Climate Activists Deface Brandenburg Gate with Orange Paint in Berlin

21:10 17.09.2023

In a bold demonstration of their demands for urgent action against climate change, German climate activists from the group Letzte Generation (Last Generation) carried out a symbolic act at Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate on Sunday. Armed with fire extinguishers filled with orange and yellow paint, members of Letzte Generation sprayed the columns of the 18th-century landmark, demanding a complete halt to the use of fossil fuels by 2030.

The act of defiance by Letzte Generation, which is affiliated with the European A22 network that includes Britain's Just Stop Oil, sparked a flurry of activity as Berlin Police made efforts to stop the protestors from inflicting further damage. The police department took to social media platform X to report the incident, stating, "Members of the so-called 'Last Generation' sprayed the columns on the east side of the Brandenburg Gate with orange paint from fire extinguishers during the morning." Authorities also noted the use of a hydraulic lift by the protestors, which prevented them from climbing the monument.

Law enforcement swiftly intervened and arrested 14 protestors at the scene. An investigation has been launched to assess the extent of the damage caused to the historic property. The actions of Letzte Generation have prompted a law-enforcement crackdown by federal states in Germany, indicating the seriousness with which authorities are taking these climate protests.

Letzte Generation, based in Germany, has been at the forefront of climate activism, employing various tactics to draw attention to their cause. Recently, they made headlines in Germany with hundreds of roadblocks, during which protestors glued themselves to the tarmac. In a post on X, Letzte Generation shared pictures of the Brandenburg Gate being spray-painted, accompanied by a powerful message: "We will not stop our protest unless a pivot is initiated. We have to exit oil, natural gas, and coal by 2030 at the latest." Their demands align with the urgency of the climate crisis and the need to transition to cleaner energy sources.

Germany, as a nation, has set a goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2045. However, it has fallen short of annual targets over the past two years. This has fueled frustration among climate activists who believe that more needs to be done, and done faster, to address the climate emergency.

The Brandenburg Gate incident has reignited the debate on climate action within German society and politics. Letzte Generation's provocative and polarizing role in German activism has drawn both support and criticism. Berlin Mayor Kai Wegner condemned the group's actions, stating that their tactics go beyond legitimate forms of protest. "With these actions, this group is not only damaging the historic Brandenburg Gate but also our free discourse about the important issues of our time and future," he expressed.

As the investigation into the spray-painting incident continues, the pressure on the German government to respond to these calls for more urgent climate action is expected to intensify. The actions of Letzte Generation have once again put climate change at the forefront of public discourse, highlighting the need for immediate measures to transition away from fossil fuels and towards a more sustainable and equitable future.

/ Sunday, September 17, 2023, 9:10 PM /

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