Climate strike in Grafing: no question of age – Ebersberg

A boy is standing at a beer bench. Completely absorbed, he guides the brush over a piece of cardboard. Does he even hear what all the adults next door are saying into the microphone? Of climate change, energy crisis, protest? In any case, the approximately ten-year-old expresses his opinion with paint: Under his hands, a globe in green and blue slowly emerges, beautiful and intact.

It’s Friday afternoon, climate strike in Grafing. The local actors from Fridays for Future, the Bund Naturschutz and other organizations from the district have called for this. But unlike the last time three years ago, around 650 people didn’t come to the city park, but only around one hundred. In addition, you see surprisingly few young faces, the adults, especially pensioners, are in the majority. Have Corona and the war in Ukraine actually pushed the climate crisis out of public awareness?

Wants to work for the coming generations: Josef Biesenberger, Green City Councilor from Grafing.

(Photo: Peter Hinz-Rosin)

In any case, the manageable influx is no surprise for the organizers: “Due to the corona pandemic, we have not been able to gather for more than two years,” says Sepp Biesenberger, second chairman of the Grafinger local group in the Bund Naturschutz. And here too: While one tends to imagine Luisa Neubauer or Clara Meyer under Fridays for Future, Biesenberger is no longer a pupil or student, but a pensioner. But like many of the initiators and supporters of the Grafinger climate strike, he sees it as his duty to mobilize people to work for the climate and nature conservation. “After all, it’s us who brought the misery into the hands of the younger generation,” says Biesenberger. “Young people deserve our rethinking.”

But mobilization now, after the Corona break, seems to be a lot more difficult, as was already evident in the Ebersberg district in March: almost a year after the outbreak of the Russian war of aggression, around 100 climate activists followed the call of the Glonner Greens. But the Fridays for Future movement in the district has not only lost momentum because of the pandemic: “Pupils became students, others are doing an apprenticeship or working – you can’t always take time off to demonstrate,” explains Biesenberger. In addition, many of the young activists have moved and are now dedicating themselves to Fridays for Future in other places. And not all climate activists from the district demonstrated in Grafing – many made their way to Munich to join the larger protest, says Elias Schröter. “A strike with a few people in many places is less conspicuous than a strike with many people in a few places.”

Demonstration in Grafing: Elias Schröter, spokesman for the Green Youth in the district, would like better and cheaper public transport.

Elias Schröter, spokesman for the Green Youth in the district, would like better and cheaper public transport.

(Photo: Peter Hinz-Rosin)

Schröter, spokesman for the Green Youth in the district, has also moved and now lives in Munich. Today, however, he has returned to Grafing to campaign for climate protection in his old homeland. He came with the S-Bahn, he says, and during the journey, which was once again interrupted in Grafing station, decided to talk about public transport on the microphone. This is simply too expensive and poorly developed in this country. “It’s so sad, because we actually want to get away from the car – but we also want to arrive on time and cheaply,” says Schröter. The nine-euro ticket has now shown what is possible. “We should take to the streets for that!”

There are many different demands that afternoon in the Grafinger Stadtpark, from the speakers, but also painted on posters. Miriam Boehlke, who for some time organized the FFF demos in the district together with fellow students and committed schoolchildren from Grafing, does not grab the microphone, but shows a sign: “Degrowth (that is, to put it simply, reducing consumption and production for more social justice) is sexy”. Boehlke says: “Sustainability does not stop with ecological sustainability”, climate justice is a big point of the Fridays for Future movement. Another young woman wrote on her poster: “I’m sure the dinosaurs thought they had time too”. You can see “grandmas for future”, things written by children’s hands like “environment is more important than money” and funny things. “I think, therefore I am – against climate change”.

Demonstration in Grafing: Manageable crowd: the hundred or so participants in the Grafinger climate strike.

Manageable influx: the hundred or so participants in the Grafinger climate strike.

(Photo: Peter Hinz-Rosin)

Klaus Grünebach, head of the Grafinger BN, sounds improvised alarm sirens and swears the audience to resist. For him as a grandfather, it is particularly frightening that all the overexploitation is taking place at the expense of future generations. “World Overshoot Day was May 4th this year!” Georg Hengster, coordinator of the Ebersberg regional group for economy for the common good, also came. He is also upset about the exploitation of people and nature and calls for an economic rethink: companies that are only concerned with maximizing profits should be punished. Uwe Peters has decided not to address the mind, but the emotions. The Grafinger keeps singing soft protest songs to the guitar, from “Mad World” to “Country Roads” to “Smoke Signals”.

Demonstration in Grafing: The political attitude of this activist is unmistakable.

The political attitude of this activist is obvious.

(Photo: Peter Hinz-Rosin)

Jürgen Friedrichs from the ADFC, on the other hand, advertises the “Radentscheid” – his club is also committed to climate protection, he explains. “It concerns us all, regardless of whether we acknowledge the problem or ignore it.” And better local transport is an important building block for making progress here. Rosi Reindl from the ÖDP gave a kind of sweeping blow: nuclear phase-out, uranium mining, LNG tankers, genetic engineering, CETA agreement – “it’s crazy what we’re putting up with at the moment!” One must now “really mobilize everything” against the trade agreement with Canada. On the other hand, things got really local at the end with Josef Biesenberger, who presented the Ebersberg greenhouse gas balance to the audience: the district spends one million euros a day to import fossil fuels. “And these are the outdated prices,” said the BN representative. A new balance sheet will be published next week – “we can be excited about that”.

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