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Thousands of car protesters block Frankfurt Motor Show with bikes

(EurActiv, 16 Sep 2019) Thousands of protesters took advantage of this year’s international motor show in Frankfurt to call for a “transport revolution” – by parking their bikes. EURACTIV’s partner Ouest-France reports.

According to the local police and organisers, between 15,000 and 25,000 demonstrators marched with their bicycles in Frankfurt to demand a “transport revolution” on Saturday (14 September).

The protest, organised on the fringes of Frankfurt’s annual motor show, was a rare sight as most protesters had come from various cities of the region by bike. To get there, they used two motorways, which cars could not access because of the show.

“The car show is an event that is so last century,” Christoph Bautz, director of the Campact group, which co-organised the protest, told AFP.

“We want the future to belong to buses, trains and bicycles — we no longer want those big SUVs and cars that consume a lot of fuel!” he added.

The “climate generation” is targeting a sector that has been weakened since the scandal with Volkswagen’s rigged diesel engines broke out in 2015. And the Frankfurt Motor Show crystallises the criticisms levelled at this sector at a time when the climate emergency is entering the public debate.

“The automotive industry is under pressure and no longer has the same support of society. It has missed out on some developments,” explained a spokesperson of the collective “Sand im Getriebe” (‘spanner in the works’), which blocked the main entrance to the auto show on Sunday.

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EurActiv, 16 Sep 2019: Thousands of car protesters block Frankfurt Motor Show with bikes