Protest march and open letter to Olaf Scholz

– “We save lives – do the same!” –

Protest march on September 22.09.2023nd, XNUMX: Burning hat as a symbol for heat deaths.
Photo: Last generation

Berlin, October 22.9.2023, 17, 40:XNUMX a.m – A Last Generation protest march started at the Charité at 16 p.m. Led by healthcare workers who stood in solidarity with the last generation, scores of people marched through the streets of the city holding up banners reading “Current policies have deadly consequences.” 

At a final rally, they took down 300 straw hats as a warning sign for the 3000 heat deaths in Germany this year and set one of them alight. In doing so, they made it clear: the climate catastrophe is already killing people today.

Previously this week, healthcare workers had taken part in road blockades in Berlin several times in their uniforms (you can find pictures of these road blockades here). By taking part in the protests, they are demanding political action against the escalating climate catastrophe According to the World Health Organization, it is the greatest threat to human health.

“Science and our professional associations have been warning for years - without success. That was simply ignored. Now we see the first episodes. We bear responsibility – and we can no longer stand by and watch it. That’s why we’re taking to the streets,” explained Arya Cyrenius (33), Medical student and pediatric nurse.

Dr. med. Birgit Mallon (32) also takes part in the protest. She explains: “We all depend on good medical and therapeutic care, humane care for the elderly and a supply of medication that is essential for survival. This is what needs to be preserved.
The planetary boundaries are being exceeded in current climate policy. Our health system is not prepared for the deadly consequences and we will not be able to adapt to them. Climate protection affects us all – right now. If we are serious about preserving our livelihoods and social systems, we have to get out of fossil fuels – by 2030 at the latest.”

Following the protest, several doctors, nurses and other medical staff presented one open letter (see appendix) from the healthcare sector to Chancellor Olaf Scholz. In it they call on him to act responsibly, as an inadequate climate policy will ultimately cost human lives. The telling title: “We save lives – do it too!” 

The call is signed by more than 250 independent doctors, psychotherapists and medical professionals.