“In Vienna, 12,000 people took to the streets to loudly demand an energy transition for everyone. A socially and ecologically just plan is now finally needed to stop this fossil crisis spiral,” said Klara König, the press spokeswoman for FFF Austria. In Vienna, the demo train started moving at 2:00 p.m. after a one-hour warm-up phase. The area in front of the Mitte train station was already crowded with participants who were called upon to chant “We now need a climate protection law”, one of three main demands, to which the energy transition and, probably, the rising prices, a basic energy security came.
Graz had already started the demo round in Austria at 9 a.m. Hundreds of participants first set an example at Mariahilferplatz. The climate activist and organizer Julia Čas, among others, spoke at the start and complained that a climate protection law worthy of the name had been demanded for 631 days. Around noon, the demonstration, which has now grown to around 1,500 participants, began to march to the opera. Around 600 demo participants also move from the Innsbruck market square via the city center to the Landestheater forecourt. NEOS boss Beate Meinl-Reisinger and NEOS Tyrolean top candidate Dominik Oberhofer are also among the protesters. Around 500 people took to the streets in Linz.
In Lower Austria, the Fridays For Future movements went on strike together in St. Pölten for the third time. According to the police, 400 to 500 participants were planned for the demo train. The state politicians were asked to get out of oil and gas and start a “wind-solar turbo” in the state. A smaller group also came to Klagenfurt for the Fridays For Future protest. According to the police, 60 to 70 people are taking part. The Carinthian Greens were prominently represented with state spokeswoman Olga Voglauer and deputy Christoph Gräfling. Further demos started in Innsbruck, Linz and Salzburg.
On Friday, Salzburg was the latecomer when it came to climate protection – at least as far as the start times of the Austrian Fridays for Future demonstrations were concerned. Later than in the other state capitals, the less than 500 participants in the protest march, according to the APA count, only met at around 3 p.m. at the train station.
Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen also commented on the demos via Twitter. On the photo that shows him with the climate strike founder Greta Thunberg in the Hofburg, he posts: “Four years ago, Greta Thunberg started a climate protest worldwide. Today, thousands are again taking to the streets for a future worth living in the #climate strike. Your tireless commitment gives me & many others hope that together we can overcome the #climatecrisis.”
The environmentalists’ demand for a basic energy security was new. This should provide the Austrians with a share of energy free of charge, the excess consumption should then increase moderately at first and then more and more over time. In this way, people would also be motivated to save energy, it was explained.
Nature conservation NGOs outside of the Fridays For Future movement joined the demos and also called for social justice in the climate and energy crisis in broadcasts on Friday. “Energy must be affordable, safe and sustainable for everyone. Fossil fuels make us dependent on authoritarian states and put a strain on our planet. They simply have no future,” emphasized Lisa Reggentin from the WWF youth network Generation Earth. Greenpeace called on the federal government to “finally tax the immorally high excess profits of the oil and gas companies”. Global 2000 recommended that the best way to combat the climate crisis, the energy crisis and the wave of inflation is to use renewable energies and reduce energy consumption.
The demonstrators in Austria followed the worldwide call of the Fridays For Future movement. Rallies took place around the world on Friday, and protests were planned in more than 250 cities in Germany, the dpa news agency reported. Many environmental protection organizations also supported the applications internationally.
(SERVICE – )