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One week climate strike in Bonn: "Fridays for Future" plans camp at the Hofgarten

One week climate strike in Bonn : "Fridays for Future" plans camp at the Hofgarten

The Fridays for Future movement wants to strike in Bonn for a week starting 20 September. There will also be a camp in the Hofgarten, where everyone can take part in lectures, workshops and discussions.

"We want to show our critics that we can deal with concrete action steps and that we can create an educational offer", says the student and activist Franzi Bassenge (20). The district government of Cologne, however, urges schools to "ensure that compulsory schooling is observed". However, "civil society commitment and democratic action by pupils" are also to be applauded.

While the Climate Cabinet meets in Berlin on September 20 and the UN prepares for a summit in New York, Fridays for Future calls for a global climate strike. And the appeal is aimed at all citizens. This time, it’s not only school and university students and interns that should take to the streets. The Bonn movement is using this climate meeting to take part in a nationwide strike week. Every day there are demonstrations in different cities that deal with different topics. They orient themselves by the letters of the word "Climate". On the 21st, for example, it is about Clean Oceans, and on the 22nd, when there is a strike in Cologne, it is about Life-giving Forests. The biggest demo will be the "Earth Strike" on Friday, September 27, in which two other German cities as well as Bonn will participate.

During the strike week, the Hofgarten will be transformed into a Fridays Camp. "We will be there day and night. I am annoyed that we are not taken seriously, although we have already made some people start thinking," says Bassenge. They don't just want to sit around, they want to work through and discuss environmental issues. The program includes lectures and courses that show, for example, how to live plastic-free. Musicians, including the Bonn rap duo "Simon & Ingo", will perform concerts.

Beuel secondary school also involved

At the first Fridays for Future demonstration, the Bonn police expect up to 7,500 people, including many students from the Beuel Gesamtschule (secondary school): From 11 a.m. on they want to march to the Kennedy Bridge and then join the Fridays procession. "It will be an entire environmental day," says headmaster Rainer Winand. But it's also supposed to be about democracy. "Our mission also includes educating students to become responsible citizens." That means discussing and taking on different views. "You don't just learn that from textbooks.”

He is not afraid that his students will not come to class. "So far, we have been able to handle this well. I think it's good that they're sending out a signal." They would have had to deal with class material that they missed on their own. If you don't present an excuse, an unexcused absentee hour is entered. Other schools in Bonn, such as the Clara-Schumann-Gymnasium, also take a similar approach to absenteeism. "We don't prohibit our students from taking part, but we check who is there," says deputy headmaster Christoph Neugebauer. If someone is not excused, the parents have to be informed.

This approach is recommended by the Cologne district government. Enforcement of the obligation to attend school is incumbent on the schools. "Unexcused absences, such as days absent without leave before the holidays, are usually reported to us. Parents could be charged 155 euros per day of absence. Schools could also use strikes for educational purposes. " The obligation to take part in lessons is also fulfilled if the school, in the context of concrete teaching plans for individual classes or courses, relocates lessons to out-of-school places of learning. (Orig. text: Nicolas Ottersbach, Translation: ck)