Climate activists leave the Volkswagen museum without food or electricity
Scientists who glued themselves to the floor of the Volkswagen museum in Germany demanding action on climate change said they were left without food, light and heating for more than 20 hours. On Twitter, researcher and activist Gianluca Grimalda recounted his participation in the protest and denounced the “hypocrisy” of the car brand.
Academics and researchers from the Scientist Rebellion settled last Wednesday at the Autostadt museum in Wolfsburg, to force the giant Volkswagen to participate in the decarbonization of the transport sector. Nine of the fifteen protesters present had their hands glued to the floor of the Porsche pavilion as they waited to meet the CEO of the Volkaswagen group, Oliver Blume.
Among their demands, they want the auto giant to pressure the German government to limit speed on motorways to 100 km/h. The proposal could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4.3 million tons per year, according to ecologist Wolfgang Cramer, who has contributed to several IPCC reports and is a scientist associated with the group Scientist Rebellion.
The job, which should have taken only a few hours, took 42 hours. “Since Volkswagen seems open to hearing our claims, we decided to stay,” scientist Gianluca Grimalda said in a statement released Monday.
After several polite exchanges with the museum’s CEO, Armin Maus, the researcher confirmed that the latter “performed a series of actions aimed at exhausting our physical endurance”.
Mr. Grimalda said no food was given to them for more than 20 hours, heating and electricity were cut off and requests for medical help were delayed for several hours. “The security guards came two or three times during the night, laughing at us and pointing flashlights at our faces to prevent us from sleeping,” he continued.
I just want to highlight the @Autostadt director’s hypocrisy in first saying they “want to support our right to protest” and then taking a series of actions to wear down our physical endurance. More specifically:
1) At first @Autostadt showed a beautiful face. 4/ pic.twitter.com/SZ4BzOKCP0
— gianluca grimalda (@GGrimalda) October 24, 2022
For its part, the Museum declared last Friday through a press release that he provided “appropriate care in the given circumstances” to the demonstrators. According to him, the action of the Scientist Rebellion was a “bad” way to protest and caused material damage. The protest ended with police intervention on Friday morning.
Autostadt’s press release, seen by The duty Wednesday morning, disappeared from the museum site during the day. Together with Toyota, the Volkswagen Group is the largest car manufacturer in the world and the first in the European market. In the past, the company caused a scandal by rigging diesel engines to make them less polluting.
Demonstrations flow ahead of COP27
The Scientist Rebellion action is part of a wave of climate protests taking place a few days before the start of COP27, which will be held in Egypt. Among them, a Van Gogh painting was sprayed with tomato soup in London, an oil loading site was occupied in Montreal and activists from the Scientist Rebellion. a hand got stuck Wednesday in the asphalt of a street in Munich.
“Writing reports, speaking rationally and kindly, shows its limitations. This model, which consists of providing information for rational decisions, works a little, but not enough,” concluded researcher Wolfgang Cramer in an interview given this month to France Info.
The UN climate agency warned on Wednesday that countries that have signed the Paris Agreement are still “a long way off” from limiting temperature increases to 1.5°C or 2°C.