Fridays for Future | How and why a group of students protests against climate change

Early morning at a Cologne tramway stop. A group of students gathers to put final touches to some billboards – all selfmade as student Moritz states. He is one of the secondary school’s students taking part in this day’s Fridays for Future-protests. A global initiative of young people protesting against less action against climate change.

It’s our generation that is affected,” says senior student Moritz. At a meeting he and his schoolmates democratically decided about taking part or not. The majority had supported the idea, Moritz says.

So the group is on its way to the city centre, where a few hundred students from various schools are already gathering. Most of them carry billboards: Some are funny, some a little simplified in their messages. One says: “Earth is hotter than my imaginary boyfriend“. Another one ironically states: “Leave this problem to the professionals.”

But there are also critical opinions towards the movement. Some see a problem in students staying away from school on a regular Friday, others ask the students to stay away from cell phones and cars first.

Student Masik thinks that this is an unfair argument: “I try to reduce my consumption of energy. And I take the bike most of the times.

That is also true this morning: On their way to the protests the students take the tramway – not their or their parent’s cars.

Student Moritz adds: “Everybody is free to decide, if he wants to go here or stay in school.” He states that he could explain the missing hours to a potential future employer.

Will they take part again next week? “We don’t know yet,” says student Moritz. “Let’s see how it will work out today. Then we decide.