Berlin’s mayor calls on climate protesters to not disrupt marathon

PRODUCTION - Kai Wegner, governing mayor of Berlin, speaks during an interview with the German press agency (dpa) in the Red City Hall. Photo: Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa

“If the so-called climate activists want to disrupt the marathon, it will make many Berliners very angry,” Wegner told the dpa.

“I don’t even like to imagine it: A disruptive action could even prevent a marathon world record,” he added.


The Berlin Marathon is considered one of the world’s premier long-distance running races. The field of entrants this year includes Kenyan star marathoner Eliud Kipchoge, who set the marathon world record last year in Berlin. A record of nearly 48,000 people registered to run Sunday’s race, the 49th Berlin Marathon, according to the event’s organizers. The city’s race is a beloved because it is mainly flat and therefore a good choice for first-time marathoners.


Wegner warned the would-be protesters of legal consequences and also of a protest backfiring on their climate goals. “I say it again quite clearly: whoever wants to stand up for climate protection should refrain from these provocative and also punishable actions.

“Every disruptive person should know that the police and the rule of law will clearly take action. I therefore hope that the so-called Last Generation will refrain from announcing their intention to disrupt the marathon,” said Wegner, who is a member of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party.


Wegner also fears that acceptance for climate protection will decline “if the so-called Last Generation does not finally end their street blockades or damage to historic buildings like the Brandenburg Gate.” If that happens then climate goals cannot be achieved. “But I want to achieve the climate protection goals – in Berlin, Germany and worldwide,” Wegner said.


He added that the Berlin police were very well prepared for the marathon and would be deploying many forces to prevent any disruption to the international running event. Previously the city said some 600 police officers would be out on the streets to protect the race.


“It annoys me very much that the Berlin police have to spend so many deployment hours because of the street blockades and other disruptive actions by the so-called Last Generation.” “The operations against the street blockades and other actions cost all taxpayers a lot of money. Money that we could use much better for the fight against climate change,” he added.


Wegner said he is confident that Berliners are looking forward to the marathon “very much and will not be deterred by the so-called Last Generation.

“Berlin will once again show that it is the right place for major sporting events.”