Protest against the IAA: clashes, pepper spray and squatting

During protests against the IAA Mobility auto show in Munich, there were clashes with the police. The officials used batons and pepper spray against demonstrators several times on Friday. 16 people were arrested during the day. Activists and politicians criticized the practice while the police defended it. The IAA opponents occupied a house that was cleared again, demonstrated on several of the open spaces at the motor show in the city center and temporarily blocked another motorway. The night before, the private home of VW CEO Herbert Diess in Munich was the target of a color attack.

In Karlstrasse, near the old town, activists temporarily occupied a house on Friday. When a protest march stopped in front of the building, according to observers, batons and pepper spray were used. A person who climbed a tree was injured. How exactly and how difficult it is is unclear, said Florian Siekmann, Member of the Green Party, who had accompanied the protests as a “parliamentary observer”. However, an ambulance was in use. According to the activists, the building was evacuated by the police in the course of the afternoon.

The police initially did not comment on possible injuries on the part of the activists, but confirmed that officers were injured in action.

“Representative of the German auto capital”

Already in the early morning there had been clashes between demonstrators and the police, who are on duty with up to 4,500 officers at the fair. According to a police spokesman, IAA opponents are said to have tried to break through a police cordon on Theresienwiese.

The area where Oktoberfest normally takes place is a camp run by IAA critics, from which hundreds of activists and other demonstrators left. The police were there with a large contingent, the number of officers, according to observers, significantly exceeded that of the demonstrators.

Without any direct connection to these events, scribblings were discovered on the house of VW boss Diess, as a spokesman for the company in Wolfsburg said. The business portal “Business Insider” had previously reported on the case. “Expropriate this” was therefore written on the door. In addition, a note with allegations against a “representative of German auto capital” was stuck on. The manager has filed a criminal complaint.

On Friday there were actions by IAA opponents at the Open Spaces on Königsplatz and Odeonsplatz as well as at a Bosch plant.

In addition, a group of climate activists temporarily blocked the special BlueLane lane set up for the trade fair on the A94 motorway, which runs past the trade fair. Activists had already put up banners on several motorways in the Munich area on Tuesday and roped down on some bridges. The highways had to be temporarily closed because of this. The criminal police in Erding are investigating this matter against a total of 15 people.

Criticism of the deployment concept

Overall, the Munich police see their deployment concept confirmed: It is “just right to carry out controls with low thresholds and to be on site with strong personnel,” said a spokesman. They justified the use of baton and pepper spray by saying that in the case of Theresienwiese, breaking the barriers also represented a form of violence. In the case of Karlstrasse, officials were pressed against the walls of the house and had to make room for themselves.

Climate activists, on the other hand, criticized the police’s actions and spoke of “massive violence” on the part of the police, which they “did not want to be intimidated” by.

The debate about the protests has also reached political level: The Green MP Claudia Köhler, who also observed the protests, criticized the police action on Theresienwiese as “inappropriate”. The parliamentary group leader of the Greens in the state parliament, Katharina Schulze, announced on Twitter that the police would be dealt with in parliament.

In contrast, CSU General Secretary Markus Blume had already tweeted on Wednesday: “Bridge climbers will remain locked up until the end of the fair! That’s how it works in Bavaria!” On Friday, however, the Landshut district court ruled that five activists should be released. It justified her complaint about the detention. The decision is not yet final. First the “Münchner Merkur” reported on the decision. (dpa / swi / os)

Also read:

From VW challenger to 1000 hp racing car: The IAA highlights of the Automobile week-Reporter

NRW-Automobilcluster draws a critical balance on the IAA: “One of the largest bicycle fairs that I know”

Blocked motorways, pasted-over signs: IAA opponents protest at the start of the trade fair

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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