generation loyal to him

Over the past few months, they’ve been ramping up fistfights all over Europe, especially in museums, on the tarmac (roadblocks) and even in star-studded restaurants where Animal Rebellion activists took over Gordon Ramsay’s very fancy restaurant last weekend. The Chelsea area of ​​London demands more organic food. Mostly non-violent operations, but always spectacular and increasingly disturbing. But after all, isn’t that the point?

In October, again in London, two Just Stop Oil activists sprayed tomato soup on a window protecting a famous Van Gogh painting. sunflowers, At the National Gallery. Since then, Just Stop Oil has done it again with a painting by Monet in Potsdam, another by Van Gogh in Rome…

In the foreign press (as well as in a part of the French press), these new climate activists are portrayed as, at best, extremists who will harm the struggle of environmentalists.

What is it really? What motivates these activists, who are often young, to do more? “radicals” ? Can we really talk about radicalization when the measures taken are aimed at destruction, not destruction? “Increasing public pressure on political leaders” As the American site writes NPR ? Because we are still a long way from the crimes committed by groups like the ELF (Earth Liberation Front) in the United States between 1995 and 2001. The history of the environmental movement is also full of spectacular actions from now widely recognized organizations (notably Greenpeace).

But what changes today? A journalist to understand what motivates these activistson friday (add Republic) attended a recruitment workshop for Ultima Generazione (“The Last Generation”), an activist group in Italy who expressed their passion, and went to meet them. We meet 26-year-old Michelle, the leader of a group that encourages everyone to engage in civil disobedience:

“We are on the verge of ecological and climate collapse, we have no more time, we are the last generation that can do something.”

We hear more suspicious voices: “You need to think about the message it sends. What do people understand? You’re getting the opposite effect.” nominates the participant. An interesting exchange that translates well the certainties of some, but also the tension that can cross the ecological current.

“We’re out of time.” The leitmotif of Ultima Generazione is also the “Extinction Rebellion” movement born in the United Kingdom in 2018, reminds on friday. And this awareness of relevance runs through our entire file. When the house is on fire, we can break windows (and throw tomato sauce on a masterpiece), get inside. The New York Times Andreas Malm. “How can we be surprised by people’s despair, especially their anger? writes this expert on human ecology and subversion. Young Europeans investing in climate action in 2018 and 2019, with Greta Thunberg’s push for their generation, can no longer tolerate the status quo.”

The COP27 meeting held in Egypt from November 6 to 18 ended in failure “The question of where he is most expected,” according to Financial Times, we better understand the impatience of climate activists. Admittedly, there has been agreement in favor of compensating poor countries, but for Britain it is routine “We had to send an unequivocal political signal that the world is ready to accelerate its exit from fossil fuels.” We are far from it.

Meanwhile, others choose the legal way and explain Hakai magazine. “Since 2020, around 500 lawsuits related to climate change have started around the world.” The author explains how residents, often young people, from Hawaii to the Torres Strait Islands are suing governments and big companies for climate change damage that has already happened, and not just to protect their own futures. Another form of commitment. More discreet, but perhaps no less effective in the long run.

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