Berlin, June 28.09.2022, 12, 00:XNUMX a.m – The government is failing in the climate emergency. That's why Henning Jeschke and the Last Generation peacefully stuck themselves on the motorway exit in Berlin in June. Because of his resistance to fossil fuels, he was summoned to the Tiergarten district court today.
Although the judge saw Jeschke's actions as morally justified and dismissed the accusation of resistance, she sentenced him to a fine of 200 euros for “attempted coercion”.
Jeschke said: “I did the right thing and I will do it again. In a democracy, I not only have rights, but also an obligation to resist when a government acts criminally."
Henning Jeschke defended himself before the court. He confirmed that he had attended the peaceful gathering. It was also not disputed that this would lead to a significant interruption to everyday life.
The plea presented today was not about obtaining the lowest possible sentence, but rather about making clear to the court its own responsibility in the climate emergency. The court should recognize that civil resistance to a government course that leads ever deeper into the climate crisis is morally and legally justified.
"Our government continues to do nothing significant to prevent climate tipping points from being exceeded. These are not broken election promises, this is mass destruction. That's why I believe my actions are right and why I will continue to offer peaceful resistance, no matter what the court decides today.“, asked Jeschke already clear in his initial statement on the public prosecutor's allegations.
In order to explain the climate emergency to the court, the defense relied on publications by the most renowned German climate scientists, such as: Prof. Dr. Stefan Rahmstorf, who in the past described us all as the “last generation” that could still prevent a climate catastrophe. Personally there was Dr. Karim Zantout, post-doctoral researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He wanted to testify to the court that Germany's state countermeasures against the climate emergency were inadequate given the existential threat to our society. The court did not want to hear the scientist.
The Judge Geschwendtner was visibly touched. She is the mother of a 14-year-old daughter. “I know you're not crazy people stuck on the highway, you don't know what else to do.“, she said today in the direction of the defendant.
Nevertheless, in the end she sentenced Jeschke to 20 daily rates. At the same time, she adds that his actions were morally justified, but not legally.
"Even after today's verdict, I will certainly not be a spectator as we hurtle toward destruction. If even the judge has to recognize that road blockades are morally justified - if she has to recognize that holding a banner next to the road is not a suitable means of stopping the collapse of our society, then the task to us citizens is actually clear .", says Henning Jeschke shortly after the trial.
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