BERLIN (AP) — Environmental activists brazenly marched off with a giant letter “C” from the entrance of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party headquarters in broad daylight Thursday in a stunt to protest its climate change policies.

Members of Greenpeace waltzed into the CDU building in downtown Berlin in the morning and snatched the 2-meter-tall (6.5-foot-tall) letter from inside the glass. To the remaining “DU” — German for “you” — they added a banner reading, “should protect the climate.”

Later, after someone removed the giant “DU” letters, the activists rappelled down the front of the building and pasted a new part on their banner to spell it out again for morning commuters to see.

The group says it removed the “C” — thus taking the “Christian” out of the “Christian Democratic Union” party name — because they maintain Merkel’s party hasn’t been upholding the Christian imperative to protect creation.

While Merkel’s party recently agreed a package of measures to reduce carbon emissions, environmentalists say they won’t be enough to effectively stop global warming.

In preparation for the caper, the group also brought their own giant “C’s” with them and established a Twitter account, “ Das C ” — or “The C.” In a video tweeted by the group, one member is seen trundling off down the road in front of the CDU headquarters with a giant “C” strapped to his back.


Despite the serious message, the group posted light-hearted videos of one activist bicycling through the city with a giant “C” on her back, and of a group of three being turned away as they tried to bring a “C” onto a Berlin subway.

CDU Secretary General Paul Ziemiak responded in kind, posting a photograph of himself in Leipzig, where the CDU is gathering for a party convention, standing next to a giant “C” smiling and pointing and commenting: “We’ve gotten lucky again! The original ‘C’ is here in Leipzig.”

“Greetings to you in Berlin,” he added, including Greenpeace Germany’s Twitter handle.

Berlin police say there have been no arrests, but they’re investigating the incident on suspicion of theft and violation of Germany’s public assembly laws.


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