The Volkswagen Group's annual meeting in Berlin was disrupted by activists.
Activists attempted to gatecrash the Volkswagen Group's annual meeting in Berlin, Germany yesterday with, quite literally, a cake attack.
According to Bloomberg, ten activists managed to enter the facility where the meeting was taking place. Following reports of forced labor, they were there specifically to protest the German automaker's alleged mistreatment of plant workers in Xinjiang, China. They're also accusing VW of "making climate-damaging decisions."
The latter is nothing new, as German environmental activists have sued BMW, Mercedes, and VW over their respective environmental records, specifically their supposedly slow EV rollout.
Of the ten activists, there was one topless woman with the words "Dirty Money" painted on her back. All ten waved banners with 'End Uyghur Forced Labor' written on them.
The cake-throwing incident happened very suddenly and, apparently, the main target was none other than Wolfgang Porsche, who just turned 80. But, the cake thrower had bad aim and missed, instead partially striking VW Group Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch. It took only a matter of seconds for security officials to round up the activists and escort them out.
Despite the embarrassment, VW had this to say after the culinary mess was cleaned up: "A constructive dialogue is important. And a general meeting offers a good opportunity for this. With the exception of a few people, everyone follows the designated guidelines."
But what about the alleged forced labor at the Chinese plant? According to the automaker, "We do not see any evidence of human rights abuses at the plant." But activists are not convinced.
They point out the supposed connection between the plant and its suppliers and reports of internment reeducation camps where ethnic Uyhurs are reportedly being held against their will by the Chinese government.
The Xinjiang plant is a joint venture with Chinese automaker SAIC and is expected to produce at least 10,000 vehicles this year, down from the 50,000-unit rate when it first opened. None of the vehicles VW builds in China are shipped to North America.
In the US, the automaker has pumped more money into its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant as it continues to boost ID. 4 production. It recently concluded production of the Passat sedan.
Join The Discussion