#BlockIAA2023: Ein Rückblick

What to do when the earth is burning?

The year 2023 was the hottest year since records began. In the same year, Munich hosted the largest motor show in the world - the International Motor Show (IAA). While this world refuses to stop burning, VW & Co. exhibited their contribution to the climate catastrophe in Munich's most beautiful squares - 2.5 tonnes of steel, lithium and cobalt. At the same time, politicians are watching almost idly as the transport sector crashes the climate targets.

As a climate justice movement, we opposed this ‘business as usual’ approach by the automotive industry and politicians as part of the protests against the IAA 2023. Many courageous activists have shown with colourful actions that there must be a world after the car.

We as Sand im Getriebe also contributed to the protests with our actions as part of the BlockIAA campaign. For this year's actions, it was particularly important for us to learn from the experiences of previous protests around the IAA. With a modified action concept, we successfully carried out disruptive actions in the open spaces in Munich city centre.

But this year we didn't want to limit ourselves to disrupting the IAA, we went on the offensive. We wanted to use our bodies to counter the unbearable normality of endless car production. We went to the place of destruction, to Dingolfing, the largest BMW plant in Europe. There, too, we achieved our goal without any major repression and all arrived safely back at the camp. Unfortunately, we don't know whether our blockade action actually brought production at the plant to a halt. But what we do know is that we kept moving, opened up new fields of action and showed that we are a force to be reckoned with everywhere.

Behind these actions are many activists who have put their bodies on the line against the destruction of our planet, invested their time in organising and stoked the fire at mob events. Less visible, but just as important, are the support structures from the camp to the KüFA to Gesa support. Together we made these actions possible! Thank you! You are the break in the system that allows the new world to shine through.

Police everywhere, no ID cards anywhere

Once again this year, the state of Bavaria accompanied the IAA with a huge police presence. 4000 police officers were deployed for VW & Co to make their greenwashing show possible.

But the threat is crumbling: Although there was an enormous police presence at this year's IAA protests, the police often seemed overwhelmed in serious cases. A large number of actions were able to achieve their goals, including the great actions by NoFuture and SmashIAA as well as some autonomous small group actions. Activists were able to refuse to give their personal details on a large scale - just like our finger in Dingolfing.

We can draw strength from this for the upcoming protests in Bavaria, because these insights open up new scope for action. It seems that even in Bavaria, people are only cooking with water!

After the action is before the action

Trotz akribischer Planung der Aktionen konnte leider nicht ganz verhindert werden, dass einzelne Aktivist_innen von Repressionen betroffen sind. Doch anstatt uns einschüchtern zu lassen, stehen wir als Bewegung zusammen! Gemeinsam werden wir der Repression widerstehen und uns umeinander kümmern. Bei uns ist niemand allein! Wir rufen daher dazu auf, sich bei unserer Legal-Strukturen (legal[at]sand-im-getriebe.mobi / PGP-Key) zu melden, wenn im Zusammenhang mit den Aktionen rund um BlockIAA 2023 Post erhalten habt.

The fight against repression must be understood as part of our fight for a good life for all. The car system is criminal, not the protest for a better world. VW & Co. belong in the dock because the car industry is not only polluting our environment, but is now also destroying the basis of life with the bogus solution of e-mobility in places where the climate change it has caused is already being felt most clearly. Volker Wissing should be summoned because he and his car ministry are not taking any necessary and ambitious steps towards climate protection apart from scaremongering with the threat of driving bans. The city of Munich should have to do community service for chauffeuring the IAA greenwashing show.

Only if we stand together, even in times of repression, can we oppose the normal state of affairs as a strong movement. Because it's about more than climate protection!

That's why we continue to fight for a socio-ecological mobility transition and a good life for all! We look forward to the next protests and actions with you - in Munich and everywhere!

Your grains of sand from Sand im Getriebe