The last time Jana demonstrated in her city of Hamburg was in October 2019 to protest against "Indigence" of the "climate plan" presented a few days earlier by the government of Angela Merkel. This 37-year-old social worker has since been "A little discouraged", to the point of wondering "What good is it to mobilize every week against global warming if those who lead us do not take it into account".
Four months later, Jana went back to the street. But, Monday, January 13, it was not against the government that she came to protest. This time his target is Joe Kaeser, the CEO of Siemens. The day before, the latter confirmed the participation of his group in a gigantic coal mine project in Australia. "An absolute scandal"says Jana, who didn’t "Not hesitated to come" when it learned that the Fridays for Future movement was calling for a protest outside Siemens offices near Hamburg train station on Monday afternoon.
A total of fifteen rallies were held in Germany on Monday against the decision of the president of the engineering company to maintain his participation in this "Catastrophic project", according to a statement released on Sunday by the German branch of Fridays For Future, the movement founded in 2018 by Swedish high school student Greta Thunberg.
No more than 200 to 300 people each time, certainly, but enough for this mobilization to make the headlines of the German press, both because of the weight of Siemens – the sixth group in the country in terms of turnover – and the “responsible” image that the company is trying to give itself, both socially and environmentally.
"Fulfill our contractual commitments"
It is precisely to reinforce this image that Joe Kaeser, boss of the company since 2013, had met, Friday, Luisa Neubauer, 23, the figurehead of Fridays for Future in Germany. In order to give proof of his good will, the CEO of Siemens had even offered it a place on the supervisory board of the energy branch of the group. A proposal declined by the young woman. "By accepting such a position, I would have been forced to defend the interests (from Siemens) and therefore could not have expressed myself independently. It’s not compatible with my role as a climate activist ”, was it justified on Monday, the day after Joe Kaeser's confirmation of his participation in the controversial project.