Climate activists from the "Last Generation" initiative sprayed large areas of the party headquarters of the SPD, Greens and FDP with orange paint in Berlin on Wednesday morning. In addition, individual activists had glued themselves to house facades, said a police spokeswoman in Berlin when asked by the Evangelical Press Service. Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) warned the protest movement of legal consequences. The activists crossed the line of acceptable protest and may be liable to prosecution, he said in Berlin.
Banners said, among other things, "What if the government doesn't have this under control". The initiative explained on Twitter: “We are spraying the Berlin headquarters of the SPD, Greens and FDP because the traffic light has no plan against them
The federal office of the Greens on the square in front of the New Gate, the SPD party headquarters in Wilhelmstrasse and the FDP federal office in Reinhardstrasse were affected. At the Willy Brandt House in Kreuzberg, two women emptied a fire extinguisher and smeared the exterior, the police spokeswoman said. At the FDP, two people stuck themselves at the entrance to the house. Police officers are on site at all locations.
The climate protest group Last Generation said about the actions and the choice of color: "Orange color is associated with the last generation through safety vests and banners, but also with orange prison overalls."
In the past few weeks, the “Last Generation” has drawn attention to their concerns, above all with road and motorway blockades. Because of the possible obstruction of rescue vehicles, it is therefore criticized. In addition, activists in museums threw tomato soup or mashed potatoes at famous paintings and glued themselves in front of them.
This also caused criticism from the federal government. "Even a good cause does not justify all means," said Justice Minister Buschmann. Anyone who endangers or damages cultural treasures is crossing the line of acceptable protest and is doing their cause a disservice. The forms of protest, which reached into the realm of crime, had serious socio-political consequences, for example when museums considered making art no longer accessible or only making it accessible under heavy security measures.
Open access to the works of art is a concern of the democratic and social constitutional state. "To jeopardize that is a serious mistake," said Buschmann. He emphasized that the activists could possibly make themselves liable to prosecution with the actions. "Anyone who damages someone else's property is liable to prosecution for property damage," he said. Road blocks are about the obstruction of helpers and rescuers as well as coercion. Anyone who blocks rescue routes or ambulances could be guilty of negligent bodily harm. He has confidence in the judicial authorities "that they will apply this criminal law".
Despite the attacks by climate activists on the party headquarters of the traffic light coalition, the federal government does not want to speak of terrorism. "I would be a bit careful with the choice of words," said government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit on Wednesday in Berlin in response to a journalist's question. The recent graffiti is a misdemeanor, but he doesn't want to endorse the term terrorism.
"Kick-off Politics" is WELT's daily news podcast. The most important topic analyzed by WELT editors and the dates of the day. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, among others, or directly via RSS feed.