Text by Rose Wanjiku

Let us take a moment to remember all the people who died in the earthquake in Morocco and in the floods in Libya. We also remember thousands of people who have died in the Mediterranean Sea fleeing hunger, war and oppression.

Floods in LIbya have killed 8,000. Thousands more are missing. Many more will be displaced and forced to move!

This month alone, thousands of people have died or been displaced in Brazil, Guatemala, Turkey and Greece. There have been deadly storms in almost as many days in September so far. Climate scientists warn that “nowhere is immune”. Climate-driven rain storms have become frequent. The world is under siege.

Nature is reminding us of the cost of capitalism and carbon economies; destruction of humanity.

I am sure many of you here today, have stood in solidarity with the people of Libya perhaps contributed towards emergency aid. Charity is good and I encourage all of you to ‘help’.

Last year, protestors from Last Generation in 33 glued themselves to roads to protest continued use of fossil fuel by Germany.

These protests were ‘loud’ in parts of Berlin because of the traffic jam they caused. There were equal protests about the inconvenience.

Imagine that! Some politicians in Spandau and Charlottenburg took note only because of the traffic jam that made life difficult and unbearable for those going to work.

Well, the lives of millions of people in Africa and most of the Global South are difficult and unbearable because of those cars and the fossil fuel they run on. Life is difficult and unbearable because of CLIMATE CHANGE!

It is difficult and unbearable for millions of people who have endured FOUR DROUGHTS due to failed rains. It is difficult and unbearable because their lands can no longer produce food! Extreme weather events have disrupted lives, led to migration and worsened food insecurity in Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan and Kenya.

It is a great injustice to destroy people’s livelihoods and turn around to give food donations to save them from hunger!

There is not enough food in Africa, not because we are lazy. It is because we can no longer depend on the rains to grow our foods. It is because thousands of people are being displaced from their lands. If floods don’t find people in their homes, it catches them when they flee.

When the German government refuses to allow people to seek asylum because of the climate change crisis. It is an injustice! Germany wants asylum seekers to tell stories of WARS and CONFLICTS. Let us try another way. Germany should tell us how its ‘green growth’ path is displacing thousands of people and disrupting their livelihoods. Germany should tell us stories of mineral and oil EXTRACTIONS that fuel wars and conflicts fought with weapons YOU make!

For us from Africa and the Global South, protesting climate change is not a HYPE, it’s not because we are HIPPIES. It is because we are living the realities of climate change. The droughts and the floods are our reality.

Globally, 20 people become refugees every minute. As the climate crisis renders tracts of lands uninhabitable, even more people will be forced to find new homes. Germany and Europe must bring down borders to allow climate crisis refugees.

Climate justice does not mean the neo-colonial ‘new frontier of renewable energy sources’ greenwashing story Germany and the rest of Global North is peddling in Africa. The Global North should not turn the Global South into a dumping and field for technology trials.

Did you know Germany is going to spend billions of your dollars to build a fertilizer plant in Kenya? Basically Germany is importing more pollution and poison to Africa to ‘boost’ food production! Yes, food is VERY political. Africa does not need charity! It needs climate justice, reparations and debt cancellation!

I know many of you believe something must be done in Africa and in the Global South. Yes, SOMETHING MUST be done, but Carbon trading and green economy is NOT IT. Asking Africa to plant trees to provide sinks for Germany’s carbon pollution is NOT IT. Taking Africa’s minerals and resources in exchange for ‘Green Technology’ is NOT IT.

Germany wants to build a hydrogen power plant in Namibia to export power to Europe while over 600 million people in Africa have no electricity and 970 million have no access to clean cooking technologies. This is a gross injustice.

This is to those who stand in solidarity with us here in Germany. Stand with us, not against us. I come from the Most Affected Population and Area or MAPA. Those of us coming from the Global South have had to organise under this name to be heard. I hear talks about mainstream climate activists and ‘others’. Apparently, we are the others, the most affected yet, little resources come to support our organising.

Organising this event has taken sweat and tears. I salute all those who gave their time and resources. THANK YOU! I ask, why should we struggle to be heard? Why should we only be tokenised and only allowed ‘talking slots’ in the so called mainstream climate justice movement?

Why is the climate change movement by the Most Affected people surviving on acts of charity? It is time to decolonise the funding structure of the climate change justice movement! We cannot keep replicating the same capitalistic, oppressive and demeaning structures we say we are fighting against!

Climate change affects EVERYONE! Climate change and climate justice is about all of us. There is no mainstream voice and the voice of others!

Climate change knows NO CLASS. Climate Change knows NO BORDERS! Climate crisis is a reason for migration, it is a reason for asylum!

We stand in solidarity with PALESTINE, IRAN, SOUTH SUDAN, SUDAN, WEST SAHARA, NIGER and all comrades living in shackles of patriarchy and neo-colonialism!