Freedom for cars instead of a future for children (nd-aktuell.de)


About FDP: The parents against the fossil fuel industry and their party guests celebrate Jörg Finus alias Christian Lindner.

Photo: nd/Louisa Theresa Braun

No one likes to slow down like the FDP. When it comes to the traffic diversion, a speed limit or the ban on internal combustion engines. The Liberals are going full throttle when it comes to the A100 widening or fixed commuter fares. It is something to celebrate. Because: “Do we really want to destroy the car lobby for our children’s future?” asks Jörg Finus the almost 30 party guests who gathered with champagne and streamers in front of the FDP’s federal office on Reinhardtstrasse in Mitte on Friday afternoon. Finus is standing on the roof of his silver VW in a suit, and the other parents against the fossil fuel industry, who had been invited to the campaign, have also dressed up for the occasion.

In reality, of course, they consider “this talk of freedom” to be “pure selfishness,” as Petra Nielsen says to “nd.” On this day, she and her five colleagues, who know each other through Parents for the Future and who founded Parents Against the Fossil Industry for sometimes more disobedient actions, will show that climate activism can also be fun. “We have the image as a fun brake and wanted to make something fun that you wouldn’t expect from parents,” says Nielsen. For example, park a car in the driveway of the FDP headquarters and write slogans like “Freedom for cars” or “Lindner for president” on it with brightly colored finger paint. Next, climate activist Tadzio Müller climbs onto the roof of the car and complains: “Today, drivers are discriminated against, just like homosexuals used to be!”

Jörg Finus puts on a Volker Wissing mask and mimes as the Federal Minister of Transport and throws play money at the spectators who have put up VW, BMW or Mercedes plates and shouts “Fuck the climate!”. “The fuel discount cost the German taxpayers three billion euros, and that is a good thing,” explains Petra Nielson as she steps up to the microphone. The best thing about it is that the money has not ended up with the low paid, but primarily with the top performers who have to fill up big cars, and with the poor oil companies who are struggling with rising prices. But that’s not enough: “We ask for a fuel ticket: pay nine euros and fill up with unlimited fuel for the whole month!” exclaims the young mother at the end of her speech.

But the Berlin SPD is also putting the brakes on traffic: “We were very disappointed that the referendum on ‘Berlin car-free’ was averted,” says Sofia Rodriguez to “nd”. Above all, Petra Nielson would like her five- and three-year-old daughters to be safe on Berlin’s streets, longer green phases at traffic lights, more play areas and generally more green areas instead of streets and parking lots. Many parents would take their children to school by car because they think it is safer, “but it makes the way to school unsafe for all the other children,” she criticizes. Nielson does not have a driver’s license himself and thinks it is “perfectly feasible” to get around Berlin with children without a car.

At the end of the campaign, it becomes emotional: As parents, you have to trust that society as a whole will take care of your children, says Marit Schatzmann. She was angry “that you trample on this trust every day, you pigs,” she roars to applause in the direction of the FDP headquarters, from which, despite the bustle, no one can be seen. She is also angry that the consequences of car-friendly transport policy for the climate are not discussed honestly. “As a mother, it gives me the feeling that I have to let my child grow up in an unworthy society. It’s damn hard,’ says Schatzmann. Therefore, the parents will show civil disobedience against the fossil fuel industry for the future of their children. The future of cars has already been duly celebrated.

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