Berlin climate activists continue on hunger strike after collapse

Ein a collapsed hunger strike climate activist in Berlin was able to leave the hospital again. The 27-year-old was released the same day after his admission on Tuesday and is continuing his hunger strike, the spokeswoman for the strikers, Hannah Lübbert, told the AFP news agency on Wednesday. The protesters, who call themselves the “last generation” and camp in a park on the Spreebogen not far from the Federal Chancellery, are demanding a public discussion with the candidates for chancellor from the Union, SPD and Greens.

After the collapse of the hunger strike and a lack of agreement on a conversation, the activists on Tuesday independently set the Thursday of next week for the conversation with Armin Laschet (CDU), Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Annalena Baerbock (Greens). A public pledge by the candidates to “end the hunger strike immediately,” they said.

“We are getting worse and worse”

The collapsed activist Jacob Heinze announced on Wednesday that he would remain on an indefinite hunger strike, even if his health and life are “at stake”. The climate crisis is more threatening. “We are getting worse and worse,” said the hunger striker Rumen Grabow on the 17th day of the protest, half lying down. “We have sometimes lost up to nine kilos in weight,” added the 20-year-old.

The strikers also commented on an “offer to talk” from Baerbock, Laschet and Scholz and read a “joint letter” from the three candidates for chancellor. It proposed a meeting to the hunger strikers – “individually, personally and not in public after the election”.

Spokeswoman Hannah Lübbert said: “We have come to the decision that we cannot accept this offer.” The activists called for a public discussion before the election. The issue is too urgent to allow this postponement.

“We would be very affected if the candidates decide to continue to ignore us,” said the 20-year-old Lübbert. “In the conversation we want to talk honestly about where we are and what measures are necessary,” said the 18-year-old hunger strike Mephisto.

The spokesman for the federal government, Steffen Seibert, wished the collapsed activist “get well soon” on Wednesday. He added that actions such as a hunger strike are harmful to the climate. “Everyone has to know that, because you start to worry,” said Seibert. “The climate change debate is the most important one we have – any suggestion is welcome here,” he added. “But please without endangering yourself.”

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