Greenpicks at the big climate strike of Fridays for future in Cologne
Bright sunshine, perfect weather, the Cologne Cathedral in the background – ideal conditions for a day of sightseeing.
But there are more important things at the moment: On this Friday morning at the end of May 2019, about 12,000 pupils, students, parents and other participants gather in Cologne on the Roncalliplatz for the big climate strike. This makes them part of the global climate strike initiated by the Fridays for Future movement on the occasion of the European elections. As a Cologne-based company, owner Annette Husmann of Greenpicks has taken up the cause to support the young climate protesters today. With the online marketplace greenpicks.de/enGreenpicks, founded in 2012, it is her heartfelt concern to counteract climate change with sustainable products.
Before the kick-off rally begins, one might think that one has landed on a very large schoolyard, amidst many pupils of different ages, who are talking animatedly. If there were not the countless posters and creative demo signs that the participants firmly hold in their hands and in the air.
You can feel the energy that emanates from the young people. Lively and full of zest for action. With big applause they acknowledge the starting signal of the rally, which is given by the organizers of the “Lauti”, one of the two loudspeaker carriages. The guest role is quickly filed with so much momentum. “Despite the age, I feel part of the whole,” says Annette. “And I feel encouraged to make an important contribution to climate protection with Greenpicks.”
Demands to the policy
The speeches of the opening rally make it clear how much anger has accumulated among the youth. Anger at the fact that politicians are not doing more to stop the climate crisis and implement concrete and effective measures. In particular, the 17-year-old Jana does not mince her words and addresses her dissatisfaction to the German Federal Government. “You praise us instead of changing your politics. We do not want your praise, we want concrete action!”, she shouts and gets thunderous applause. “We have a big problem,” she says about the future prospects of her generation, “and our own government denies the radical urgency of the climate crisis.” As a sign of solidarity, a science representative speaks to the crowd and reiterates the appalling connections between man-made emissions and the climate.
At the demonstration march through the center of Cologne, the students then really show what they are made of. Peaceful but powerful, alive and loud it bangs through the streets: “What do we need? Climate justice! When do we need it? Now!” and “coal companies, dredging in the distance, destroying our environment, just for a penny, and when we see our future: renewable energy!”
Climate demonstrators: Parents for Future and Scientists for Future
According to Fridays for future, more than 1,660 cities in more than 120 countries and a total of 1.6 million young people around the world participated in the global climate strike to strike and fight for the future of humanity and more climate protection. In Germany alone, more than 320,000 people participated in more than 280 cities and towns. The pupils are supported by several other movements, especially the Parents for Future and the Scientists for Future.
The support of now 26,800 scientists (as of May 31, 2019) is for sure for the movement Fridays for Future. Also, more than 1,500 entrepreneurs (as of May 31, 2019) have joined forces in the support movement Entrepreneurs for Future in order to give further expression to the urgency of the demands and to show that sustainable business is awfully well possible. The statements of both organizations have also been signed by Greenpicks.
We keep our fingers crossed that the demands of the young people are finally taken seriously by the policy, taken up and implemented. The result of the European elections in 2019 among the parties in Germany suggests at least that the topic of climate protection is also becoming more in the focus of the former people’s parties.
The next global climate strike is scheduled for 20 September 2019. We will see what will have happened so far.
Photos © Greenpicks, greenpicks.de
Editor’s note: For privacy reasons according to DSGVO the faces of the participants were pixelated.