A German court has fined a Jesuit priest and two other people for blocking a road in Munich. And the Associated Press writes that a member of the order in which, for example, Pope Francis worked, took part in a protest calling on the German government to take stronger action regarding global climate change. Recently, German courts have frequently dealt with road blockades by environmental activists, but have rarely sent some protesters to jail.
Road, highway or airport closures have become a frequently used form of protest by some environmental groups. And they criticize the federal government for what they say is not doing enough for Germany to achieve its goal of becoming a “carbon neutral” country by 2045.
A 61-year-old Jesuit priest, Jörg Alt, told the press that he took part in the siege because it seemed to him the most effective way to draw attention to the problem. “I haven’t seen anything better than joining in civil disobedience and being defiant,” he told reporters. The court imposed a fine on him, calculated on the basis of the priest’s income – ten euros (240 kronor) for the demonstration. According to the priest, the Catholic Church should say more clearly that the use of fossil fuels is “immoral”.
As this type of protest becomes more popular, courts in Germany and other European countries are increasingly dealing with road and motorway closures. In most cases, the protesters are acquitted or fined, according to the Associated Press. However, in a recent ruling, a court sentenced three activists to three to five months in prison,
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