Climate activists cut off top of Berlin’s official Christmas tree

Climate activists cut off top of Berlin’s official Christmas tree

As part of protesting for urgent and tougher government climate legislation, Letzte Generation activists have cut off the top of one of Berlin’s official Christmas trees.

Letzte Generation cut off top of Berlin Christmas Tree

Climate activists from the Letzte Generation group have cut off the top of an official Christmas tree in Berlin which stands in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

Two members of the group were elevated on a cherry picker so that they could reach the top of the 15-metre-high tree and cut off its tip. While doing so, the activists hung a banner from the vehicle which read, “This is only the tip of the Christmas tree” (“Das ist nur die Spitze des Weihnachtsbaums.”)

A representative of the climate group, which has been carrying out frequent and disruptive protests since the autumn, said in a statement, "So far we're seeing only the tip of the underlying disaster in Germany.”

"While all of Germany spends the week getting the best gifts from the biggest stores, others are wondering where they will get water to drink after droughts and floods have destroyed their crops,” spokesperson Lilli Gomez said.

What do Letzte Generation want?

In September the activist group, which has branches all over Germany, addressed a letter to the German coalition government calling for greater action against climate change. The group’s main demands are “a speed limit of 100 kilometres per hour on German motorways and the introduction of public transport made affordable through a 9-euro ticket”. When they did not receive a response they began a series of protest actions, starting on October 10.

Since then, the German government has called for a clampdown on protests and activists. German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told dpa in November that “the criminals must be prosecuted quickly and consistently.” She said that the police have her “fullest support.” 

Since Faeser’s statement, the homes of 11 activists across Germany have been raided, which, according to Euronews, police have said is due to them being suspected of “formation of a criminal organisation.” 

Speaking to Reuters, Letzte Generation representative Lilly Schubert said, “There is little connection between these people, this is clearly an intimidation attempt.”

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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