Thousands of Cyclists Take On the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show in Protest

If the cars presented at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) are the future, the future has been canceled. At least, according to the thousands of cyclists / eco-activists who took the show by storm at the weekend.
Protesters on bicycles take on the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show 5 photos
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Estimates say that between 15,000 and 25,000 people got on their bikes to storm IAA and make their voices heard. And they had plenty to say, about how the auto industry was still putting profit over human life and the fate of our planet, and the need to switch altogether to electric vehicles and encourage ride-sharing and public transport, New Mobility reports.

Greenpeace, one of the organizers of the protest, says that the likeliest number of participants is 25,000. They also proclaim that the auto show is dying because the auto industry no longer has the same support from consumers as it used to.

“Carmakers must stop with these huge cars and stop producing internal combustion engines,” the group says in a statement released ahead of the protest. “Despite the unavoidable effects of the climate crisis, manufacturers at the IAA continue to present a majority of cars that burn petrol or diesel. Only about a quarter of the newly introduced vehicles in Frankfurt are pure electric cars.”

Their sentiment is echoed by other groups taking part in the protest, including Sand im Getriebe (Sand in the Gears), described as the most radical of the lot, which campaigns for complete abandon of car use.

“The automotive industry is under pressure, it no longer has the support of society as it did a few years ago,” Tina Velo, spokesperson for Sand im Getriebe says. “This Motor Show represents the past century. We want the future to belong to buses, trains, and bicycles. We don’t want more of these big SUVs and cars that consume a lot,” Christoph Bautz, director of Campact Group, adds.

When Angela Merkel opened the Show and despite her opening speech urging carmakers to invest in electric, protesters showed up at the stands, got up on SUVs to flash placards with “Climate Killer” on them.

On September 20, the German government is expected to make public new measures to combat climate change. More protests are expected after this date.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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