BERLIN (AP) — German climate activists sprayed orange paint onto Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate on Sunday morning to urge the German government to take more urgent action against climate change.
Members of the group the Last Generation used fire extinguishers filled with paint to spray all six columns of the popular landmark in Germany’s capital. The group’s priorities include getting Germany to stop using all fossil fuels by 2030 and take short-term measures, including imposing a general speed limit of 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) on highways, to cut emissions more quickly.
“The protest makes it clear: It is time for a political change,” the group said in a statement. “Away from fossil fuels — towards fairness.”
Police cordoned off the area surrounding Brandenburg Gate and confirmed that they detained 14 activists affiliated with the Last Generation.
The group best known for its protests in which activists glue themselves to roads and block traffic plays a provocative and polarizing role in German politics and society.
Berlin Mayor Kai Wegner condemned the group’s actions, saying 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 told German news agency dpa.
In Sweden, police said they detained 17 people Sunday suspected of sabotage after climate activists entered Stockholm’s Bromma Airport, which operates mainly domestic routes, and sprayed red paint on one aircraft, police told Swedish news agency TT.
An ambulance flight was forced to land at Stockholm’s main international Arlanda airport instead of Bromma, due to the action, according to Swedish airport authorities. The climate activists announced later that the action was part of a global campaign calling for a ban on private jets.