Climate activists have dropped tires on luxury SUVs in the city of Zurich in Switzerland and The Hague in the Netherlands.
Tire Extinguishers, a loose affiliation of direct action advocates from the UK, claims to have targeted petrol consumers in Zurich’s affluent Zurichburg district.
The group says large vehicles are a disaster for the planet, spewing greenhouse gas emissions, causing adverse health effects from air pollution and making roads more dangerous.
After a series of strikes in affluent areas of the UK, tire extinguishers appear to have gone global, with cars in Germany and the US states of Arizona and Colorado reportedly being targeted.
Activists even used lentils to deflate tires by forcing one inside the air valve to hold it open until the wheel went flat.
The group claims followers in the Netherlands left a Dutch-translated version of the Tire Extinguishers leaflet on the vehicles. Marion Walker, spokesperson for Tire Extinguishers, said: “Anyone can take this action and it’s great to see it spread around the world. All you need is a leaflet and a lens.
“If you own one of these death machines, you should know that the chances of waking up with lentils in your tires are increasing all the time.”
Tire extinguishers want to see SUVs banned in urban areas, the removal of pollution taxes to tax SUVs, and investment in free and comprehensive public transport.
In a recent interview, Marion justified the group’s actions and spoke of the anger they caused.
She said: “We’ve had death threats and threats of violence of course, which shows how attached these people are to their precious ‘Chelsea tractors’ and how important that is to their sense of self. identify.
“But we’ve actually had a bunch of members of the public write in to say they approve. We think a lot of the public is secretly happy that someone is taking action against these urban monstrosities.
“SUVs and 4x4s are a disaster for our health, our public safety and our climate. Bigger and bigger cars dominate our towns and cities, and all so that a privileged few can flaunt their wealth. Because governments and politicians have failed to protect us from this danger, we must protect ourselves.
“We want to make it impossible to own a huge, polluting 4×4 in urban areas around the world.
“We do this by deflating the tires of these massive, unnecessary vehicles, causing inconvenience and expense to their owners.”