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Who are the climate protesters disrupting traffic in Vienna - and why?

Hayley Maguire
Hayley Maguire - [email protected]
Who are the climate protesters disrupting traffic in Vienna - and why?
Police move in as members of Letzte Generation protest in Vienna. (Copyright: Letzte Generation Österreich)

The Last Generation climate protection group will start a fortnight of roadblocks in Vienna on Monday. Here’s how the action will cause disruption in Vienna.

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The climate protest movement Letzte Generation (the Last Generation) brought traffic to a standstill in central Vienna on Monday morning (February 13th) as members blocked roads once again.

The location of Getreidemarkt in the 1st District is symbolic because it’s where the last protest in early January ended. However, the difference this time is the group has announced the location of the action in advance, reports Der Standard.

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On Monday morning, Vienna Police said on Twitter that they were at the scene and warned motorists to prepare for delays.

Polizei Wien said: “Climate activists are currently blocking the grain market. We are on site with sufficient forces and are already intervening. Traffic will be rerouted locally but delays may occur.”

The Last Generation also took to Twitter to explain the reasons behind the protest.

The Tweet said: "Civil society is behind us! Even a large police presence could not prevent people from @LetzteGenAT from opposing the fossil everyday life in front of the Naschmarkt. We're picking up exactly where we left off in January."

Last Generation are planning to continue the roadblocks for two weeks with the aim of disrupting morning traffic heading into the city centre and raise awareness of the issue of climate change.

The protest action typically starts at around 8am.

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Who are the Last Generation?

The Last Generation are a group of climate activists who believe they are the last generation to stop serious impacts from climate change.

They describe themselves as a “non-violent resistance movement” and the road blocks usually involve members glueing themselves to roads to stop traffic, which is described as a “Klebe-Welle” (sticky wave).

In January, 52 protesters were arrested and more than 200 police reports were filed after similar blockades disrupted city centre streets. Similar protests have also taken place in Linz, Klagenfurt, Innsbruck and Graz in recent weeks.

Additionally, the Last Generation was responsible for throwing black liquid on a Klimt painting at the Leopold Museum in Vienna in November.

What do they want?

The Last Generation are demanding no new drilling projects for oil and gas and a ban on fracking in Austria. 

They are also calling for a nationwide 100 km/h speed limit on Austria’s roads to save fuel, make roads safer and reduce pollution. The current speed limit is 130 km/h on many of the country’s motorways.

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