Transylvania: Fridays for Future - Churches and Civil Society

Since March 2019 youth from Sibiu organized the FFF Fridays for Future meetings with an especial focus on the global climate-strike-days in the main square Piata Mare, in front of the town hall. Following the example of the Lutheran youth group, other students from the regional student councils and different schools, as well as  artists and some adults joined the demonstrations.

A highlight in the movement was the action during the EU-Summit  of the heads of states in May 2019 in Sibiu, when an group of youth from FFF-Europe joined the FFF-Sibiu protest in order to deliver a letter to the european leaders regarding climate justice, the letter was signed by 16.000 people. The protesters nevertheless did not get the usual municipal permission in order „not to disturb” the summit works. Although, the 80 young people managed to get on different ways through the connections of the local parishes through all the security filters onto the main square in front of the City Hall, joining in singing: „Hey, ho, take me by the hand, strong in solidarity we stand: fight for climate justice!” Then, the miracle happened, and the contact to the delegations inside succeeded. President Emmanuel Macron and 8 other presidents came outside the building, to receive the FFF-letter from three of the young protesters, who were allowed to enter the inner circle: Luisa Neubauer from Germany, Anuna van Wewern from Belgium and Paula Dörr from Romania.

Another unexpected highlight in the FFF-Sibiu-protests was the global climate strike on the 29th of November. About 80 youth joined the protesters that got the permission to gather in front of the town hall. But because the youth in their enthusiasm did not stand still in front of the building, but made a tour with their banners around the Christmas market installed on the main square, the local police over-reacted and punished them with a fine of 1000 Lei. This abuse of the police went viral in the civil society and generated a large echo in the media all over the country. Within days, the demands of the FFF-protesters got well known, some public persons offered to pay the fine for the FFF-youth, and Greenpeace even hired a lawyer to take this to court in order to change the regulations for public meetings.

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