When the young’s voices are as loud.

A guest post by Eliza Lawrence


Eliza Lawrence

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Berlin, 20. Sep. 2019—There was techno coming from the trees. It was letting me know it was a Berlin-based protest for sure. The techno, with its repetitive chant, seeped through the flowers of Tiergarten park and enveloped the chariot on the precipice of Brandenburg gate. Accompanying the music was the chant ‘’What do we want?’’, ‘’Climate Justice’’, ‘’When do we want it?’’, ‘’Now!’’.

And the beat continued.

You expect the music to be loud. You expect the setting to overwhelm you. You expect the estimated 270,000 people that are surrounding you to suspend your heart in overwhelmed optimism. And, your expectations are satisfied. But it was the young school children that’s voice boxes stretched beyond the music, that made the day so monumental. Underneath the blue neoclassical monument itself, their faces showed a new neomodern determination. An anger, like an electric—solar-powered—current was surging through them. They were chanting against the old systems that have allowed their climates to deteriorate, to destruct, to cause the impending downfall of their generation.

Those young children’s hands were joined by hands that were from older generations. The Friday’s for Future march began as a school child’s motivated outcry towards an unnecessary school education if the education will be then useless if it exists in a polluted, unstable environment. It was an acceptance from the younger generations that going to school has a certain irony.

That reading English, or studying paintings, or learning algebra will lack necessity when just being able to survive will be the resounding priority. It is the fight against a world where those who are making decisions only want to grow, grow and grow again, destabilising an atmosphere that can’t survive in harmony when battling against these fast, human desires.

What started as a young generation protesting, has now attached to other groups such as Extinction Rebellion and side groups such as Granny’s for Future where older generations exist and are also angry at the state of the world. They look to these children with a certain empathy as this Friday they lack the ability to be oblivious, to be frolicking in playgrounds as they should be at such an age. Imagination, which used to be actioned to build fictional fortresses and pirate ships in the school backyard are now being put to use instead to write signs and inspire optimism in protests. There is a certain sadness to this. This is where the meeting of both generations was such a powerful thing to watch, as the adult’s eyes met in an acknowledgment that children have a right to be young, and the adults, to be responsible for that.

Still, though, amongst the children and younger generations there were teachers who don’t underestimate the children they have shared their classroom with. Men and woman who held signs saying ‘Worried Parents’ and those in occupations that demanded justice for climate. At the beginning of the march there were voices from a stage, unseen due to the mass herds of people. A doctor stated, ‘‘I would be with patients today, maybe seeing about ten with sicknesses of all kinds, but today I stand in front of one of the largest crowds I have ever seen. This world must have a fever.’’

I shivered at that, which quickly turned into a communal shiver. Then, a vibration. Birds left the trees like they do after an earthquake, but instead of flying far away they seemed to soar with the marchers. They, also were sick of the silent spring. So, we all began to walk. Men, women, children and birds with placards raised and eyes wet with passion and fervency.

Days later leaders stay plastered to their seats. Some may have got up to go on a walk and reflect, and others may even have heard the beat, the chant and been affected. But there is still a necessity to do more. To walk again and vibrate with one another until these politicians become completely unstuck.

So, PROST to the next one. As we must continue.

A guest post by Eliza Lawrence

Subscribe to The Beam Magazine to read more on the subject.