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Monday, May 16, 2022

Autobahn closed by rappelling action – cable fire on train

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Around the opening of the Tesla factory in Grünheide, there were several disturbances due to the protest actions on Monday and Tuesday. On Tuesday, a rappelling action by activists near the Erkner (Oder-Spree) led to the closure of the Berlin ring road. Between Rüdersdorf (Märkisch-Oderland) and the Spreeau triangle (Oder-Spree), both directions are still blocked. The reason for this is people hanging on a bridge over the road, said a police spokesman.

According to information from the RBB, three people have already been detained by officials. They are considered sympathizers and they were honored with a corresponding poster. The two people who rappelled down are still on the ropes.

Cable fire on train: S-Bahn trains back in service

A fire broke out on a cable near the Berlin-Wuhlheide S-Bahn station on Monday. According to Deutsche Bahn, restrictions on the Berlin S-Bahn have been lifted. S-Bahn traffic is gradually normalizing, a spokeswoman said. However, passengers are likely to feel the effects for some time. State security is investigating a supposedly politically motivated arson; there could be a connection to the opening of the Tesla plant on Tuesday.

Regional and long-distance traffic between Frankfurt (Oder) and Berlin will continue to be interrupted, probably until the evening hours. Current traffic reports can be found here at bahn.de.

According to Bahn, all EC trains between the two cities are still being diverted and are about 40 minutes late. The Ostkreuz, Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstraße, Hauptbahnhof, Zoologischer Garten and Charlottenburg stops of the regional train line RE1 in Berlin are no longer available.

Therefore, the trains will be diverted via Lichtenberg, Gesundbrunnen or Berlin-Hohenschönhausen. According to Bahn, there may still be delays and partial cancellations.

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According to police, the fire started on Monday morning. Arson and a politically motivated act cannot be ruled out, a spokeswoman said. The “Märkische Oderzeitung” (MOZ) had previously reported. Consequently, the newspaper received a letter said to have come from the alleged perpetrators. It can also be seen on the “Kontrapolis” page.

The authors link the arson attack to the Tesla factory southeast of Berlin. “The target of our sabotage was the 3,000 travelers who work at the Gigafactory,” says the letter, which is signed by “anti-war and climate activists.” “We want to stop the ‘business as usual’ of ungreen, expensive and resource-destroying electric mobility.”

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Production begins at the Tesla factory on Tuesday. The site can be reached from Berlin with the RE1 line.

The alleged perpetrators are aware that they also took the route that the refugees took: “Every day, several thousand people from Ukraine arrive in Berlin via the sabotaged route,” the letter says. “These are the same rails by which Russian oil arrives in the capital every day.” The objective of the action was therefore “dozens of trains with Russian oil and coal to the capital”. Police initially did not comment on the letter.

In the evening, the fire also caused a signal failure at Berlin-Lichtenberg and a signal box failure, which restricted S-Bahn traffic, especially on the Stadtbahn.

According to their own statements, climate activists blocked the factory gate.

Climate activists from the groups Sand in the Gears, Ende Gelände and Extinction Rebellion also protested against the “Gigafactory” and said they blocked the factory gate. They criticize that the new factory endangers the water supply in Brandenburg and Berlin. Furthermore, it makes no sense to replace internal combustion engine cars with electric cars. “What we need instead are collective forms of mobility, well-developed and ticketless public transport, especially in rural areas, and a restructuring of the auto industry, together with the employees,” he said in a statement. (teaspoon, dpa)

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