Security is very concerned about European environmentalists causing an unwelcome stir at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show on September 12, after a badass-sounding group called “Rocks in the Gearbox” claimed responsibility for vandalizing a few dozen cars and threatened to protest one of Europe’s biggest auto shows.
Here’s more from the group claiming responsibility and leveraging threats from Reuters:
“Rocks in the Gearbox” released a statement on Monday saying: “In two weeks Frankfurt will once again launch a propaganda show where the outmoded, climate and environment destroying transportation system is hyped.”
“We want to expose this show for what it really is: profits made on the backs of the poorest and at the expense of future generations … We think it is time to throw rocks into the gearbox of capitalist and automotive profit logic.”
The statement called for more scrutiny of working conditions in related industries, including freight, cotton and rubber production as well as for people mining rare earths for electric car batteries and electronics.
To clarify, I simply mean to point out that the group’s name is badass. What they actually did is kind of fucked up:
Police in Wiesbaden on Thursday said they were investigating “Rocks in the Gearbox” after the group claimed responsibility for vandalizing the Jaguar, Land Rover, and Aston Martin vehicles at the car dealership on Monday.
Windshields and windows, hoods and panels were smashed with metal objects and the two glass doors at the car dealership were broken, a spokesman for the Wiesbaden police told Reuters.
Any rational enthusiast or citizen of the world understands that combustion engines are a parasite to society, both necessary for basic function and sustaining life as we know it, while simultaneously polluting our planet and slowly killing us and every other living being. It’s globally and morally right to believe that we should move beyond combustion engines as fast as possible, at least at a general, large scale.
However, no individual car and no individual car enthusiast should be punished for what is, without exaggeration, an issue of greater scale than what’s capable of comprehension. The only solution to climate change is systemic, continuous adjustment, a global effort to shift to methods of transportation and power generation that doesn’t incubate the ice caps. Also, you don’t fuck with another man’s vehicle, etc.
So this group’s targeting of a few dozen cars is really more wasteful of resources that have already been used, vehicles which will only be replaced by the use of more resources and which will eventually pollute just as much as the cars that have been destroyed. So the vandalism, while attention-grabbing, is undoubtedly counter to any environmentalist’s stated goals.
That being said, this has led to infiltrating one of Europe’s biggest auto shows with a peaceful protest, with the organizers behind the upcoming show staging a panel discussion, again via Reuters:
Ahead of the car show, Germany’s auto industry association the VDA has sought to defuse anti-car sentiment by inviting environmental activists from Greenpeace, Deutsche Umwelthilfe to a panel discussion in Berlin on September 5 along with executives from Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and BMW (BMWG.DE) and the VDA, to debate the climate crisis and mobility of the future.
Progress as that may be, it is devoid of exciting things like, you know, smashing cars with hammers and blocking railways with shipments to automotive factories.
Yes, the world’s automakers could do a lot more to morally justify our reliance on giant resource-consuming boxes, reducing corporate ecological footprint, and do more to ensure better work practices for employees, etc. There will always be room for progress on those fronts and thus a need for pressure from activists. Just don’t key my car.