Environmental protesters who glued themselves to the floor of a Volkswagen factory moaned as their hands hurt and couldn’t go to the toilet have been arrested.
On Wednesday evening, nine activists from the group Scientist Rebellion burst into Autostadt, a museum and car showroom opposite Volkswagen’s main factory in Wolfsburg, and stuck to the floor of the Porsche pavilion.
They have vowed to continue their protest until Volkswagen agrees to lobby ministers to decarbonise the transport industry.
But they started complaining after only a few hours that they had no food and staff refused to bring them a bowl to defecate.
Gianluca Grimalda, who said he was on a hunger strike, then began complaining that his hand – which he had covered in superglue and stuck to the floor – was swollen and said doctors had warned him that he was at risk of blood clots.
After just a day of protesting, he agreed to leave for medical treatment and was arrested, before riot police moved in to round up the rest of the protesters.
A group of ‘scientists’ who glued themselves to the floor of the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, Germany, were arrested just over a day after the protest began
Gianluca Grimalda, who had vowed to stay until Volkswagen agreed to push for low-carbon transport, left voluntarily after 24 hours when his hand swelled
Protesters began complaining after just two hours that they had no food, lights and heating had been turned off and staff refused to give them a bowl to defecate in
Agisilaos Koulouris, another protester, tweeted an image of dozens of riot officers inside the museum with the message: “They’re arresting everyone.”
The activists are members of Scientist Rebellion, a group that bills itself as a collection of scientists “eager to speak the truth about the climate crisis and act on it”.
They are urging Volkswagen, one of Germany’s largest automakers, to step up its fight against pollution.
Photos of the protest were shared online and showed six activists glued to the ground in front of three Porsches.
They had also glued mock newspaper covers reporting on global warming to vehicles inside the showroom.
As the protest began, Mr Grimalda tweeted: ‘Along with 15 other Scientist Rebellion members, I occupied the Porsche Pavilion at Autostadt.
“Nine of us glued to the ground and some of us on hunger strike until our demands for the decarbonisation of the German transport sector are met.”
But just two hours later he had begun to complain that museum staff ‘refused our request to provide us with a bowl to urinate and defecate decently while we were glued together and turned off the heating’.
He added: “Support people can exit the building but they cannot re-enter. We cannot order our food, we have to use the one provided by Volkswagen.
‘Lights off. Random unannounced checks by security guards with flashlights. The police have just arrived.
After a night of sleeping on the floor, Mr Grimalda tweeted an image of his swollen hand saying a doctor had been brought in to examine it.
He said: “Doctors saw the possibility of life-threatening blood clots in my hand and recommended immediate transfer to a hospital.
The protest started late on Wednesday and saw the group sleeping on the ground for two nights (pictured) until riot police moved in and arrested them
Seven other protesters were ‘supporting’ the group from outside the exhibition hall, but were not allowed to bring supplies inside
Meanwhile, other Scientist Rebellion protesters threw red ink on the steps outside the VW factory in Wolfsburg before holding up signs reading ‘no new car factory’.
“My health is of course paramount. I have agreed to leave this wonderful group and have been taken to hospital.
So, just over a day into the protest and with none of his demands met, Mr Grimalda was taken out of the pavilion where activists say he was arrested.
Then Mr Koulouris tweeted: ‘Now minutes later they are warning us that we must leave immediately or else we will be arrested.’
Footage showed dozens of riot police inside the pavilion and people arrested outside, ending the protest on the second day.
Climate protesters are wreaking havoc across Europe as they demand action from governments to tackle climate change.
In Knightsbridge, central London, Just Stop Oil protesters stuck to a road outside Harrods after spraying orange paint on the building on Thursday.
Earlier this month protesters from the group attempted to block roads in central London and sprayed paint on an Aston Martin showroom.
A Just Stop Oil campaigner sprays orange paint on an Aston Martin store on Park Lane as other members block the roads
Last generation activists unfurled large banners to protest against fossil fuels and called for an end to oil and gas
And on Saturday, two protesters appeared in court a day after throwing tomato soup at a painting by Van Gogh at the National Gallery in London.
The Sunflowers painting was protected by a screen but the frame was damaged, according to the Trafalgar Square gallery.
In Rome, furious drivers resorted to dragging down a group of eco-protesters who halted traffic on a busy highway.
Rush-hour motorists were blocked on the Grande Raccordo ring road outside the Italian capital on Monday by activists from the group Last Generation, who unfurled large banners protesting against fossil fuels.
Drivers got out of their vehicles to protest the eco-zealots and begged them to get out of their way.
Some took matters into their own hands, physically dragging them off the road.
A man on a motorbike begged to be let through, saying, “I have to go, I’m a doctor.
But one activist refused to let him pass without seeing his medical ID and demanded he hand it over.
He ended up brandishing his ID card and the protester allowed him to bypass the human barricade.
Two Just Stop Oil protesters who had been hanging from Dartford Bridge since early Monday morning were shot and arrested following the arrival of a huge aerial work platform
A well-dressed eco-warrior grimly pours a bottle of milk all over the floor of Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly as part of an anti-dairy protest