Activists take to the streets to pick litter instead of protest

Instead of demonstrating, activists from the local People for Future group, founded a year and a half ago, and Fridays for Future Movement (FFF) collect rubbish from the streets of Dachau, North-West of Munich.

People for Future, Dachau

A bin bag can be full in less than a quarter of an hour. “It’s really sad how quickly it can be done,” says litter picker, Wolfgang Klade. This constructive contribution to improving their local environment is the volunteers’ part in Friday’s global climate strike, instead of joining global demonstrations, and will continue for one week.

When asked why he does it, he answered that his generation caused the problem and since he has had children himself, it has been important to him to take responsibility.

The younger generation is getting involved too. Jonathan Berger, 16-year-old a member of the Dachau Youth Council for the Greens, acknowledges that age brings differences to the surfaces, but that: “There is so much that unites us.”

Mayor Florian Hartmann (SPD [Social Democratic Party of Germany]) praised the efforts and was involved in the rubbish collection — as well as with ‘Ramadama’; an annual local traditional cross-cultural litter picking event.

Hartmann (left) expressed that he was grateful for local people’s support, because it’s necessary as part of the effort, and that the implementation of specific environmental projects is still “too uncoordinated”.

Like Klade, he notes that despite the Covid-19 pandemic reducing human activity, there has been more litter.

The activists believe it is important to lead by example, even on a small scale. Doing nothing is not an option.

The motto of this year’s global climate strike is “No more empty promises”. At least the rubbish bags are full.

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Volle Müllsäcke fürs Klima [Full garbage bags for the climate], Süddeutsche Zeitung, 2021-03-21

By Joe Lars Campbell

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