Protest for green is a must nowadays. Austrians take this very serious and even one step higher with annual protests and individual support to save today’s climate and the future.
Vocal sounds swish through concrete walls of the 19th century Heldenplatz. Sounds of people with a voice that want to be heard. When entering through the historical bow that leads to the square, one sees signs of green. This time not led by the flora of the square garden that normally adds the natural look and feel to the area, but by a small army of green activist. These Fridays for Future activists send a message that we hear but not fear. The message for change of climate.
When walking through the streets of Austria’s capital Vienna, it seems to be having clean and open spaces with clear, unpolluted air and a tremendous number of e-steps boosted with e-bikes. Nowadays, more than half of the worlds populations lives in these urban-environments. As for Austria, the number is 64%. Cities provide the most pollution and play an intense part in the effects on our climate. A city like Vienna, with almost 2 million inhabitants, takes part in several programmes to become green and environmentally sustainable to become a so called ‘’Smart City Vienna’’, a test program to transform city districts into a low-carbon dioxide areas and sustainable quality living spaces. Besides this, there has to be an individual support from the ‘’Wiener’’ to change certain things in its daily life for preventing further effects of climate change.
Demonstrator Niklas Berg says: ‘’For many years I have been aware of this problem and I always found my individual way to contribute against this worldwide issue. For instance, I use less water, take public transport more often, buy more plant-based product and I try to use my energy more responsibly. I think it is very good to evaluate yourself now and then to see on what kind of things you could improve your sustainable way of living. Also, the government should educate people more on the environmental ways of living and provide more green city spaces.’’
The importance of individual change regarding our climate is running through the voices of different generations. From young to old, people gather together with the same mentality and values, creating a varying spot with a united feel which can be witnessed from outside the ring during the protest. Besides locals, individuals from several countries show their presence. A Texas-American guides people with his voice and lyrics into the awareness for our climate. After singing his words, he moves to the crowd, giving them a small note. The note reads: ‘’Prove Thanos Wrong’’, a distinct pronunciation that refers to the movie of Marvel’s Avengers, where in the last era of the series, the bad guy wants to destroy the world because humans wasted it. It can be seen that every attendant speaks out on their own creative way. Some white painted boards show graffiti texts with ‘’Make our climate great again’’ and unfolded carton boxes show marker-written texts as ‘’Stop Pollution, Be Solution’’. Some dance in the heating sun on the music of the freedom writers, expressing the message through movement by showing the positivity of these gatherings.
’’Raphael Neuwirth of Die Grüne Jugend says: ‘’Movements like this can be seen all over the world nowadays, where even schools are closing to encourage young students to march for a change. The support of green political parties during these marches is immense. At the Friday for Future protest every week here Vienna too, where the event receives an encouraging support by our national green party.’’
It seems like Vienna is extra aware of the importance on this topic. These weekly protests are extremely valuable for the fight against climate changes here in in the city but is just as important as the international one.
Gabi Zornig, Press and Communication of Die Grünen says: ‘’Climate change is the biggest crisis of humanity. We need drastic changes right now, otherwise we, and our next generations, have to live life by surviving. We have to achieve the climate agreement, just like any other goal governments make, such as animal wealthy and water retention. These things should not be different than the rest of Europe but should be equal. Climate change too, it is something we have to work on as countries and as individuals.’’