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German climate activists saw down tree at Chancellery

Lisa Ossenbrink
February 21, 2023

Last Generation protesters in Berlin wanted to raise awareness about the destruction of forests. Police say they were on the scene and took action.

Climate activists cut down tree in front of Berlin Chancellery
The cutting down of the tree is the latest provocative action by the Last Generation groupImage: Julius-Christian Schreiner/TNN/dpa/picture alliance

Climate activists from the German protest group Last Generation cut down a small tree in front of the Chancellery in Berlin on Tuesday, criticizing the government's "exacerbation of the climate catastrophe" through the clearing of forests to build "motorways and quarries."

The activists also smeared paint on the side of the office of the chancellor

What did police and Last Generation say about the protest? 

According to a police spokesperson, authorities were on the scene to observe the protest. They also took down personal details of some of the activists involved. An investigation into the protest has been opened. 

Last Generation tweeted about the protest: "Business and politics are sawing at the branches on which civilization is sitting. We're making this destruction visible in the middle of Berlin."

Lina Schinkoethe, one of the activists, at the sawed tree
The activists are calling for measures to make public transport more affordable, along with new speed limits to curb emissions Image: JONAS GEHRING/aal.photo/IMAGO

The protest action has caused a stir on Twitter, with the hashtag "tree" trending in Germany.

In a press statement, the group shared how Germany had experienced the biggest forest fires of its history in 2022. Forests were already dying due to the effects of climate change, the press statement said further.

Disruptive climate protests prompt calls for tough response

The Last Generation have caused a stir across the country in recent months by blocking motorways and streets. The group has been the most active in the German capital.

The group were demanding a speed limit on German motorways to reduce emissions and for the country to be emissions-free by 2030.

Their protests have divided public opinion and have been the topic of several talk shows. Some politicians are calling for tougher measures on climate activists as a response. 

Material from German news agency dpa contributed to this article

Edited by: Wesley Dockery

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