Freedom News

Mercedes-Benz blockaded in Bremen, Germany

The climate crisis is in full swing. While climate goal after climate goal is missed and emissions continue to rise, the companies that are largely responsible for this are adorning themselves with “sustainable innovations”. We are responding with a blockade. In the early morning of April 9th, we started in Bremen under the motto “DisruptMercedes”. We blocked the delivery of new cars, i.e. the loading station where Mercedes-Benz cars are loaded onto trains. Two people chained themselves to the tracks and train traffic was stopped by Mercedes and the railway company. One train was blocked for almost 7 hours, which was mainly loaded with right-hand drive vehicles for export.

We do not see e-cars as the solution, but as part of the problem! On the one hand, cities remain full of tin and asphalt, and forests are sacrificed to road traffic, on the other hand, they continue colonial exploitation: raw materials and labor from the global South enable superfluous luxury in the global North. Lithium mining in Chile destroys ecosystems and harms indigenous communities in particular. Hardly any of the raw materials used to produce this luxurious sham solution are local. In addition to lithium, cobalt, which is needed for the batteries in electric cars, also comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The work in cobalt mines is dangerous and the working conditions are often inhumane.

Photo: DisruptMercedes

Shortly after the blockade began, the second part of the action became visible at the Mercedes Customer Center, where the SUVs are proudly presented: people had climbed up the pillars to the roof and unfurled a large banner from above with the slogan “Train and bus instead of car nonsense”.

It’s an issue that opponents of such actions like to argue that jobs in the automotive industry need to be kept. But that doesn’t apply here: tens of thousands of jobs will be lost in the course of the switch to e-mobility. What we need is, on the one hand, for the car companies to be socialized and, on the other, a switch to the construction of buses and trains to make a real mobility transition possible.

After almost 5 hours, the technical police units began to clear the lock-on action, so that the route was free again after 7 hours of blockade. The cops took the activists involved into custody, as well as the two who had climbed onto the Customer Center. All of them were released after the police found out their personal details, some on the next day after being threatened with pre-trial detention.

Photo: Pay Numrich

This is how the police and courts protect the capitalist economic system, which destroys part of our livelihoods every day. Anyone who tells the story of capitalism also tells the story of exploitation, environmental destruction and neo-colonialism. It is no coincidence that Mercedes produces mainly high-priced cars. We want mobility for all, not luxury for the few.

~ DisruptMercedes

DISRUPT is a coalition of groups (of which we are only one) who are committed to the idea of a world beyond capitalism, a world of justice and solidarity. Our political action is centred on challenging the system. DISRUPT is planning action days at the beginning of May against the Tesla factory in Brandenburg. Everyone, both there and elsewhere, is invited to join the fight for a better life for all!

Discover more from Freedom News

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading