Climate activist reports about time in Stadelheim: "There was even vegan food"
Created: 12/28/2022, 12:07 p.m
By: Nail Akkoyun
Metzeler-Kick (48) takes part in climate protests of the last generation - and was already in prison for it.
© Press and Media Relations Last Generation
In an interview, a last generation activist talks about climate change, the methods of the demonstrators and his personal motivations.
Frankfurt/Munich – Mr. Metzeler-Kick is an activist with the last generation, previously he was involved in the climate movement Scientist Rebellion.
At the beginning of December, the environmental engineer was arrested near Munich - but not for the first time.
In an interview, the 48-year-old explains his motives and why he believes the methods of the last generation are necessary.
Mr Metzeler-Kick, you were held in the Stadelheim prison until December 21st.
When and why were you arrested?
That was on December 6th, on Santa Claus.
That was due to a roadblock at the A96 motorway exit on the Mittlerer Ring in Munich.
The charge was coercion.
And how did you end up with the last generation?
I'm an environmental engineer, that's been my path for a long time.
So the decision to become active was not made in the short term.
And the more you deal with the subject, the more dramatic it is.
You hear “climate crisis”, that sounds quite nice, but in and of itself the situation we are in is more than dramatic.
The 6th status report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change still indicates an emissions path that would have made it possible to meet the 1.5°C target – but it should have been taken in 2019.
When this status report was published, I had Corona - and a lot of time to read.
I'd looked at it, and one graphic
[Box SPM1, ed.'s note]
was particularly devastating.
A short time later I found out about the hunger strike of the last generation and thought to myself, the situation is really so dramatic that it is appropriate to starve publicly to draw attention to it.
That's how I see it today when I'm on a roadblock: I would put up with being run over, because at least that's a relatively quick death.
Do you think protests of this kind are expedient?
We are on the way to an absolute catastrophe.
When the time comes when I too have to realize that it's too late now, I'll just have to look at the nonsense.
But today it's not too late and it would be insane if I just looked at it with my knowledge.
Look what science tells you.
These are not just any people, this is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
But while the last generation protests, the authorities lock them up.
How should such a joint dialogue in the fight against climate change come about?
It's like this: A messenger comes and the messenger is shot.
And now the question is how could the messenger come so as not to be shot.
Citizens stuck in traffic or missing their flights may lose interest in taking action on climate change because they do not approve or understand the protests of the last generation.
But what better way is there?
We currently have a minimal time window of maybe another year or two.
We are four years behind the IPCC plan to meet the 1.5 degree Paris target.
At the same time, when discussing our methods, one should consider why these methods are adopted.
We now have to speak plain language and how should we do that so that we are still liked?
Have you been attacked by people you don't like?
The most extreme situation I had was when a person with a knife stood in front of me in Berlin.
I then got on my knees and said, "Sorry, mate.
You're going to have to stab me now."
Let's talk about her time in prison again.
What kind of people did you meet there?
I was in custody three times in the JVA Stadelheim.
The first time with Scientist Rebellion, at that time I also had more contact with the remaining prisoners.
Otherwise the contact is rather limited.
There is strict segregation and it is rather difficult to get into conversation with other inmates.
Perhaps also so that detainees on remand can pass on difficult messages to the outside world.
And how were you treated?
Because if you look at the situation in Iran or in Russia... I mean, there is even vegan food in the JVA Stadelheim. We as citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany are incredibly privileged.
We have to use this privilege to say, "Hey government, what is currently happening is an absolute breach of the Basic Law".
I'm talking about Article 2, paragraph 2: the right to life and physical integrity.
So you will continue to take to the streets?
Yes, next I will go to Lützerath.
What is the mood like within the last generation: Do you believe that something will eventually change?
I can only speak for myself and I have to say that even if it doesn't work, it would still be the best thing I can do at the moment, because doing nothing would be unbearable.
Interview: Nail Akkoyun
Interview: Nail Akkoyun