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Almost a year after the last global climate march, the youth are back on the streets with actions organized on Friday and Saturday and a new strategy, now more radical and offensive.
The great youth marches for the climate had marked the year 2019 but, in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic totally eclipsed the movement. Ten months after the last world march, the demonstrators make their return, Friday 25 and Saturday 26 September, with calls for a strike from high school and college students all over the world.
In France, the health measures linked to the new coronavirus preventing a large Parisian march, several local actions are planned. The opportunity for the Youth for Climate movement to implement its new strategy, which now aims more to target companies than governments.
“The confinement gave us the opportunity to reflect on our actions and we realized that the marches were not enough”, explains Noé, 20, an activist member of Youth for Climate contacted by France 24. “Now , we want to speed up and the best way to make a difference is by taking direct action at the source of the problem. “
Exit the images of a youth parading wisely with a smile. The Youth for Climate movement now intends to carry out civil disobedience actions and punch actions against large companies or what it calls “large useless projects”, like what Extinction Rebellion could do in fall 2019.
“The government not ready to take quick and radical decisions”
A giant sit-in will be organized in a Parisian square on September 26: “The objective of this occupation is to get out of symbolic and pacified mobilizations which, too often, consolidate the current course of the world and are unable to stop it, explains the local movement. By occupying this place, we intend to fight concretely against the processes of commodification of spaces and life experiences that take place in this neighborhood and which are often adorned with a green camouflage. “
Please note: the climate camp for this Saturday is well maintained
The rules of physical distancing will be respected, the mask will be compulsory. Hydro-alcoholic gel and masks will be available for people who cannot get them. pic.twitter.com/9NiwKQXN76
– Youth For Climate Paris-IDF (@ParisYFC) September 23, 2020
“The Covid-19 health crisis has shown that the government is capable of making quick and radical decisions that can harm the economy. But it is not ready to do so to fight against global warming”, regrets Pierre [le prénom a été modifié], 18, also a Youth for Climate activist, contacted by France 24. “So our actions must have concrete consequences on the economy. This involves the degradation of head offices or the occupation of places of production.”
In a few months, Youth for Climate activists have therefore changed their target: while their marches aimed to challenge those in power, they now wish to attack those they consider to be the main culprits of climate change.
Defense of an anti-capitalist and anti-liberal ecology
This evolution of the thought of the movement was inscribed in a charter published online during summer. This highlights a number of values and principles advocating in particular anti-capitalism, anti-liberalism and degrowth.
“We consider that there can be no climate justice without social justice, therefore we defend the convergence of social struggles”, justifies Noé, for whom “mass production is more to blame than mass consumption”.
This strategy of convergence of struggles takes the Youth for Climate movement sometimes far from its initial demands. Some of its activists marched alongside the yellow vests on September 12, while the headquarters of Domino’s Pizza and the Federation of Hunting were vandalized during the summer.
And Youth for Climate’s new field of action even extends to the defense of Uyghurs, a Muslim minority in northwest China. A large-scale action carried out in several cities has been carried out in recent weeks in major clothing stores to denounce “the exploitation and genocide of the Uyghurs in China”. It will be renewed this Friday in Lyon, Toulouse and Valence.