Sat. Apr 20th, 2019

"We are not a passing fad" | Society

"We are not a passing fad" | Society

Hours after seeing on YouTube a video of the young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, five students of Biology and Environmental Sciences of the University of Girona (UdG) were planted on January 18 before the headquarters of the Generalitat in Girona. Two months later, there are 200 people from all the connected faculties on-line with everybody. The seed of the movement Fridays For Future Girona (FFF) it has expanded strongly through the networks and this 15M reaches 40 cities in Spain with demonstrations, talks and concentrations. They want to push for "real" measures against climate change. "We're fed up with being fools. It can not be that politicians meet annually to approve climate measures and reach nothing, "says Lucas Barrero, one of the spokesmen of the FFF.

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Lucas, Ander, Mar, Núria and Roger, who arrived in Girona to study from Huelva, the Basque Country, Barcelona and Lleida, believe that the moment "is now". "We have this desire inside, this concern to see that it is necessary to start at once," says Mar. Lucas and Núria finish the sentence: "Greta took the small step that we were all waiting", was "the spark" and now, they say , this "no longer stops".

They are young with clear ideas. They are defined as a "non-partisan" movement and not linked to any association or entity. Its objective is to pressure the Spanish government to implement measures to combat climate change, bet for a fair sustainable economy linked to the environment and fight for a rapid and fair energy transition. They support and want to be a speaker of the defense struggles of their territory.

Lucas and Ander arrive this morning by bus to Girona. Directives of the European Parliament in Strasbourg where they have been together with 58 other young "climatic activists" from 18 countries. They self-imposed a condition for the trip: to travel only bus or train because the plane pollutes too much.

In Strasbourg they coincided with Lilly, a 10-year-old Dutch activist who started collecting plastic when she was only six. They also met with several MEPs and asked them about the report of the UN experts on climate change, which warns that there is less than a decade to take urgent measures. "Few had read it despite including a 37-page summary for politicians," they lament.

They went to the debate on climate change. "The attendance of the MEPs was unfortunately low," says Ander. In the hemicycle, just 20% of the 750 MEPs. A young activist could not contain her tears. They did not like not being able to participate and to listen to their voice asking for "climate justice".

These young activists defend the Climate Change Law, of consensus, and criticize it being approved at the end of a legislature, "because it is an electoral media and weakens a necessary law before it goes into effect," says Lucas. The FFF has had the request, they say, of the President of the Government to meet with them, but they declined it kindly when considering "that it was not the time". They have also declined to join any candidacy.

Its main objective is to reach people, make social and political pressure from the base to raise awareness. "We would need a Felix Rodriguez de la Fuente to help change the chip," says Lucas. In Strasbourg they have seen "the mentality of always", but Ander sees positive that is spoken of them. "We are already in their minds, if we take advantage of this 15M as a catapult to grow we will continue to make the politicians nervous and they will have to take measures, however minimal they may be." "We are not a passing fad - he warns - we are the next generations. If they do not act, they will lose the vote. "

They believe that we live in an "emergency, in a climate crisis" that politicians do not treat as such and see a "paradigm shift" necessary. For Mar and Núria, the warnings that scientists have been making for years "because the consequences are not seen in the short term" have been ignored. However, they say, they are beginning to be noticed. "The measures to be taken are known and there is the technology to do it, but it is not reversed because it is not profitable," says Ander. The UN warns that it is going to get worse.

The international strike against climate change is supported by young people from 1,320 cities in 89 states. In Spain, united in the transversal platform Youth for Climate They are mobilized in 40 cities. In Girona at six in the afternoon there will be a demonstration that can be followed by Twitter and Instagram of Greenpeace International -with more than 3 million followers-, which has made them available to this movement during the 24 hours of strike and in each Hourly use

"The 15M is a global date but on the 22nd we will also be on the street," says Ander. They warn that other future international dates already have proposals for a movement that does not stop, because "we play our future", they chant in unison.


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