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"I didn't tell my parents": Climate glue has to go to jail – and is celebrated


Highlights: Raúl Semmler was sentenced to three days in prison for refusing to pay money to an oil company. He was prohibited from posting pictures of it on the company's social media page, but did it anyway. "I see it as a civic duty that we keep an eye on the government," he says. He will be released on Friday (2 June) and will be given a large welcoming committee, the group says. "We're picking up Raúl from the prison," it says on his Twitter account.

A video team accompanies a climate activist of the "Last Generation" on his way to prison. He is afraid of imprisonment, but wants to continue demonstrating.

Munich/Bützow – Instant coffee, coffee creamer and several packs of tobacco. Raúl Semmler has stocked up well for the three days ahead of him. The climate activist goes to jail. He is afraid of jail, but he does not regret his protest, he says.

Raúl Semmler accepts a prison sentence even though he doesn't have to. He would rather serve time than pay money to an oil company. He had turned off the pipelines of the PCK refinery and filmed a protest action. He was prohibited from posting pictures of it on the company's social media page – but Semmler did it anyway. The penalty: 1,500 euros, or three days in the Bützow correctional facility.

Climate activist of the "Last Generation" has to go to jail: "I didn't tell my parents" – ceremonial farewell to friends

Several members of the "Last Generation" accompanied him to his imprisonment. Together they stroll through a wooded area to the prison, in front of the gate there are flowers and hugs. Almost solemn. "See you then, in three days, I'm going to the magic ball," says Semmler and rings the doorbell.

The climate activist does not want to stop his protest. He would not be deterred by further criminal proceedings either. He spent the last evening before his short detention with friends in Treptower Park in Berlin and spoke to the AFP news agency.

"I didn't tell my parents," Semmler reveals, looking down thoughtfully: "I don't want to worry my mother." His father had been imprisoned in the GDR because of an attempt to leave the country.

"I see it as a civic duty": Activist of the "Last Generation" explains why he is protesting

He explains: "I see it as a civic duty that we keep an eye on the government. If we have no other way for them to abide by the law. The Federal Constitutional Court said in 2020 that the federal government was doing too little in terms of climate protection."

Protest is the last resort for him. "What else are we supposed to do? Should we wait until the Constitutional Court says something again?" asks Semmler. And he himself gives the answer: "No. We must resist peacefully and must not let the Federal Government get away with it. On the other hand, I then experience that we are criminalized, that our houses are searched, that armed officers storm the apartments."

Member of the "Last Generation" goes to jail: activist continues to tweet for him

While he is in prison, another "Last Generation" activist looks after his Twitter account. The group reports in detail on the case of Raúl Semmler. For his decision not to pay money to the PCK, he receives a lot of encouragement from like-minded people. The "Last Generation" shared an emotional video from the gate of the Bützow prison.


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He will be released on Friday (2 June) and will be given a large welcoming committee. "We're picking up Raúl from the prison," it says on Semmler's Twitter account. A lot of hustle and bustle around three days of detention.

Another climate activist faces several months in jail. He has to pay 15,000 euros in fines, but does not have the money. The "Last Generation" supports his appeal for donations on the Internet. (moe)

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-06-02

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