Protesters gathered outside the Reichstag, home to the lower house of German parliament in central Berlin, complained that young people were being excluded from politics ahead of the weekend’s elections.
Others who were of voting age said their voices were being stifled by the country’s aging population.
Amadeus Truman, a 27-year-old German literature student living in Berlin, has worked with Fridays for Future for over two years, describing climate action and justice as his passion.
“The parties now fighting for the German parliament on Sunday have let us down. So many of them tell us they want to cut emissions and it’s high on their agendas, but they don’t have the measures. up and didn’t tell us how they were doing it, ”he told CNN.
“I think young people in Germany are severely under-represented in politics, in parties and the electoral system – there are so many older people who vote and our voices, not all young people under 40 count as much as for those who are, say, 60 and over because we have so many old people. “
Wolfgang Wolman, a 27-year-old editor from Berlin, said he had little hope that the country’s next government would put the necessary climate action in place.
“I blame the older generation for spoiling everything for us – not personally but in society as a whole. They took no chance to do anything for us, ”he said.
“Politicians were fortunate enough to do something about climate change, but they let us down.”
Katharina Hetzel, a 22-year-old intern at Greenpeace and a social science student, said politicians “were doing nothing or too little”.
“That’s why we have to be here. We want a good life – we want to protect our lives and the lives of our children and future generations. And of course, we have to protect Mother Earth,” she said.
“Politicians didn’t see climate change as a big problem of our time and they thought it wouldn’t get worse. They just didn’t think about us. They were thinking about their own lives and well-being. “I really feel like they forgot about us. I think our whole younger generation thinks the same thing – that’s why we’re here.”
She said she wanted to see more young people in politics, including in parliament.
“If we look at the government, there are a lot more old people than young people and I think the average age of members of the Bundestag is over 40, so all young people, their voices, their thoughts are not respected or heard. “