Fridays for Future

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Demonstration "Fridays for Future" in Berlin in January 2019

Fridays for Future (German "Fridays for [the] future"; short FFF , also FridaysForFuture or school strike for the climate or climate strike , in the original Swedish "SKOLSTREJK FÖR KLIMATET" ) is a global social movement based on schoolchildren and students who for the most complete, fast and efficient climate protection use -measures to the on the world climate conference in Paris in 2015 (COP 21) in the global climate agreement adopted 1.5-degree target of the United Nationsstill to be able to comply. The term Climate Youth , which is related to the movement, was voted one of the three Swiss-German words of the year in 2019 .

Following the example of the initiator Greta Thunberg , schoolchildren take to the streets on Fridays during class time and protest . The protest takes place worldwide and is organized by the schoolchildren and students; For example, on March 15, 2019, almost 1.8 million people are said to have taken part in the FFF demonstrations on the first global climate strike .

In the meantime, numerous support organizations have formed regionally, nationally and worldwide , in particular the Scientists for Future .

In Germany, Fridays for Future is organized as an unincorporated association of persons and sees itself as a grassroots grassroots movement (October 2019). There is no such thing as a board or spokesman legitimized by the grassroots. As a result of the reporting, individual people were made better known. This person-centered reporting is controversial in the movement.

Due to the 2020 corona pandemic , Fridays for Future temporarily canceled all public climate strikes and street demonstrations and switched to online campaigns.


General goals

German slogan : "We are here, we are loud because you are stealing our future"

The aim of the climate strikes is to draw attention to grievances in climate policy and to initiate measures for climate protection . In particular, compliance with the Paris Agreement should be ensured.

According to FFF's own account, the school strikes oppose the failure of those politically responsible to deal with the man-made climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions . With its consequences, this represents a "long-standing real threat to the earth and mankind" and threatens the future of the demonstrators and future generations. Climate policy should not only refer to corporations that promote CO 2 emissions by mining coal , but especially to the people who suffer from the consequences and who do not have a clear, secure future ahead of them. Climate policy is thus seen as social policy. According to the FFF, the strike is not directed against schools and universities, but is intended to encourage action. There is no need to learn for a future that is not worth living. FFF attaches more importance to these existential requirements than to attending school on Fridays. Climate change is not waiting for graduation or graduation. The key requirement is: "Act finally - so that we have a future!"

The main goals of the protests include:

Furthermore, the right to vote should be acquired at the age of 16 in order to expand the opportunities for young people to participate.

Goals for Germany

On April 8, 2019, Fridays for Future Germany published a catalog of demands with short-term and long-term goals at a press conference. According to Fridays for Future , these requirements were developed together with scientists ( HTW Berlin and the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology were explicitly mentioned) and are:

  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Germany to net zero by 2035;
  • Implementation of the coal phase-out by 2030;
  • 100% renewable energies in energy supply by 2035.

In addition, the following goals should be implemented by the end of 2019:

Goals for Austria

Innsbruck , June 7, 2019

The FFF organizers in Austria name the goal “radical environmental protection policy in accordance with the 1.5 degree target and global climate justice ”. To this end, six requirements were drawn up in 2019:

  • Implement measures of the climate and ecological emergency
  • Constitutional climate protection and phasing out oil, coal and gas by 2030
  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 50% by 2025 compared to 2005 and to net zero by 2030
  • Eco-social tax reform
  • Promote biodiversity and take it into account in newly enacted measures
  • Stop "fossil" major projects (e.g. new construction and expansion of airports and highways)

Goals for Switzerland

The Swiss climate strike movement sees its roots in the actions of Greta Thunberg in late summer 2018. The movement demands

If these requirements cannot be met in the current system, a system change is needed.

Forms of action

"Those who don't jump are for coal". Munich, July 2019

At the heart of the Fridays for Future movement are decentralized demonstrations that take place or at least begin on Fridays during school hours, but also continued during the holidays. The rallies and parades are accompanied by posters and banners, typical slogans are “If you don't jump, you are for money” and the alternating call and response chants “What do we want? - Climate Justice! - When do we want it? - Now! ”Other calls used nationwide are:“ Let's go for climate protection! Down with the coal! ”- whereby the posters and banners are raised and lowered - and“ 1, 2, 3, 4 we run for the climate / 5, 6, 7, 8 we don't need coal power / 9 and 10 the climate strike has to go on ”.

For June 21, 2019, FFF had invited all active participants to Aachen for an international demonstration against further lignite mining in the Rhenish Revier and the local lignite generation. In the first week of August 2019 - during the (NRW) school holidays and the lecture-free period - around 1400 participants met in Dortmund for the first congress organized by the young people for young people themselves.

From August 5th to 9th, 2019, 450 delegates from 38 European FFF movements gathered for the international summit “SMILE for Future” (“Summer Meeting in Lausanne Europe”) in Lausanne and coordinated the other organizations. In addition to discussions with guests, the main focus was on the strategy of the FFF movement. The participants agreed on a declaration that underlines the drama: “What happens in the next months and years will determine how the future of humankind will look like. Our collective extinction is a scarily realistic outcome. "



For the first time on August 20, 2018, the then 15-year-old climate protection activist Greta Thunberg refused to attend classes. She then sat, initially for a period of three weeks, every day during class time in front of the Swedish Reichstag building in Stockholm and showed a sign that read "Skolstrejk för klimatet" (German school strike for the climate ). The taz reported on Thunberg's school strike on August 27, 2018.

On September 8, Thunberg announced that after the parliamentary elections on September 9, 2018 , she would continue her school boycott on Fridays until Sweden’s climate policy complied with the principles of the Paris Agreement . As a hashtag she used u. a. #FridaysForFuture . Through her protest she generated international attention, so that groups formed in various cities around the world who joined the movement she had initiated. The first strike in Germany took place on December 7, 2018 in Bad Segeberg . The subsequent strike on December 14th in Kiel and other cities first received a lot of media attention.

Starting in Sweden , actions took place in Australia , England , Italy , Germany , the Netherlands , Belgium , Canada , France , Switzerland , Austria , Ireland and Scotland . In mid-March 2019, the movement reached global proportions with an additional few hundred demonstrators in Japan , Mexico , Chile , the Philippines , Vanuatu and India .

On November 28 in 2019 has Parliament the climate emergency proclaimed.

Development in Germany

Kassel , February 1, 2019
Cologne , May 31, 2019

In January 2019, Fridays for Future in Germany (FFFD) used a website, social media channels, posters and leaflets. The adolescents and young adults organize themselves via various messengers , mainly via WhatsApp group chats divided into regional groups.

On February 15, 2019 there were 155 local FFFD groups in Germany. On that day, 30,000 schoolchildren, students and trainees took part in FFFD demonstrations, 3,000 of them in Hanover and 1,000 in Berlin, where 5,000 people had already demonstrated on January 25th. In Germany, Greta Thunberg took part in a demonstration from the Gänsemarkt to the rally on the Rathausmarkt on March 1, 2019 in Hamburg . On Friday, March 15th, which was the first global day of protest by Fridays for Future , 220 protests were announced in Germany, in which, according to the organizers, 300,000 people took part, including 25,000 in Berlin, 10,300 in Munich, 10,000 in Hamburg and 6,500 in Karlsruhe .

In 2019, the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier wanted to give a speech at an FFFD event in Berlin. The protesters refused and told him to go back to his office and do his job. They only have a reason to demonstrate because the government is acting wrong. On May 2, 2019, FFFD achieved that the city of Konstanz became the first city in Germany to declare a climate emergency. All decisions of the municipal council of the city of Konstanz are to be made subject to climate protection and checked for their effects and their compatibility with climate protection.

In May 2019, FFF representatives were given the opportunity to present their positions at the annual general meetings of RWE , VW , Uniper and Allianz SE .

A survey carried out every two months on how many Germans are of the opinion that the school strikes will have a political effect showed that more and more people in Germany are expecting an effect. While the first survey carried out by the ZDF Politbarometer in April 2019 showed that 37 percent of those surveyed expect an impact, a second survey at the end of June showed that it was 51 percent.

In June 2019, schoolchildren confronted Hessian local politicians and state politicians in Bad Hersfeld as part of the mobile TV talk show Jetzt mal Klartext! with their demands.

From July 31 to August 4, 2019, the first FFFD summer congress in Germany took place in the Revierpark in Dortmund , which, according to FFFDs, more than 1,700 people took part. According to the organizers, the main reason for the meeting was networking, as many at FFFD have known each other via telephone conferences for months, but so far there has not been a “live and on-site” meeting, which the summer congress made possible. In addition, the congress served as a platform for further training and discussion of ideas and demands and the exchange with politics and the public.

The Climate Cabinet met in Germany on September 20, 2019 . Preparations for the UN Climate Action Summit took place at the same time . On the occasion of these dates, FFF and FFFD called for various demonstrations worldwide. It starts with the Global Climate Strike (dt. Global Climate strike ), which took place on September 20 of 2019. According to its own information, FFFD called for participation in the demonstrations in 575 cities in Germany and organized the WEEK4CLIMATE action week.

The so-called North Congress took place in Hamburg in January 2020 .

On February 21, 2020, a demonstration took place in Hamburg two days before the 2020 state elections there. According to the organizer, 60,000 people took part in this, and according to the police, 20,000 people. At the meeting u. a. Greta Thunberg , Luisa Neubauer , Robert Habeck , Annalena Baerbock , Katharina Fegebank , a representative of the umbrella association of Kurdish organizations in Germany, NAV-DEM , the band Fettes Brot and DJ Dynamite took part. The meeting took place two days after the terrorist attack in Hanau .

Development in Austria

Vienna , March 15, 2019

Since December 21, 2018, climate strikes have also taken place in Austria every Friday. First in Vienna, since January 2019 also in Innsbruck and Linz , since February 2019 in Salzburg , Graz and Bregenz and since at least March 2019 also in St. Pölten , Eisenstadt and Klagenfurt . In addition, there were also strikes in some smaller towns and villages. According to the protagonists, “Schoolchildren, apprentices, students and (young) people from different parts of Austria are involved in the we group ."

On March 15, 2019, 12:30 pm, as the last lesson “outdoors”, the two climate researchers Gottfried Kirchengast and Karl W. Steininger from the Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change at the University of Graz gave a lecture at the Tummelplatz in front of the Academic Gymnasium Graz about two years ago School classes on chairs about “What's at stake”. The motto was Fridays for Future meets Scientists4Future , at this point already supported by 23,000 scientists. At 6:30 p.m., the sea of ​​lights demonstration with 1900 participants with headlamps and other LED lights started via Joanneumring and Neutorgasse to the main square.

The largest climate strike to date (as of February 2020) was on September 27, 2019. According to the organizers, 150,000 people took part across Austria, 80,000 of them in Vienna. The police estimated the number of participants at 80,000, 30,000 of them in Vienna.

Development in Switzerland

Bern , March 15, 2019
Lausanne , August 9, 2019
Large demonstration on September 28, 2019 on the Bundesplatz with a heart symbol
Climate strike demonstration - Bern, November 29, 2019

The first climate strike in Switzerland took place on December 14, 2018 with around 300 participants in Zurich. The Swiss Climate Strike Action Group moved the central day of action from a Friday to a Saturday for the first time at the beginning of February 2019, namely February 2, 2019. This measure may have led to the number of participants almost doubling from 22,000 on January 18, 2019 to 40,000. After 1918, only during the Swiss women's strike on June 14, 1991, more people took part in demonstrations than in the climate strike demonstrations on February 2, 2019. On Friday, March 15, 2019, the Switzerland rallies take place. According to the organizers, over 65,000 people took part. Numerous adults also joined the rallies. So that working adults could also take part in the demonstrations, they were put on a Saturday on April 6th. Thousands of people took part in Zurich, Lausanne , Geneva, Bern, Winterthur and Basel . On May 24, 2019, numerous rallies took place again on a Friday.

In Switzerland, students oppose the inaction of institutional policy regarding the implementation of the Paris Agreement . In particular, the orientation of the FDP in climate policy and its role with regard to the failure of the revised CO 2 law is criticized. The abbreviation FDP was derisively reinterpreted into the slogan “Fuck de Planet!”. As a result, there were internal party disagreements, as prominent party members signaled their support for binding domestic targets and concrete state regulation to reduce CO 2 emissions.

On June 13, 2019, the SVP published an extra sheet entitled Reason Instead of Ideology , which was distributed to households. In the fact check carried out by climatologist Reto Knutti , however, the sheet fell through. In response to this, the Climate Strike Action Group issued a climate sheet on September 23, just in time when the population received the voting documents. Knutti saw the facts about climate change " completely correctly presented in this newspaper ".

The Global Climate Strike on September 21 was followed by the WEEK4CLIMATE week of action in Germany and Switzerland .

According to the organizers, between 60,000 and 100,000 people demonstrated for a “climate of change” in Bern on September 28, 2019, three weeks before the Swiss parliamentary elections . More than 80 organizations called for the rally. The climate youth shaped the peaceful march with banners and chants, but people of all ages and many families also took part. Many carried self-painted signs calling for concrete action against climate change. Prominent speakers were the Swiss Nobel Prize winner Jacques Dubochet and the union president Vania Alleva .

On November 29, 2019, rallies took place under the motto Green Friday instead of Black Friday . A more conscious use of resources was called for.

European development


Dijon , March 15, 2019

In Belgium tens of thousands of school children take part in climate strike demonstrations every Thursday. On January 24, 2019, 35,000 people gathered in Brussels. At that time, that was the highest number of people in the world who gathered in a single city in one day for actions organized by climate strikers, most of which were attended by strikers.


Vicenza , March 15, 2019

Since February 15, 2019, when students went on strike and gathered in Bolzano, rallies have been taking place all over Italy. On March 15, 2019, students took to the streets in more than 100 cities in Italy to demonstrate for their cause, including more than 100,000 in Milan . On September 27, 2019, one million people in 180 cities in Italy are said to have been on the streets for the Earth Strike .


In the presence of Greta Thunberg, Juliette Binoche , Yannick Jadot and Anne Hidalgo , almost 1000 people demonstrated in Paris on February 22, 2019 . On March 15, 2000 young people gathered in Dijon .

United Kingdom

Oxford , March 15, 2019

On February 15, 2019, 15,000 mostly young people in 60 cities in the UK took part in Youth Strike 4 Climate . Among the protesters were supporters of the UK Student Climate Network movement . This works closely with the UKYCC (UK Youth Climate Coalition), an organization that has existed since 2008 and which mainly consists of 18 to 29 year olds.

At the beginning of May 2019, Great Britain declared a climate emergency.


In addition to Fridays for Future , School Strikes 4 Climate and School Climate Action also called for a climate strike on March 15, 2019 . The climate emergency was declared in mid-May 2019.


On March 15, 2019, around 60 people protested in Aarhus and blocked an access road; police arrested 13 participants in the demonstration.


In Serbia , the first rally took place on April 5, 2019 in the Belgrade Pioneer Park ; the climate researcher Vladimir Đurđević read a text by Greta Thunberg at the beginning of the event.


On March 16, 2019, there was a demonstration for the first time by 40 schoolchildren and students from Fridays for Future in Sokolniki Park in Moscow. The demonstrators criticized the fact that ecology was not taught in Russian schools. According to the demonstrators, climate change was noticeable in the summer of 2018 due to unusually heavy rainfall and early onset forest fires in the east of the country. Only individual demonstrations are legal outside the park. One of Russia's best-known activists, Arshak Makichyan , was arrested in December 2019 after his return from the 2019 UN climate conference and sentenced to six days' arrest for participating in an unauthorized demonstration.

Global development


On March 15, 2019, demonstrations were announced in 50 cities, including Sydney , Melbourne and Canberra . 30,000 people attended in Sydney. According to the FFF, 152,550 people took part in climate strike demonstrations in Australia on March 15, 2019.


In Brazil, the movement is known as Greve pelo Clima (climate strike) or Greve Global pelo Clima and began its first activities around March 15, 2019, focusing on around cities in the states of Rio de Janeiro , São Paulo , Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul .


The Chinese state does not allow school strikes; no rallies took place outside of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in China. A demonstration in Hong Kong on March 15, 2019 had around a thousand participants.


The largest demonstration on World Climate Strike Day, March 15, 2019, in India took place in Delhi with 300 participants. Smaller demonstrations took place in other places. According to the FFF, 12,455 people took part in climate strike demonstrations in India on March 15, 2019.


On March 15, 2019, World Climate Strike Day, around 100 people demonstrated in Tokyo .


On March 15, 2019, several hundreds went on strike in front of the parliament in Ontario, Queen's Park in Toronto with Canada's first FridaysForFuture protester Sophia Mathur.

East Timor

Climate demonstration in Dili (2019)

The country's first climate rally will take place in front of the government palace in Dili , the capital of East Timor , on September 24, 2019 .


There were several demonstrations in the Philippines on March 15, 2019 with 645 participants.

South Korea

Around 100 demonstrators attended the rally on March 15, 2019 in Seoul .


The rally on March 15, 2019 in Bangkok had around 50 to 60 participants.


San Francisco , March 15, 2019

On March 15, 2019, 1,500 high school students demonstrated in Washington, DC ; Climate strikes were held in 46 of the 50 states in the USA. With 3,000 people, most of the demonstrators were in Ann Arbor ( Michigan ); According to the FFF, a total of 14,500 people demonstrated in the USA that day.

In August 2019, Greta Thunberg sailed the ocean- going yacht Malizia II to New York to take part in the climate summit during the United Nations General Assembly from 23 to 29 September 2019 . The yacht's sails already have labels such as “A Race we must win” and @FridaysForFuture. Thunberg will then take part in climate demonstrations in the USA, Canada and Mexico.

International actions

# AC2106 - Climate Justice without Borders

On June 21, 17 European countries called for the first major international central strike in Aachen . Organizers and police expected 10,000 and 20,000 demonstrators, respectively, under the motto “Climate Justice without Borders - United for a Future” . At the end of the day, the organizer announced that 40,000 people had taken to the streets. The police spoke of 36,000 demonstrators. In order to enable the large participation from distant areas, numerous special trains and buses were organized, which were offered at reduced prices for all demonstrators in order to enable the lowest possible emissions to travel. The Twitter - Hashtag of the demonstration, # AC2106 , reached # 1 on the Twitter trends. People ran to Tivoli from different starting points in Aachen and the Netherlands. In advance, the city offered the football stadium as support. Even the YouTuber Rezo , which through its Internet video The destruction of the CDU was known, attended the demonstration. After the march, bands like Moop Mama and Culcha Candela played at the closing rally. Also Bodo Wartke and Ruslana appeared. The Aachen police spoke of a peaceful demonstration. Some demonstrators had occupied a house during the rally in Aachen . Other groups rappelled down from various bridges and pillars with banners.

Global Climate Strike For Future

Demonstration on the occasion of the Global Climate Strike on September 20, 2019 in Augsburg

1st global strike on March 15, 2019

Fridays for Future protagonists called for participation in the Global Climate Strike For Future , a worldwide school strike to save the planet, which took place on March 15, 2019. According to the media, there were around 1,700 rallies in more than 100 countries. In Germany, more than 300,000 schoolchildren went on strike in over 230 cities; around 25,000 people took part in Berlin, 30,000 in Brussels and 50,000 in Paris. The organizers of the strikes spoke of more than 2,000 protests in 125 states in which more than a million people took part.

2nd global strike on May 24, 2019

At the second major protest on May 24, 2019, more than 1,350 protests were announced worldwide, in which, according to the organizers, 1.8 million people took part. In Germany, 320,000 people took to the streets in more than 200 cities. The largest demonstration took place in Hamburg with, according to different estimates, between 17,000 and 25,000 participants.

3rd global strike on September 20, 2019

Demonstration on the occasion of the Global Climate Strike on September 20, 2019 in Sydney

On the occasion of World Children's Day on September 20 and the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23, 2019, the third Global Climate Strike For Future took place, now with the participation of all population and professional groups. As in Germany, the United Services Union ( ver.di ) and the German Federation of Trade Unions supported (DGB). For this purpose, more than 2,000 demonstrations were planned in 150 countries worldwide, 575 of them in Germany, according to other information there were over 6,000 actions in 185 countries.

The calls to participate in the Global Climate Strike were followed by around 1.4 million people in Germany on September 20, 2019, according to FFF; They were supported by around 200 companies and initiatives. According to FFF estimates, around 4 million people took part worldwide, and 7 million according to other sources.

In New York , 1.1 million students from 1,800 schools were given permission to stay away from class to take part in the demonstration. The Boston school district followed suit, and Chicago public schools also announced that they would not list students as absent. More than 700 US health care providers and medical professionals had provided a letter of apology for the Global Climate Strike , which exempted students from school and stated that the climate crisis was a health crisis.

Global Climate Strike on November 29, 2019 in Munich

4th global strike on November 29, 2019

In the run-up to the 25th UN Climate Change Conference (COP 25) taking place in Madrid at the beginning of December , FFF demonstrated on November 29, 2019 in 157 countries in 2,400 cities worldwide. In Germany, demonstrations took place in 500 cities. The strike was advertised with the hashtag #NeuStartKlima.

5th global strike on April 24, 2020

FFF planned a fifth global strike on April 24, 2020. Because of the corona pandemic, FFF temporarily suspended planning and mobilization for the strike and "went on strike" online. More than 20,000 people followed the FFFD live stream. The video on the official Facebook page FFFDs on YouTube had over 100,000 views on April 24, 2020.

6th global strike on September 25, 2020

FFF Munich on September 25, 2020 under Corona conditions with masks and distance in the rain

FFF called for a global climate strike on September 25, 2020. Under the motto no further! Tens of thousands of people in Germany took part in the rallies. Protests took place in 400 locations in Germany, and actions took place in 3,500 cities worldwide.

The issue of Stern magazine dated September 24, 2020 was published in collaboration with FFF and a single topic was devoted to the climate crisis. The daily newspaper was published on September 25, 2020 in cooperation with climate activists as a special edition under the title Die Klimazeitung .

Earth Strike

On September 27, 2019 there was the Earth Strike , a global general strike, which was followed by a national climate academy in Switzerland on September 28, 2019. For the international strike week, activists had announced protests in more than 2900 cities in over 160 countries.

Structure in Germany

organization structure

There are over 500 local groups in Germany (as of July 2020). The coordination and coordination within and between the individual groups takes place predominantly via social media and messenger services . Nationwide there is also a delegates' conference to which each local group sends delegates. The voting takes place via conference call . A valid vote requires the participation of 70 local groups. In addition to these local groups, there are 20 working groups nationwide (as of 2019). The coordination and coordination within and between the individual groups takes place predominantly via social media and messengers.

There is a structure concept which comprises 21 pages and which, among other things, regulates voting. This does not yet apply to the local groups (as of July 2019).

FFFD does not have a legitimate board of the movement. Jakob Blasel , Ragna Diederichs, Luisa Neubauer , Carla Reemtsma and Franziska Wessel are active at the federal level . The Tagesspiegel describes them in its reporting as the “core team”. Some grassroots members are critical of these developments: The focus on certain people means that other people who belong to the FFFD have a harder time participating in the public debate, especially on talk shows.

The financial processing is carried out by the Plant-for-the-Planet Foundation , which takes on the account management and administration of financial transactions such as the receipt, payment and forwarding of donations for FFFD. However, donation receipts may not be issued by FFFD or Plant-for-the-Planet, with the exception of donations for the 2019 summer congress to the organization organize future! eV referred to on the FFFD website.

Social structure

The participants in the FFFD demonstrations were scientifically examined by the Institute for Protest and Movement Research in March 2019 . Accordingly, the participants in FFFD differ from all other demonstrations examined so far in the high proportion of very young participants. 51.5% of the participants were between 14 and 19 years old, with only persons over 14 being recorded. 71.8% were pupils or students, with almost all pupils going to grammar schools, only 4.5% going to secondary schools and 0.6% to secondary schools. 59.5% of the participants were female. The data only covered European countries with widely differing numbers of respondents in the individual countries. According to the authors, it was not representative.

Support groups

grandparents for future at the demonstration for climate protection on November 29, 2019 in Berlin

Fridays for Future have provided support from numerous groups from science and civil society , in particular Scientists for Future and Parents for Future . In addition, other initiatives such as B. Artists ( artists ), Churches (churches), Entrepreneurs ( entrepreneurs ), Farmers (farmers or farmers ), Psychologists / Psychotherapists ( Psychologists / Psychotherapists ), Students or Writers for Future ( authors or writers ).

Artists for Future

In March 2019, the Artists for Future network began to become active on social media, and in April a statement appeared that, among other things, a. signed by Bully Herbig , Nora Tschirner , Konstantin Wecker , Hille Perl , Cathrin Lange and Hanne Kah .

The multiple award-winning film Dark Eden - The Oil Nightmare by the Leipzig- based directors Jasmin Herold and Michael David Beamish shows an existential drama about the blessings and curse of oil production in Canada, it was dedicated to Fridays for Future .

Change for the future

Change for Future was founded within FFFD in spring 2019. Change for Future represents the anti-capitalist platform within the movement. In an interview the view is expressed that the challenges of climate change cannot be solved as long as they are subject to the systemic constraints of capitalism , and that the systemic question must therefore be asked. The platform is intended to network anti-capitalists in the FFF movement.

Entrepreneurs for Future

ENTREPRENEURS FOR FUTURE at the demonstration on November 29, 2019 at the Brandenburg Gate

On May 21, 2019, over 1000 companies in Berlin announced that they had joined forces to form the Entrepreneurs for Future initiative . The initiative calls for a more resolute climate protection policy from the federal government. In particular, it demands compliance with the 1.5 degree target, a quick coal exit and a CO 2 tax.

In addition to large companies such as Veolia Environnement or Remondis , the initiative also includes medium-sized companies such as Hipp and elobau. The Federal Association of Medium-Sized Enterprises supports the initiative. The companies that are part of the initiative provided around 100,000 jobs in Germany when it was founded.

Alex Melzer , who co-presented the initiative, cited Christian Lindner's comments about FFF as the motivation . Lindner said that the climate strike students were not in a position to understand “all global interrelationships, what is technically meaningful and what is economically feasible”. He called climate protection policy a “thing for professionals”. Alex Melzer said that he knew more about these issues than Lindner. The initiative is intended to show that the technical and economic alternatives to enable climate protection already exist.

Parents for Future

In February 2019, the Parents for Future network was founded in Germany : Parents who are committed to climate protection want to show and practice support and solidarity with young people.

In Switzerland, the group Parents for the Climate was founded in March 2019 , which stands behind the demands of youth on climate strikes. There are regional groups in Zurich, Bern and Lucerne.

In Austria, Parents for Future became active before the 2019 National Council election .

Parents for Future and their support organizations are active in 29 countries around the world.

Scientists for the Future

Approval for Fridays for Future also came from more than 26,800 scientists in a statement in March 2019. The association of scientists under the name Scientists for Future from Switzerland, Austria and Germany subsequently published several statements and comments in specialist journals in support of Fridays for future . There are similar groups in the Netherlands and Belgium.



A number of influential politicians warmly welcome FFF's actions. Italian President Sergio Mattarella welcomed the youth's commitment to the climate. Angela Merkel and Bernie Sanders also tweeted their support.


In Edinburgh , the City Council called on students to take part in the protests in front of the Scottish Parliament on March 15, 2019 .


Martin Sonneborn , member of the European Parliament and federal chairman of the party Die PARTTEI , shows solidarity with the FFF demonstrators and published letters of apology for the students on Twitter on February 26th.

Federal Minister of Justice Katarina Barley declared on March 1, 2019: "These protests, in which schoolchildren take to the streets Friday after Friday for their future, deserve great respect: we would like young people like that." that they could exercise. "We should introduce voting rights from the age of 16."

On March 2, 2019, Chancellor Angela Merkel praised the student demonstrations in her video podcast:

“We can only achieve our climate protection goals if we also have support from society. And that's why I very much welcome the fact that young people and schoolchildren are demonstrating and, so to speak, warning us to do something quickly for climate protection. I think it's a very good initiative. "

- Angela Merkel : Press and Information Office of the Federal Government

In the talk show of the NDR , Jakob Blasel rated the praise of the Chancellor as “real satire” because, as one of the main addressees of the student protests, she did not behave like a victim.

The federal chairman of the Greens Robert Habeck praised the civil courage of the demonstrators during his Ash Wednesday speech and described their actions as a major political act. His party colleagues Lisa Badum , climate policy spokeswoman for the parliamentary group, and Beate Walter-Rosenheimer , spokeswoman for youth policy, also showed solidarity with the movement . Lisa Badum, along with three Norwegian politicians, nominated Greta Thunberg for the Nobel Peace Prize in February 2019.

However, Jakob Blasel commented on the parties' programs for the European elections (which took place in Germany on May 26, 2019): "So far, there is not a single party in Europe with a program that is sufficient to stop climate change." one of the goals of FFF. In her speech to the party's party convention on March 29, 2019, Luisa Neubauer also identified a need for action in the case of Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed his approval of the protests at a Fridays for Future vigil in Neumünster and said that many adults had not yet understood “that it was five to twelve”. He told the students to protect the climate and the oceans

“It is so important that you get in touch on this topic and always point out that we are doing something [...]. We need young people like you to get involved. "

- Frank-Walter Steinmeier :

At the same time, he encouraged her to continue her commitment, but only

"Within the school as a topic in school lessons and of course outside of school hours."

- Frank-Walter Steinmeier :

Because Steinmeier traveled to Neumünster, three hours away by train, in a service jet, politicians like Christopher Vogt and Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki as well as journalists like Bojan Pancevski and Tilo Jung criticized Steinmeier for making himself unbelievable.

The FDP chairman Christian Lindner said in an interview with Bild am Sonntag and on Twitter that one “cannot expect” from children and young people “that they already see all global connections, what is technically meaningful and what is economically feasible”, but that that is "a thing for professionals". He is also of the opinion that the pupils should “rather inform themselves about physical and scientific as well as technical and economic connections” during class time, instead of going on strike, and advocated postponing the protests to leisure time. These statements triggered a critical media response against Lindner.

Fritz Kuhn , Lord Mayor of the Baden-Württemberg state capital Stuttgart and former leader of the Bundestag parliamentary group Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen , took part in the demonstration in Stuttgart on March 15, 2019 at the invitation of Fridays for Future . In a speech given there, he praised the protests and named energy , transport and nutrition as the key points of a successful climate policy.

The Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), does not think it makes sense for students on strike to plead for months that they have committed civil disobedience. Skipping school on Friday should not become “a permanent event”. The moral appeal is justified and it is really about the future of the students. To skip school for once would initially fall under civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is a symbolic act, not a "permanent event". If you break rules, you have to expect sanctions at some point. If there are no sanctions in the long run, everyone chooses their topic, which they then somehow morally charge.

The Green Youth talks about whether movements like the Fridays for Future can be more involved. Cooperation with associations was often successful, but it was more difficult with movements, said spokeswoman Ricarda Lang . There are therefore considerations to create the position of a movement coordinator in the Green Party headquarters.

Criticism of the German Teachers' Association on politics

Heinz-Peter Meidinger , President of the German Teachers' Association , accused politicians who supported the protests with hypocrisy. The association welcomes the commitment of the students. It is unacceptable, however, that politicians, through their support of the FFFD protests, declared compulsory schooling on Friday morning "practically suspended" and that teachers and school administrators who still demanded compulsory schooling from their students were pilloried. It is absurd that on the one hand almost all federal states have refused in the past to give political education in schools more lessons because the timetable is so full, on the other hand, it doesn't bother many politicians now when tens of thousands of lessons are canceled because of the Friday demonstrations. Chancellor Angela Merkel, "who is ultimately responsible for the Federal Republic's climate policy, applauds this criticism of its own policy," he said. The hype surrounding the Friday demonstrations often serves as a welcome diversion from the actual issues, according to Meidinger. He advises the students to organize themselves in environmental groups. This would have a long-term sustainable effect.


Michael Hüther , head of the Institute for German Economics , considers the main goal of FFFD, Germany's coal phase-out by 2030 at the latest, to be dangerous. He appeals to the climate activists to stop the school strikes.

OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo said the “unscientific” attacks by climate activists were “perhaps the greatest threat to our industry in the future”. Children of OPEC colleagues asked questions about their future because they saw their classmates demonstrate on the streets against the oil industry. There is a growing mass mobilization against oil. Civil society is being misled by the activists into wrongly believing that oil is responsible for climate change. Greta Thunberg commented on the statement that this was "our greatest compliment so far".


More than 26,800 scientists have come together to form the Scientists for Future support group. The Berlin Museum of Natural History will open its doors for the demonstrators free of charge on Friday afternoons until further notice. The nationwide FFF press conference also took place in the museum on April 8, 2019.

The German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina interprets the Fridays for Future movement as a reaction to the daily growing "gap between the looming existential threat from climate change and political action that is repeatedly postponed". The movement shows that "a whole generation is now increasingly gripped by impatience and incomprehension about the failure of politics and society". In doing so, they urge “emphatically” to “take the climate crisis seriously and do what is long overdue”.

Associations and non-governmental organizations

In an interview published on January 30, 2019 in the SPD party newspaper Vorwärts , Kai Niebert , President of the German Nature Conservation Ring , stated that he did not consider Germany to finally phase out coal until 2038, as this could take place much earlier. However , as a member of the German Federal Government's coal commission, he nevertheless agreed to the corresponding recommendation , since another regulation could not be enforced. This was mainly due to the fact that the interests of young people, but also of the “global south”, were not adequately represented in the commission.

Fridays for Future is supported by non-governmental organizations that are active in the environmental sector. The Club of Rome expressly welcomes the worldwide FFF protests and supported the protesters in a statement published on March 14, 2019. Fridays for Future Germany will u. a. supported by Germanwatch and Greenpeace . However, Germanwatch refuses to exert peer pressure on pupils: “It is a decision of conscience for every pupil whether the right to assembly is given higher priority than compulsory schooling. One cannot call for a decision of conscience. ”One of the leaders of FFFD, Jakob Blasel, was a member of the Greenpeace youth before he became involved with FFFD.

Attitudes to missed lessons

Proponents and supporters of the movement justify the school strikes by stating that the participants are only heard so prominently when they “take 'drastic' measures [...]. It is not about truancy, but about underlining the great urgency to act now by all means, ”says Luisa Neubauer , strike organizer at FFF Berlin. Many students see the school strike as an expression of civil disobedience .

Klaus Hurrelmann rates the students' calculations as expedient, but “hopes” that they will be sanctioned. “Because if that didn't happen, that is, if you allowed it to pass in silence in schools, then you would devalue the movement. The young people think something about it. They want to show: We are angry, we rebel, we protest. "

Commenting on school strikes, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “It is important to recognize that dropping out of classes increases the workload of teachers and wastes class time for which teachers have carefully prepared. This is a particularly important time for young people to develop into the top scientists, engineers and lawyers we need to tackle this problem [of climate change]. "

Anyone who misses an exam because of participating in a “climate strike” campaign can be punished with the worst grade in Germany and Switzerland. However, this measure has so far only been implemented in isolated cases (e.g. in Payerne in the canton of Vaud ).

In Baden-Württemberg , Bavaria , North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein , politicians and officials insist on compulsory school attendance . Consequently, students would have to expect sanctions. The North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Education sent a letter to all schools in the state on February 13, 2019 on the occasion of the FFFD. This refers to a decree that provides for “compulsory presentation” or “administrative offense proceedings” to enforce compulsory education. However, the ministry has also stated that "in principle, attending a political event ('demonstration') in a class or course association as part of lessons as lessons at an extracurricular learning location is conceivable". The Bavarian Minister of Culture Michael Piazolo leaves the consequences for strike participants to the schools in his country. Some of them have already announced that they will respond with referrals .

Hesse's minister of education, Alexander Lorz , takes the position that there is no longer any reason to demonstrate during school days, as the first important goal of FFFD, namely to raise awareness of their concerns, has meanwhile been achieved.

Berlin's Senator for Education, Sandra Scheeres , rates the student demonstration in the capital as positive. Schooling is compulsory, but schools can deal with the topic in the context of projects. Climate protection and global warming are included in the framework curriculum for Berlin-Brandenburg. Also, the Lower Saxony Prime Minister Stephen Weil praised the commitment of environmental activists.

In the opinion of the German Education and Science Union (GEW), absence from classes should not be seen as truancy or punished with detention. "The schools have to manage the balancing act between prohibiting and tacit admission," said the Baden-Württemberg GEW regional director Doro Moritz.

David Fopp, assistant professor of theater education in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Stockholm University, says the strikes are not just truancy, but democracy-building actions. It is important that the pupils are empowered to develop and appreciate society as a whole and thus also the environment.

The CDU chairman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer criticizes the school skipping school for the demonstrations of Fridays for Future .

Analysis and interpretation

The Institute for Protest and Movement Research published the results of a survey of demonstrators on March 15, 2019 in Berlin and Bremen, whereby the minimum age for participating in the survey was 14 years: Approx. 58% of the participants were female, approx. 47% were at least 20 years old, 48% identify most with the Green Party or The Left, 40% have no party preference. The protest is understood as a form of political self-empowerment. Changing one's own lifestyle and consumption habits is seen as an important contribution to changing the situation. On the anniversary of the Fridays for Future protests, the Institute for Protest and Movement Research presented the first comprehensive, German-language study on movement in Germany, which among other things came up with the conclusion “The medium-term course of the campaign depends not only on its ability, the high Maintaining the level of mobilization among young people, but also the formation of strategic alliances and the diffusion of protest into hitherto passive parts of society ”.

The sociologist Stefan Kühl analyzes that the movement draws its strength from the violation of the rule of refusal to attend school, as this provokes consequences that can in turn fuel the protests.

The political scientist Mathias Albert thinks that the “climate strike” movement is the first movement that really addresses the responsibility of the older generations. What these young people recognize is that older generations are clearly finding it difficult to change anything, especially if they have certain economic interests.

Ingolf Baur , presenter of the science program Nano ( 3sat ), raised the question of the increasing number of positive statements from politicians whether the participants in FFF events would not become suspicious when the politicians who criticize them suddenly suddenly full of praise for the Engagements.

The youth researcher Klaus Hurrelmann sees the strength of the movement in the fact that it has so far not allowed parties or organizations to take possession of it and that it appears very authentic . As a special feature, he emphasizes the young age of the actors and speaks of a "child policy movement". This is what distinguishes the movement from, for example, the 1968 movement or the anti-nuclear movement , which were led by students between the ages of 25 and 30. The current 15 to 20-year-old main actors are mainly young women. Before the summer congress in August he said about the influence of the movement: "If the refugee issue previously dominated many debates in favor of the AfD , the effects of climate change are now being discussed in a broad public."

Doris Bühler-Niederberger explains the temporary success of FFF with the fact that a force emanates from the "children" which the sociologist calls the "power of innocence". Children were seen as impartial and authentic. They wouldn't have had time to cause anything as bad as climate change. Your victim role is not a staging, but real.

Peter Grassmann sees the school strike as an indictment and non-violent protest both against those who have thwarted the United Nations' years of efforts to protect the climate, and against the governments who preferred talking about climate protection to action. He attests that the current power elite have failed in terms of climate protection. With the new generation, he combines the hope of a "nature and climate-friendly market economy" with "stronger democracy, weakened lobbyism and more courage on the part of politicians to act".

Ralf Fücks classifies Fridays for Future as a new kind of extra-parliamentary opposition , which, however, is not shaped by optimistic visions, but by fear of the future. Fücks fears that the climate strikers might be ready to sacrifice democracy and the market economy to their panic. He counters this with his closing appeal: “The young have every reason to be impatient and to steam up governments and companies. But in the end we will only win if we convince the vast majority of our societies that climate protection, prosperity and a free way of life can be reconciled. Courage for the future is better than panic. "

Wolfgang Huber sees the youth uprising as an attempt to transform fear into future-oriented action. The last word, then, is hope, not fear.

Maximilian Probst points out that Fridays for Future fundamentally questions politics in parliamentary democracies. In democracies, it is common that through elections legitimized deputies befänden by majority decision on what should be done. In order for a parliamentary majority to be reached, negotiations must be carried out in advance and a compromise must be struggled for. The question of whether the result is "correct" does not arise here, since the legitimation of a decision results solely from the procedure and because people could be wrong. Climate change is an exception. The only question that arises here is whether the majority of scientists are right or not. Old hands are shocked that "[t] he catastrophe [...] is not as complex" "as our worldview. But as simple as the slogans of the protesting students. "

After questioning several thousand FFF demonstration participants in 13 cities in 9 countries, the professorship for Cultural and Country Studies of East Central Europe at the Technical University of Chemnitz found that there is a numerical dominance of female participants, which in some cities make up up to 70%. According to the project manager Piotr Kocyba, this disproportionate share of women is due to “the strong presence of female leaders”. At the summer congress in Dortmund, 58% of the participants are women.

Protest researcher Dieter Rucht answers the question “How does Fridays for Future get over the summer slump?”: “Going out on the streets forever won't work. They are now faced with the strategic decision of whether to take a tougher course, with civil disobedience and all that, or whether to set temporary, political goals, tackle specific projects, or whether they have a stronger influence on the parties. "The environmental researcher Rainer In contrast to Rucht, Grießhammer expects that “Fridays for Future will actually bring about a politically and culturally massive change - perhaps most recently with the 1968 movement. This will also show in the lifestyles of the majority: the parents' taxi, their own car, the cheap flight to the Barcelona weekend will then be out. And the argument with parents about the planned purchase of an SUV is inevitable ”.

According to a study by Chemnitz University of Technology (2020), the Greta effect within the Fridays for Future climate movement is decreasing more and more. International surveys showed that active people attributed their commitment less and less to the influence of Greta Thunberg. The scientists conclude from this that the movement is now firmly established and that local, mostly female leaders also support the movement outside of Sweden. It was also determined that the average age has increased globally from 30 to almost 33 years.


On June 7, 2019, Amnesty International announced that Greta Thunberg and Fridays for Future would be honored with the Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2019, the highest honor given by the human rights organization . The award ceremony took place in Washington, DC on September 16, 2019 .

Also in 2019, Fridays for Future was awarded the Marion Dönhoff Prize .

Relationship to other social movements

Climate activists

In April 2019, Hannah Elshorst , spokeswoman for Extinction Rebellion (XR) Germany, made it clear that Greta Thunberg was also "our Greta" (i.e. Extinction Rebellion's). There are many connections between XR and Fridays for Future . Supporters of Extinction Rebellion also take part in the mass demonstrations by FFF. However, XR is more radical than FFF. According to Elshorst, speaking against FFF is that the strikes "had triggered a great wave", but that their demands were "largely ignored". According to statements made by XR supporters in the UK, it is natural for them to risk imprisonment for actions , in the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi .

In addition to supporters of XR, supporters of the UK Student Clima Network (UKSCN) took part in the climate strike on February 15, 2019 in the United Kingdom . UKSCN was founded by two “mums” “who were frustrated with the lack of empowerment among their young people on climate reform ” (English: that were frustrated by the lack of empowerment of their young people on climate reform ). UKSCN works closely with UKYCC (UK Youth Climate Coalition), an organization that has existed since 2008 and is mainly made up of 18 to 29 year olds.

Peace movement

In many cities in Germany, especially “old 68ers ” who stuck to the tradition of the Easter marches received support from FFF activists over the Easter days in 2019. Felix Winter from the Kassel Peace Forum put the factual connection between the two movements in a nutshell: “The marches are particularly important at the moment because we in NATO have this uncanny armament - we should almost double our armaments spending. We will miss all the money that is being wasted for a sustainable policy and an ecological turnaround. You can't let that happen. "

Pulse of Europe

On March 3, 2019, FFFD supporters demonstrated in Freiburg im Breisgau , and on April 7 in Koblenz together with Pulse of Europe . Jeskoreiber, co-organizer of Fridays for Future in Freiburg, justified this step by stating that at a time when right-wing populism has become stronger again throughout Europe and the climate crisis is advancing, international cohesion is needed more than ever before. This is the only way to counteract the climate crisis.

End of story, nothing to add

On June 19, 2019, Fridays for Future showed solidarity with Endegebiet , a movement for climate justice , in a press release : “We consider civil disobedience to be a legitimate form of protest. It is imperative to protect our future, ”said the FFF press release.

Instrumentalization and abuse

A company belonging to the US group Amazon sells T-shirts with the label "Fridays-for-Future". The profit goes to the company. The movement distances itself from this and assumes that it produces the T-shirts neither fairly nor sustainably . It advertises with fast fashion (corporate goal "to bring new fashion to shops with high frequency"). "The acceleration in production" is "mostly at the expense of the environment", which contradicts the goals of the FFF movement.

The attempt by a bystander to register “Fridays for Future” as a word mark at the German Patent and Trademark Office was rejected by the DPMA because of its lack of distinctive character .

Proponents of the internal combustion engine instrumentalized the term with the ironic allusion of Fridays for Hubraum .


Web links

Commons : School Strikes for the Climate  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

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