In pictures: Topless protester and cake throwing disrupt Volkswagen’s annual meeting

Climate activists are taken out of the venue of the annual shareholders' meeting of the Volkswagen AG in Berlin.
Climate activists are taken out of the venue of the annual shareholders' meeting of the Volkswagen AG in Berlin. Copyright Britta Pedersen/dpa via AP
Copyright Britta Pedersen/dpa via AP
By Euronews Green with APTN
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Human rights and climate change activists targeted the German car giant's AGM.


Volkswagen's annual shareholder meeting in Berlin was briefly disrupted Wednesday by protests over the company's factory in China's Xinjiang province. 

A shouting, topless activist with "Dirty Money" painted on her back interrupted the speech by CEO Oliver Blume before she was hustled away by security personnel. Around 10 others were involved in the protest with some holding signs that read "End Uygher Forced Labour". 

A topless activist is escorted away after disrupting Volkswagen's annual shareholder meeting.Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP

A cake-like object was also thrown during a speech from board chairman Hans-Dieter Poetsch, apparently in the direction of board member Wolfgang Porsche, who represents his family's shareholding in the company, the dpa agency reported.

Photos showed a white, gooey substance resembling pastry stuck to the front of the podium behind which Porsche was sitting.

What are activists accusing Volkswagen of doing?

The activists accuse the carmaker of ignoring human rights abuses in Xinjiang province.

Volkswagen has said that it has found no evidence of human rights violations at its plant in China's western Xinjiang region. The Chinese government has been accused of human rights abuses against the Muslim Uyghur population in the region, including forced labour in detention camps. 

Wolfgang Porsche, board member of German car giant Volkswagen looks on after a piece of cake was thrown at the front of his desk.TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP

A UN report published in August last year found that China had committed "serious human rights violations" against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province. The US State Department has described China's actions in the region as genocide.

Climate protesters demand Volkswagen cut its emissions

Police also stopped an attempt by climate protesters to glue themselves to the ground on the square outside the meeting. Activists from Scientist Rebellion were demanding that Europe's biggest car manufacturer reduce its carbon footprint. 

"The science is clear," the group wrote on Twitter. 

"We have to drastically reduce CO2 emissions and resource consumption and VW plans to sell millions of cars above the 1.5 limit."

The shareholder meeting in Berlin resumed after a brief intermission.

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