Strikes at school, university and work, that is our answer to your politics! », Echoes from the stage at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin-Mitte. Despite falling raindrops and wet streets, thousands of climate activists stand and sit on Straße des 17. Juni, with their mouth and nose protection at a distance. Soap bubbles fly through the air. The young people laugh, chat, dance and listen attentively to the speeches.
Fridays for Future had announced a global climate strike with over 3000 protest events. Under the motto KeinGradWeiter, the activists demonstrated at over 400 locations. According to the police, almost 10,000 people took part in Berlin alone, and the organizers spoke of 21,000. Many tens of thousands were on the streets across Germany.
In the past few months, representatives of Fridays for Future had complained of frustration. Although the movement has made a significant contribution to changing the social discourse, concrete political decisions that could save the earth from climate collapse are still pending. The movement is divided on the question of strategy. Some have announced that they will run for the Bundestag, while others are committed to civil disobedience and radical social criticism. The young climate movement is possibly at a crossroads: foaming Greens or meaningless Autonomous?
Green New Deal as Strategy
Approaches to a Green New Deal are also discussed as controversially at Fridays for Future as elsewhere on the political left. The concept means a social change towards a socio-ecological world, carried as a joint project by parties, unions and climate movements. The core of the concept: stop climate change while maintaining prosperity. This is to be achieved through a state investment program in which the jobs that are lost in fossil energy generation are absorbed by retraining and there is a job guarantee for everyone.
The idea has been discussed in the Left Party for several years. In March 2020, the left even held a strategy conference on the subject. “Climate protection and social justice go hand in hand,” communicated party chairman Bernd Riexinger on request. “The social and ecological crises have the same origin: a system in which profit and more and more profit are the ultimate yardstick.”
A social task
To change course, everyone would have to pull together. The anti-coal alliance at the end of the terrain, for example, sees cooperation with parties rather critically. «We can no longer wait for majorities, commissions or charters – the climate crisis is happening now, and the last few decades have shown that there is no political will to stop the climate crisis. None of the current parties has a concept that would adhere to the 1.5-degree limit, “explains Ronja Weil, press spokeswoman for Endegebiet, the” nd “. However, she emphasizes that it is a task for society as a whole to initiate and implement system change.
At Fridays for Future, some reject the concept because it is too uncritical and cannot overcome capitalism. “Others think the concept is good. There is no uniform perspective on the subject, ”said Asuka Kähler, press spokesman for Fridays for Future, in an interview with“ nd ”.
Most recently, the Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband criticized Fridays for Future sharply and unceremoniously got out as a supporter – in the middle of the hot phase of strike preparations. “What we still miss today is a clear positioning of Fridays for Future as a movement for such a socially just climate change,” said the general manager of the Paritätischer Gesamtverband, Ulrich Schneider, in a statement on the decision. Kähler admits errors: “I think the accusation arose on the one hand from miscommunication on our part and on the other hand is justified. It is serious criticism. We need to raise the issue of social issues and work more with trade unions. We will think more about the social issue in the federal election. “
At Ende Ende it is already clear that they want to “connect the struggles”. “For example in the care area: As the end-of-terrain local group, we fought with the health staff to discontinue the flat-rate system,” says spokeswoman Weil. The new alliances could also be an opportunity for Fridays for Future to get closer to the ambitious goals.