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German Teachers’ Association criticizes participation of students in climate strike

The German Teachers' Association (DL) has criticized the participation of students in the climate strike of the "Fridays for Future" movement (FFF) on Friday. "We refuse that compulsory schooling is lifted in favor of political actions – for example as part of a so-called climate strike," said DL President Heinz-Peter Meidinger.

Published: September 25, 2021, 6:50 pm

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    Meidinger spoke to the Redaktionsnetzwerk outlet. He sees the necessary political neutrality of the state as being at risk and raised concerns: “Otherwise the question arises as to which political actions would count as school-free and which ones would not. Is it then allowed to take a day off from school at a demonstration against world hunger, for peace in the world, for the liberation of Palestine or against ‘foreign infiltration’?” He said that the school must not distinguish between good and bad illegal actions.

    The DL President pointed out that there were also opportunities in schools to take a stand against climate change without skipping classes. He cited school working groups and activities during school hours as examples.

    The FFF movement called for another global climate strike two days before the general election. In Berlin alone, according to the Berliner Zeitung, the organizers expect up to 20 000 participants. The 18-year-old initiator of the climate protection movement, Greta Thunberg, has meanwhile been announced as a speaker. FFF supporters want to hold around 400 rallies across Germany.

    The Chancellor candidate of the Greens, Annalena Baerbock, hopes the demonstrations will have a positive effect on the election on Sunday for her party. “These are crucial days for climate protection. Citizens have the opportunity to finally change climate policy: with a powerful climate strike and, above all, in the Bundestag election,” she told German daily Die Welt. “The next government must be a climate government. That is only possible with a strong Green party.”

    Several Green celebrities have spoken out in favor of an end to German cooperation with the EU border protection agency Frontex and a more generous reception of migrants in the EU. The 80 signatories of an appeal published on Thursday include the radical environmentalist and refugee captain Carola Rackete, the actress Jasna Fritzi Bauer, the Nobel Prize winner for literature Elfriede Jelinek and the pianist Igor Levit.

    The letter stated: “The burden of proof is overwhelming not to deny Frontex’s connections in European and especially German politics. The list of torture and push-backs, breaches of fundamental rights in the camps, failure to provide assistance and the criminalization of sea rescue, illegal returns and rejected asylum applications is almost endless.”

    The Cologne Declaration, which was co-signed by pro-migrant NGOs such as Sea-Watch, was distributed by the regional German daily, the Kölner Stadtanzeiger, among others.

    “For years the public was led to believe that thousand-fold deaths and this million-fold humiliation was a tragic event, a kind of natural disaster,” said the appeal. In truth, however, the migrant crisis was a planned crime that is structurally anchored in European politics.

    The demands of the signatories include, among other things, organizing the sea ​​rescue in the Mediterranean by the state, ending the German involvement in the EU border protection force Frontex and immediately evacuating the refugees housed in camps at the EU’s external borders to the EU. They also demanded that flight to Europe no longer be criminalized: “All refugees are to be granted the right to rights.”

    At the same time as the Cologne Declaration, a donation campaign will be launched to finance human rights lawyers and legal aid organizations with a focus on asylum law.

    Since the withdrawal from Afghanistan, there has been increasing discussion in Germany about accepting refugees. Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) has already assumed that up to five million refugees could flee from Afghanistan to Europe in the future.

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