In 2021, the "IAA" auto show was held in Munich for the first time. In addition to the venue, the name addition "Mobility" and the concept of using the city center as an exhibition area in addition to the trade fair grounds were new. The city let major car manufacturers use the most prominent squares, which were transformed into so-called "Open Spaces". Several political groups had called for protests and disruption of the fair. Police were on full-scale deployment. On the first day of the fair, activists roped themselves off highway bridges and signs around Munich, paralyzing the flow of traffic. During mass civil disobedience actions, activists stormed booths in the city and the alliance "No Future for IAA" squatted a building that had been vacant for several years in Karlstraße 20, not far from the Open Space Königsplatz. The goal was to open an "Open Space for Future" and to use the building sustainably and non-commercially. During a large demonstration, activists climbed trees to unfurl a banner. The police went into the demonstration with pepper spray and use of the baton. According to the organizers, more than 20,000 people took part in a bicycle ride. All this protest was subject to controls and repression by the Bavarian authorities. It was the largest police operation in Munich in the last 20 years with a so-called zero tolerance strategy. Climbers for example were taken into preventive custody, later a court overturned the decision. Countless people had to stay in detention centers for hours and were banned from entering booths in the city center. For "taz - die tageszeitung" Katharina Schipkowski and I were on site and accompanied the protest. Here you can find our text on the events (in german): Große Mobilisierung (7.9.21) Präventionshaft für Abseilaktion (8.9.21) Polizei stört Protest gegen IAA (9.9.21) “Jeder Protest im Keim erstickt” (10.9.21) Drinnen Kresse, draußen Protest - Reportage by Katharina Schipkowski (11.9.21) Proteste gegen den Autowahnsinn (11.9.21) Bilanz - Alle sprechen von Erfolg (12.9.) Ein wankender Gigant - Comment by Katharina Schipkowski (12.9.21)
The police also hindered reporting on the protest on several occasions. Journalists are now seeking a judicial review of the legality of the measures. I was also taken into custody because I accompanied the activists during the squat.