last Generation writes about the accident: “We are dismayed that a female cyclist was injured by a truck today. We sincerely hope that the delay has not worsened her medical condition,” Carla Hinrichs of Last Generation said. “In all our protest actions, the first priority is to ensure the safety of all people participating. Of course, this also applies to all road users.” At least their statement was picked up by many media outlets. But that doesn’t mean the criminalization stopped after that. Of course it didn’t.

I have great respect for the strong-willed and continuous wave of protests of the last generation activists. But I don’t think tomato soup and superglue will help us much. In that sense, yesterday’s actions of the last generation were much better. Clear and direct hits against institutions of those who are responsible for the worsening climate emergency we are facing. Even if the accompanying tweet (below) was directed to the federal government. So those who work hand in glove with the fossil fuel industry. It’s pointless to expect anything from them. Think outside the box and without the usual boundaries! In my opinion, actions against the main contributors to the climate crisis are more effective. Direct actions against open pit mines, oil refineries, pipelines and corporate headquarters of corporations that accelerate the climate crisis. Mashed potatoes against glass panes may get a lot of attention, but at the latest since Fridays For Future emerged, many people are aware of the problem. We need to take the next step and move beyond appealing and symbolic actions.

The Empire is in the middle of the Endgame on many levels and right now the narrative is the radicalization of the climate movement, climate terrorism, because people are gluing themselves to asphalt. The ruling class knows that climate conflicts will escalate. That’s why they instrumentalize the tragic traffic accident in Berlin. They have never campaigned with the same intensity for emergency services that are stuck because car drivers have not opened a rescue lane so that rescue vehicles can get to their destination. And they never will. Because this is not about a traffic accident and its tragic consequences. This is about a massive attack on the climate movement. We are witnessing a sham debate.

To believe that a ruling class that doesn’t even have a moral problem allowing thousands of people to drown in the Mediterranean (to name just one example) will forgo its incredible profits because of symbolic and appealing actions is naïve, to say the least. Tadzio Müller is among those who are aware that we need to take the climate struggle to another level. He advocates sabotage as a means in the climate struggle. This is one of the things the fossil industry is afraid of. RWE and others know that this kind of actions could become a threat to their destructive activities.

The way in which our opponents, the fossil industry and its accomplices, instrumentalize a woman’s injury gives us a glimp what is in store for us if the climate crisis continues to deteriorate. And it will. In the coming weeks and months, we need to analyze what exactly happened. How and which media participated in the unleashed media campaign to serve the old fossil world. But we should also analyze how powerful the fossil industry still is. What networks exist between political clowns, parts of the media and corporations and at which point radical far-right forces could be instrumentalized to defend their fossil agenda, their profits.

The climate struggle is a battle for a livable planet, our planet, for all people, with respect for all species, together with all people and species, and thus must be anti-capitalist and anti-colonial. Since we are all part of a complex ecosystem, the struggle against species extinction must also be a top priority.

Forget about the political circus in various parliaments. The climate struggle will be decided in the streets. But to build a strong movement that goes beyond symbolic and appealing protests, we need to understand what’s at stake and realize that we can’t win this fight unless we’re ready to get our hands dirty. It’s going to be a long make-or-break struggle. I’m not optimistic about the state of affairs. I am afraid that we have already passed several tipping points. But it’s worth it to fight for every 0.1 degrees. The love for life versus the love for money.

Forget about the political circus in various parliaments. The climate struggle will be decided in the streets. But to be able to build a strong movement that goes beyond symbolic and appealing protests, we need to understand what’s at stake and realize that we can’t win this fight unless we’re ready to get our hands dirty. It’s going to be a long make-or-break struggle. I’m not optimistic about the state of affairs. I am afraid that we have already passed several tipping points. But it’s worth it to fight for every 0.1 degrees. The love for life versus the love for money.

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