Climate strike march took place in Belgrade last Friday under the slogans: “Wake up and join! The young demand changes!” A few hundred people, most of them young, gathered at the Terazijska česmafountain, demanding climate politics which will keep global warming within the acceptable limits. The gathering was organized by Fridays for Future Serbia and the Serbian Green Youth.
The protesters’ placards said: “We have no planet B, let’s react now”, “No one is too small to make a difference”, “Money will be useless on a dead planet”, “Capitalism is killing the planet”, “We are solution for pollution”.
Jelena, a high school student and member of the Fridays for Future Serbia, stated that young people weren’t totally preoccupied with their mobile phones and alienated by technology. She claimed that they are, in fact, aware of the circumstances they live in, acknowledging the fact that climate changes present a threat for their future and the future of the whole planet.
Twelve-year old elementary school students, members of the Global warming Belgrade group, stated that everything isup to us and that we haveto decide if we want to stop burning fossil fuels or not, adding that everything is possible if west and together. The protesters, mostly young people, walked through Knez Mihajlova street.
During the march, that started at Terazije square and finished at the Plateau in front of the Faculty of philosophy the protester chanted: “We demand climate justice, now!”, ”System change, not climate change” and “Power to the people”.
Jelena Aleksić, member of the Serbian Green Youth, addressed the gathered at the Plateau in front of the Faculty of Philosophy. In her speech, Jelena accentuated that she was there to protest against climate change, butalso against the pollution of water, air and soil in Belgrade, because of all the trees that have been cut recently, because of the small hidro plants that are being built all around the Balkans, because of the dangerous waste burried in the ground and all those things that are ruining the environment, and are driven by investors’ greed.
The protesters headed towards the Republic Square. Milica Damnjanović Zantvoort, member of the Fridays for Future Serbia talked about the importance of urban public greenery. Milica explained the beneficial effect greenery has on the microclimate in cities, making the life of citizens easier.
The Fridays for Future is a movement founded in 2018, after the then fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg protested the lack of action against climate crisis in front of the Swedish parliament for three Fridays in a row. Her action soon went viral on Instagram and Twitter.
On the 8September Greta Thunberg decided to keep protesting every Friday until the Swedish authorities provide a decisive plan to keep the rise of temperature below 2 degrees Celsius.
Climate strike marches took place all around the world, including more than 100 states and 2500 cities. The protests were held from Portugal to Georgia, from Argentina to Canada, in Africa and throughout Asia, demanding that the politics that led to grave climate changes be dismissed.
Translation from Serbian: Iskra Krstić
This article was originally published in Serbian on Sep 20, 2019.