The “last generation” in court: how Gregor Gysi fights for climate glue


300 euros less fine than the prosecution demanded: it won Grigalius Gysi before the Tiergarten District Court in Berlin, where he defended a 24-year-old activist from the “last generation” against charges of coercion, resisting police officers and breaking into the lobby of the Federal Ministry of Justice during a climate protection campaign.

Gregor Gysi (l.) and the defendant from the

Gregor Gysi (l.) and the defendant from the “last generation” in Berlin’s Tiergarten district court

Source: dpa

Lawyer Gysi, who sits in the Bundestag as a left-wing foreign politician, asked to be acquitted. The court disagreed and awarded the activists 90 per diems of 15 euros each, that is, a total of 1,350 euros. The amount of the daily rate of the penalty is calculated according to the amount of daily net income. The defendant, a carpentry and mechanical engineering student by education, has devoted himself to blocking roads and fossil fuel infrastructure since the beginning of the year. The man participated in several roadblocks in Berlin.

Interview with a left-wing politician

74-year-old Gregoras Gysi, foreign policy representative of the Bundestag left faction

During the trial, the 24-year-old man made it clear that he would not stop after the verdict. In both of his statements, at the beginning and end of the trial, his voice broke repeatedly under the tears he was holding back. Gysi and the presiding judge offered handkerchiefs.

The accused stated: He was afraid of the future, which is not alone global warming of 1.5 degreesbefore the collapse of civilization, a the end of mankind. With the word “siblings” in his mouth, he clearly had to brace himself to continue: he himself has seven, all but one younger than him.

The “last generation” and the rule of law

The activist believes that they would all end up in a war-torn world when they grow up – deprived of all vital resources – if the German government does not take stricter measures to reduce CO₂. He apologizes to the drivers he blocked, “but not for demonstrating to save our society.” His whole speech seems to make it clear that he is sitting now and cannot do otherwise because the impending climate catastrophe demands of him.

Gysi’s defensive language was based on this reasoning, the climate crisis as the ultimate catastrophe that needs to be resisted here and now in Germany.

Gregor Gysi’s four main arguments

Apart from legal theoretical explanations of the nature of violence and the absence of the same in sit-ins, he raised four essential points.

First: The climate crisis and his client’s corresponding concerns are real; the judge must also recognize this and include it in the decision-making process.

Second The Federal Constitutional Court established this in 2021. in the climate decision, relevant jurisprudence must now be followed.

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What Gysi wants: For the court to acquit his client because climate protection, as a constitutional status, overrides any criminal actions, such as blocking roads. In addition, the right to assembly “takes precedence over the right to move anywhere by car.”

The third Gysi argued with the keyword “generational justice”, which, on the one hand, only refers to the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court on climate, but on the other hand, Gysi has been enriched by his experience. According to Gysi, a 74-year-old man can be certain that he will survive the coming years of climate change, but this clearly does not apply to his client and the years of his life ahead of him.

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Wolfgang Kraushaar, 74, is a political scientist at the Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Culture in Hamburg

Fourthconcluded Gysi: Since his client believes that he is completely right – this is proven by his extremely emotional appearance – it is doubtful how much he feels the illegal act and even the intention to commit a crime.

However, it is doubtful whether representatives of the “last generation” would not make sense to transgress. At least one of the campaign group’s recruitment events has in the past used questionnaires asking, “Are you ready to go to jail?” Arrested several times or only once?” – spread.

Report on the recruitment event

From left: Maike Grunst, Marlon and Tim Wechselmann-Cassim from The Last Generation

There were several activists in the courtroom, with the presiding judge severely limiting the number of visitors and also ordering strict security measures, including a search of every guest, as well as…

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