Decide on your own littel strike and be a part of something bigger.
As an adult with a job, I didn’t have the possibility to join the first Friday4Future-Strikes. I asked myself: How should I support our youngsters? How can the movement mobilize adults? How can the movement have an impact not only on politicians?
It led up to those Theses:
1st Thesis: Mininess is OK. If you would like to but can not join a strike, or if joining might endanger you or your job more than what you are ready to risk, or cutting your CO2-output by say 20% might be too harsh on you, choose a different, maybe smaller way of supporting the same cause. You decide about type and size of your contribution.
2nd Thesis: Weakness is OK. Living green, having an ethical job, being politically active. Who can do all of it symultaneously? We are inside several circles of responisbility. For myself, my family, my friends, my job, my neigbourhood, my city, my country, my globe. If I am not active in one area, I still have the possibility or obligation to influece another. Climate change deniers try to deny climate activists this freedom. The argument goes as follows: „If you strike, you are not allowed to use a car, or else you are not consequent.“ They try to force upon us the logics of extremisms: „If you are one of us, you don’t shake hands with them.“ „If you love your country, you don’t buy a foreign car.“ Or how about turning it around: „If you don’t strike, you have to fly.“ You decide where you are active: Mobility, energy, shopping, yourself, your job, politically or on all levels.
3rd Thesis: Pressure is OK. Should everybody decide by themselves, how ecologically they choose to behave? No. If a few climate-consciuos people fly less, this will not stop climate change. Everybody has to contribute a share and it‘s more efficient to have our economic and political system reduce the attractivity of unecological behaviour and introduce pro climate incentives. Putting all the responsibility on the conscious people is a strategy we have to strictly oppose. In other fields it would mean: „If you want to pay taxes, go ahead. I don’t join in. My contribution isn’t needed anyway.“ Building democracy has been a long fight, forcing the strong to obey common laws. The fight is still going on. A strike is not a behaviour that solves the problem, but it’s an action that puts pressure on those who have the power to solve it. You decide about where and how you fight. This is your democratic right and your right as a human being. You will experiece opposition and will have to stand by your arguments.
4th Thesis: Contradictions are OK. My behaviour does not always match my ideals. And some find it unfair that they should have to refrain from flying to New York while everyone else is leaving. If they are morally devalued for that, they turn against climate protection. We do not like to be the only ones suffering. But if it concerns everyone, we can endure many limitations. We should open up moral-free doors. You do not have to pray daily Ave Maria's, go to church on Sundays and make a pilgrimage to Compostela to call yourself a Catholic. If you feel green, you do not have to renounce every luxury, but support green concerns. You decide at which level it is fair for you to participate. You might be flying today, but you are pro kerosene taxes, which will eventually ‚hit‘ you as well. You vote green, even if you are not (yet) behaving like that.
And the theses led to the concept of MyMiniStrike:
Step 1: I demand! Choose somebody and something you might have the power to pressure to change. For example: Mom, I want you to cook vegetarian once a week. Teacher, I’d like you to hand out recycled paper. Boss, I propose that the air-conditioning be limited to 25°C/78°F.
Step 2: I strike! Choose a means of showing your determination. For example: Mom, as long as you don’t comply, I’ll hide your shoes. Teacher, on Fridays we won’t fill in bleached worksheets. Boss, on Fridays I’ll show up with cap and gloves.
Step 3: I promise! Choose something you do for the cause yourself, it will also increase your credibility. For example: Mom, I won’t buy the latest brand sneakers. Teacher, we’ll organize turns to shock ventilate during breaks. Boss, buy me an economy class ticket for the next flight.
Become a MiniStriker Join in and declare your 3 steps to your MiniStrike here in the comments, contribute ideas for possible steps, subscribe for the newsletter and /or # and follow us on twitter or subscribe on facebook!
What do we want? ClimateStrike! When can you do it? Now!
And this is my MiniStrike:
My step 1: I demand! I propose that my employer, the municipality, is to join the label „swiss energy cities“.
My step 2: I strike! In meetings with my boss on fridays, I’ll stick to a one minute’s silence.
My step 3: I promise! For my carbon footprint, I donate compensation to a climate project.
Lothar Steinke, Rothenburg/Lucerne, Switzerland