German Fridays for Future, after years of redefining climate activism as an anticolonialist struggle, now scramble to distance themselves from the pro-Palestinian rhetoric of their own organisation
There is trouble in paradise.
Fridays for Future, the personality cult that emerged around the eccentric angry Swedish child Greta Thunberg in 2018, and which is supposed to be the face of reasonable mainstream climate activism in Germany, is in crisis. Gone are the halcyon pre-Covid days, when Europe was eager to differentiate itself from the American politics of the Trump era and signal its virtuous climate responsibility to all and sundry. Back then, it was fashionable to strike for the climate every Friday, primarily by squandering one’s lunch break to march against carbon dioxide with a lot of idealistic young women and the embarrassing green slogans they had crayoned onto torn bits of cardboard. Now that we face an unending treadmill of crises which again and again force climate out of the headlines, Fridays for Future must compete for relevance on other fronts. This explains the growing dominance of third-worldists in the organisation, and the decision of Thunberg and her autism octopus, after the Hamas attacks on 7 October, to abandon the climate in favour of solidarity with the Palestinians.
In this photo posted to Thunberg’s Twitter account on 27 October, to mark 271 weeks of whatever it is that Fridays for Future is supposed to be doing, we see the majority of our erstwhile climatoids holding signs about the Gaza conflict or equating climate activism with “justice for Palestine.”
It is emblematic of what Fridays for Future has become. On Instagram, the organisation has called for a “global general strike” in “solidarity with Palestine” and endorsed statements from their “Most Affected Peoples and Areas” (MAPA) subgroup to this effect:
We stand with Palestine. We stand in solidarity with Palestine, as MAPA we know too well the injustices and extreme violence stemming from a history of colonization, white supremacy, profit accumulation, and the dehumanization of our people. …
The open attempt of the settler colony of Isr*el to commit Genocide against the Palestinian people is worse than ever. Time and again the settler colony of Isr*el continues to violate and annihilate native populations to continue its apartheid state, denying food, water, fuel, and medicine to a whole population, bombing hospitals, schools, media homes, and civilians all of which are blatant war crimes. The occupation must be stopped immediately.
We as MAPA stand in solidarity and resistance with the Palestinian Struggle, Palestinian liberation, and Palestinian self-determination.
Colonizers continue to support the colonizers. For example, the imperialist U.S.’s military support to Isr*el. We will not be neutral in the face of aggression, genocide and fascism. As descendants of colonized people, we refuse to be apathetic to the Palestinian cause. …
The Palestinian occupation is the result of a colonial process powered by Western governments like the United States, EU, UK, Japan, and more seeking to maintain their influence in Israel for their geopolitical interests in the region. …
Climate justice is Palestinian Liberation. It is time to END the occupation, END the apartheid, END the ethnic cleansing, END the genocide.
We mourn the loss of civilian lives that have occurred so far and recognize that the Zionist settler colony of Israel is not representative of Jews around the world, nor should Zionism be confused with Judaism. The liberation of Jews and the fight against antisemitism is deeply connected to a fight for a free Palestine. No pain nor guilt should be weaponized to commit genocide against others.
There is no climate justice under colonial occupations. Free Palestine.
That passing swipe at the colonialists of the European Union is very telling. International organisations like the EU are the primary advocates of climate policy, but the ambient anticolonialist energies which Fridays for Future has harnessed now place them in opposition to their most powerful political patrons.
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