Frankfurt motor show hit by huge climate protests

Thousands of demonstrators protested outside the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt Saturday, calling for a radical change to Germany's transportation policy.

(CNN)Thousands of climate protesters descended onto the streets of Frankfurt Saturday to protest against the role of Germany's car industry in climate change and the destruction of the environment.

The march paraded past Frankfurt's annual motor show (IAA), one of the largest in the world, with protesters calling for an end to combustion engines and a transfer towards emissions-free vehicles.
Protesters were seen holding placards reading "STOP SUV," "SUV not cool" and "we can't replace our lungs."
Others were seen displaying banners calling for a "Verkehrswende" or a transport transition; a reference to Germany's planned shift towards renewable energy sources, or "Energiewende."
    Some protesters were seen holding banners calling for a 'Verkehrswende'; a transition to sustainable forms of transportation.
    Police reported that around 15,000 people, including many cyclists, took part in the march, according to Reuters. Greenpeace, one of the protest organizers, said that as many as 25,000 people were involved, including around 18,000 cyclists.
    Marie Klee, a spokeswoman for the climate action group Sand in the Gearbox, hailed the success of the protest, saying that the response from individuals "willing to take part in a civil disobedience campaign and put their bodies in the way of the powerful auto industry" had exceeded their expectations.
    "An IAA in this form will most certainly not exist anymore. The days when VW, Daimler and BMW and co. celebrated their destructive tin cans without any interruption are over," she said.
    Along with Greenpeace, many different climate groups were present at the protest, including Friends of the Earth and Extinction Rebellion. Thousands of cyclists also took part in the "Sternfahrt" or "Star Ride," which involved them blocking key motorways on their way to the protest.