The murder of a cyclist in Berlin stirs controversy over road protests
The death of a cyclist after a traffic crash in Berlin has revived a growing debate in Germany over climate protests.
Sandra Uhmann, 44, was seriously injured last Monday when her bike collided with a cement mixer truck as she was heading to work by bike. The arrival of a specialized rescue vehicle sent to the scene was delayed due to the siege of activists from the last generation movement. Her death was announced on Friday.
Her twin sister, Anja, accused the group of insensitivity in their reaction to the matter, saying they were deeply hurt by their “ignorant” response, but added that she did not blame them for the death, amid widespread condemnation of the group’s actions and speculation that Sandra could have survived had it not been stopped. rescue vehicle.
The doctor who came to Uman at the scene released her medical diary, which states that the siege had no effect on whether Uman would survive or not.
Anja Uhmann gave an interview to Der Spiegel magazine saying she felt the need to express her sadness at the way the activists, who stuck themselves in the road, seemed to accept that someone might die as a result of their protest, saying they would not change their tactics as a result.
She said that she and her sister stood enthusiastically with the ideals the protesters are striving for, and this only added to her dissatisfaction with the insensitivity to the remarks of people she thought ostensibly cared about.
On the evening of the accident, the group issued a statement expressing its dissatisfaction with the accident, acknowledging the delay of a rescue vehicle in reaching Uman due to the protest. Members of the group attached themselves to a bridge over the A100, a busy western road that leads into the capital. “We are saddened that a cyclist was injured today in a truck. We very much hope that her condition does not deteriorate as a result of the delay,” said group spokeswoman Carla Henrichs.
If the group had not been forced into such extreme action by government inaction, the incident might not have occurred, and the protests would only end “if the government showed it was willing to act” on demands, said Amy Van Palen, a climate protester. the group.
Tatsuo Muller, a member of the group, wrote on Twitter in response to the clash: “Fuck it, but: Don’t be scared of this. It’s a fight for the climate, not a snuggle, shit happening.” He later deleted the tweet, apologizing for what he described as his “stupid and disrespectful wording regarding a critically ill woman”.
The German Green Party strongly condemned the group’s tactics, while stopping short of suggesting that it may have directly contributed to the woman’s death. “Anyone who risks the health and lives of others loses all legitimacy, and it also harms the climate movement itself,” said Robert Habeck, German Vice Chancellor and German Economy Minister, a prominent member of the Green Party.
In her interview with Der Spiegel, the victim’s sister issued an appeal to the protesters to rethink their tactics. “Maybe there is another way to fight for the survival of our planet without risking other people’s lives,” she said.
She was not interested in guilt or anger. She said, “Anger will not bring me back my sister.” I will continue to stand behind the protesters but I question their methods.”
Uman paid tribute to her sister, her identical twin, with whom she said she has an inextricable relationship. The two share a common passion for environmental issues and together they founded a vegan fashion label, while her sister refused to own a car.
“My sister was my world as I was her world. When I last saw her on Monday I was supposed to see her walk out the door with her bike to go to work…I look forward to seeing you later. She got off the bike and 10 minutes later the accident happened, not far from where we live in it “. Uman only learned about the accident that evening, after her sister had failed to return home.
When the doctors finally allowed Uman to see her sister, she said, “It was impossible to touch her because everything was so damaged. She was in an induced coma and breathing artificially. There was a small spot on her forehead that she was able to touch and style his hair.”
On Wednesday, she said, doctors told her to prepare for her sister’s death. Sandra died the next day.
Uman said losing her sister was “like living in a nightmare. My sister and I are identical twins…We’ve never been apart for 44 years, and we did everything together.”
Police have launched proceedings against two activists, aged 63 and 59, accusing them of not providing assistance in an emergency and preventing anyone from receiving help.
A white “ghost bike”, of the type that is regularly erected after cyclists die in road accidents, has been placed at the site of the Uman collision as a memorial.
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