Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate Spray-Painted by Climate Activists

On September 17, 2023, the Brandenburg gate in Berlin, Germany, saw a strange and provocative protest. Climate activists from the group “Last Generation” took to the streets, using bold tactics to demand immediate action against climate change and the abandonment of fossil fuels.

Brandenburg Gate Spray-Painted by Climate Activists

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The Brandenburg Gate is one of Germany’s most iconic landmarks, situated at the core of Berlin. It remains as an image of unity and triumph over adversity. Built in the late 18th century, the gate has borne witness to historical events, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to various political rallies.

However, on this day, its six pillars would bear witness to a different kind of statement—one painted in orange warning paint.

The Last generation activists made a permanent mark on the Brandenburg Gate by spray-painting its six pillars with vivid orange warning paint. This action was not just a simple act of vandalism; it was a deliberate and powerful message to call for change.

The orange paint additionally spread to Pariser Platz, the square at the foot of the landmark, leaving bright footprints extending along the roadway. This striking visual display aimed to capture the attention of the public and policymakers alike.

The protest did not go unnoticed by the authorities. Fourteen activists affiliated with Last Generation were arrested on suspicion of criminal property damage.

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Importantly, there were no reports of violence associated with the arrests. This raises questions about the nature of the protest, its intended impact, and the response from law enforcement.

The central message of the protest was clear: it is the time for political change. The activists demanded a decisive move away from fossil fuels, a transition that must happen no later than 2030.

This timeline mirrors the urgency of the climate crisis and aligns with global efforts to limit global warming and its catastrophic consequences. Marion Fabian, a spokesperson for Last Generation, emphasized the need for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to speak clearly on this issue.

To completely get a handle on the meaning of this protest, understanding Germany’s climate goals is fundamental. The country has set aggressive targets, aiming for net-zero emissions by 2045.

However, this commitment has faced challenges, as Germany has consistently missed its climate protection targets for the last two years. The Last generation activists are pushing for additional quick and effective measures to guarantee Germany’s climate goals are met.

The Last Age is a climate activist group based in Germany. Since the spring of 2022, they have been actively protesting across the country.

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Their tactics are notable for their audacity and determination. Individuals from the group have stuck themselves to roads and airport tarmacs, disrupting road and air traffic to draw attention to the climate crisis.

These actions have triggered a law-enforcement crackdown by Germany’s federal states, and some view Last Generation as a criminal organization.

Last generation’s activities have enraptured German society. While they plan to bring issues to light and incite activity on climate change, their disruptive methods have also generated criticism.

The group has targeted political party headquarters, luxury shops, and even a private jet at Berlin’s airport. These actions have made headlines and ignited debates about the limits of protest and civil disobedience in the name of environmental activism.

Berlin Mayor Kai Wegner condemned the protest at the Brandenburg Gate, arguing that it went beyond legitimate forms of protest.

He stressed that Berlin supports freedom of expression and fair debate but criticized Last Generation for damaging the historic Brandenburg Gate and hindering free discourse on important issues.

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