Last generation is aimed at Federal President Steinmeier

Democracy needs honesty

Press conference in front of Bellevue Palace in Berlin.
(c) Last generation

Berlin, October 11.03.2024, 11, 00:XNUMX a.m – The press conference on the new demand and planned protests by the Last Generation has just taken place in front of Bellevue Palace in Berlin.

This marked the beginning of a new chapter of resistance today - the Last generation calls for a spring of resistance! Already on this one Saturday, March 16.3th at 12 p.m People will come together in 10 cities nationwide for the first disobedient gatherings. 

Together they demand Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to get behind the Last Generation Statement which was read out today.
It bluntly discusses what is necessary now to live up to all of our responsibilities and to address current and future crises. Wealth tax, shutting down the airline industry, limiting the chemical and automotive industries – we finally have to honestly admit that continuing as usual is not an option.

In addition to the Disobedient Gatherings, the Last Generation Protest will take place in places where injustice and destruction are particularly visible. Some of the locations are mentioned in the statement. In addition, those who are primarily responsible for the current crises are confronted - the elephant in the room is dragged in front of the camera. 

Here you will find a summary of the most important points from the press conference.

Demand: Hand on heart – democracy needs honesty

Introductory brought Carla Hinrichs the new demands of the last generation in a nutshell: 
“We demand honesty.” and explained why Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is the right addressee for this demand: “In important situations he can address the nation with a speech. He must bring honesty to the political debate and we expect that from him.”
Given the current social and political discourse, the question arises: “Is there any clarity and agreement here about what the situation we are in right now is?”

Afterwards read out Rolf Meyer, qualified physicist and speaker of the last generation, made the statement to Steinmeier with the title: Hand on heart – democracy needs honesty.

It says: “It is high time to speak the uncomfortable truth: some things that are taken for granted today must come to an end. […] Other things cannot continue to exist at their current size.” It becomes clear: it's about democracy, about suffering and death for billions of people, about our existence.

The full statement is attached to this press release.

On the road for the future

Then reported Laura Bischoff, student and supporter of the Last Generation, about her joint protest with other young people in front of the Chancellery in Berlin. They had one on its facade Call for help attached in orange warning color. Images of a police officer kneeling on Laura's head were subsequently reported in the media. She spoke of her fear and desire for one “Future in which we as young people have prospects.”

This was followed by a call to take to the streets for this future:
In Berlin, Bremen, Cologne, Leipzig, Karlsruhe, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Regensburg, Munich and on Rügen will be on 16.3. Disobedient gatherings . held
Laura emphasizes: “The gatherings will extend from the sidewalk to across the street. That means: everyone can take part!"

End denial of reality in politics

Eberhard wheels, farmer and Last Generation supporter, then emphasized that small reforms are not enough. Using the example of agriculture, he made it clear that fundamental change needs:
“It is not enough, as many politicians and the agricultural industry would have us believe: 'The system itself would be okay, you just have to make adjustments every now and then and then it will work.' We're on the wrong track. Politics must revolutionize the agricultural system.”

Finally the decisive sentence came: “I have never met a person in my life who says: 'I don't care about the future of my children or grandchildren!'”

Prof. Dr. Nicholas Froitzheim, geologist and supporter of the Last Generation, then explained why we as a society have not long since switched to crisis mode, despite the drama of the current situation. He drew the focus on the dishonesty and whitewashing on the part of politicians.

“It's no wonder that large parts of society consider the scientific warnings to be exaggerated. If it were really that bad, the government would already be ringing the alarm bells! But it doesn’t, and that’s why we can continue flying around the world and quickly install a new gas or oil heating system.”

"This Denial of reality is what is driving more and more scientists like me into civil resistance. If I were Federal President, I would give a speech to the nation. I would say bluntly the human catastrophe we are currently racing into and that measures such as fair rationing that stops overconsumption by the rich, a fair shutdown of the airline industry and a wealth tax are sorely necessary.”

Prof. Froitzheim ends the press conference with an appeal: “That’s why I say: “Dear Mr. Steinmeier, You are now called upon to bring honesty into the political debate! To say that everything we hold dear is at stake! To say that a fundamental political change is necessary! Stand behind the content of our declaration!”
The explanation: Hand on heart – democracy needs honesty
We are at a crucial point in the history of our society.
Many people in Germany feel more clearly than ever that times are becoming more turbulent. Fears of financial poverty, social decline, wars and climate catastrophe are omnipresent. 

Gone are the days when we can say to ourselves: “Our children will one day be better off than us!”. On paper, Germany is getting richer, but the money ends up with fewer and fewer people. Rising costs for food, heating and rent, overloaded hospitals and unequal educational opportunities: the scope for action is becoming increasingly narrow for many of us. Collecting deposit bottles and going to the food bank may once have been the exception, but today it is part of everyday life for more and more people. 

Right-wing extremist parties across Europe are abusing these insecurities and fears to inject misanthropic content into the middle of society. Democratic parties are also increasingly throwing their values ​​overboard in order to maintain their power. Our democracy and our constitutional state are at risk.

Shouldn't we know that right-wing extremist parties have exploited social crises in the past to come to power?
This will be no different in the climate catastrophe. Extreme weather events, sinking groundwater, crop failures and increasingly expensive food: it's about our existence.

The climate catastrophe will hit first and hardest the people who least caused it. Areas in which large parts of humanity now live are in danger of becoming uninhabitable. It's about suffering and death for billions of people.

Every day people in the Global South have to flee. Many people have no alternative but to toil under conditions that violate human rights in order to extract resources for our prosperity.
German politicians fail to recognize our responsibility for this. They tolerate systematic violence against people at the EU's external border. We used to criticize Trump for building a wall. Today Europe is a fortress behind barbed wire.

We are at a crossroads. It's time for an honest look into the future. For admitting that renewed fascism is possible in Germany if we don't change course. A world of crises and adverse living conditions provides breeding ground for fascism. It is time – also because of our historical responsibility – to confront this consistently. 
We must address unsustainable social injustice and climate catastrophe together.

The government imposes a CO2 price and does not pay it back to citizens as climate money. The CO2 price makes the simplest needs, such as heating living space, more expensive. The poorest in our society and the middle class should save. They can no longer afford the energy. The rich, who consume the most, don't care about rising prices.
Saving energy cannot be solved through price increases alone! This is a question of justice and therefore a question of fair rationing that puts a limit on the overconsumption of the rich.
If water becomes scarce, let's not let the price rise to infinity so that some can no longer afford to drink while others water their lawns.

Why are some people allowed to own more and more houses while others have to live on the streets? This is reminiscent of Monopoly. We need money for everyone, so the super-rich have to give something - a wealth tax. Finally repairing and expanding the railway network, insulating houses, renaturalizing moors, so many things are possible that bring something to everyone instead of just the luxury of a few.

It is an illusion that everything can be solved through technology. It is high time to speak the uncomfortable truth: some things that are taken for granted today must come to an end. If we want to protect our livelihoods, the government must fairly shut down the airline industry - especially private jets and domestic flights. Other things cannot continue to exist at their current size - for example the automotive and chemical industries.
These challenges are so great that politicians shy away from them and continue to send young people into training for industries that have no future. There are civil society initiatives that show that retraining is possible. For example, people can learn solar installation within a few weeks. But to address these challenges, we should first hear the voices of those most directly affected by the impacts.

We need an honest debate. Only when the parties stop telling the comfortable old fairy tales and say what is at stake can we tackle the challenges of our time. The majority do not want our children's future to be destroyed. The majority want a fair society. A society that doesn't just talk about its values ​​in Sunday speeches, but actually acts according to them.

That is why people from civil society and especially our Federal President, Frank Walter Steinmeier, are called upon to bring honesty into our democratic debate.

Hand on heart. It's time for honesty.