VW climate protesters demand bowl to ‘urinate and defecate’

Climate protesters who glued themselves to the floor of a Volkswagen showroom in Germany need to use the toilet – but now complain the company has refused to provide the group with “a bowl to urinate and defecate” in.

Gianluca Grimalda, a researcher with the Kiel Institute think tank and member of climate protest group Scientist Rebellion, posted on Twitter on Wednesday that 15 people had “occupied the Porsche pavilion” at the Autostadt museum adjoining the carmaker’s factory in Wolfsburg.

“Nine of us glued to the floor and some of us on hunger strike until our demands to decarbonise the German transport sector are met,” he wrote.

“[Volkswagen] told us that they supported our right to protest, but they refused our request to provide us with a bowl to urinate and defecate in a decent manner while we are glued, and have turned off the heating.”

He later complained that “we can’t order our food, we must use the one provided by Volkswagen”. “Lights off. Random unannounced checks by security guards with bright torches. Police just came in,” he wrote.

In a final update at around 2am local time, Grimalda shared a photo of the group “getting ready for first night of sleep”.

It was unclear whether any of the group had urinated or defecated at that point.

Grimalda’s post generated little sympathy online.

“Oh dear, so having caused other people to miss appointments and essential everyday things … [you’re] now missing your appointments with the toilet and cannot get essentials like food. Funny thing karma!” one Twitter user wrote.

On its website, Scientist Rebellion calls for “non-violent civil disobedience to demand emergency decarbonisation and degrowth, facilitated by wealth redistribution”.

“To achieve decarbonisation on the required scale demands economic degrowth, at least in the short term,” reads a “demand letter” with more than 200 signatories.

“This does not necessarily require a reduction in living standards.

“For a just transition, the cost of degrowth must be paid for by the wealthiest, who have benefited enormously from the current destructive world order, while others have faced the consequences. A just transition to a sustainable system requires the wealth from the 1 per cent to be used for the common benefit.”

It comes after a wave of high-profile protests and disruptions by climate protesters, including the blocking of traffic and defacing priceless artwork.

Earlier this month, 25 members of Just Stop Oil were arrested after blocking traffic in London, in the sixth consecutive day of protest by the group.

Footage on social media showed enraged motorists clashing with protesters, in some cases physically dragging them off the road.

“The climate crisis has a disproportionate effect on people who are already marginalised, including queer people,” Oliver Clegg, 19, a student from Manchester who had glued his hand to the road, told The Guardian.

“The climate crisis is a queer issue, and we are not going to stand by and let it happen. Civil resistance is a potent expression of queerness. We encourage queer people to join us in civil resistance.”

Last week, two protesters with the same group were arrested after throwing tomato soup on Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting at the National Gallery in London.

In Australia, protest group Blockade Australia staged a series of major disruptions earlier this year including blocking the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Mali Cooper, 22, who made headlines after allegedly locking her neck to a car steering wheel in the Harbour Tunnel in June, had all her charges dropped last month after her lawyer argued she suffered from climate change-induced anxiety.


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