Shock horror, the prosperous join Marxists, anarchists, Blockupy and other radicals, as thousands protest at the G7 summit
Stefan Wagstyl in Berlin reports for the Financial Times that members of Bund, low-key protesters from a ‘conservative bourgeois background’ are joining ‘traditionalist groups’, including Protestant and Catholic church organisations, farmers’ clubs and conservation societies, who want radical change in the world. Wagstyl’s article is couched in terms which convey an unexpressed wonder that those who have so much under the present system should want to change it.
He fails to realise that many look beyond their own comfortable circumstances and resent the injustices suffered by the ‘have nots’ – the very raw deals bolstering the system under which the ‘haves’ prosper.
Many of the 500,000 strong Bund, which the FT describes as the German union for environment and the protection of nature, are joining thousands of demonstrators protesting at the G7 summit that starts today in the Bavarian mountain resort of Elmau.
Bund and other environmental organisations have pressed for decades for green energy. Today Germany is a global leader in renewables, abandoning nuclear power.
Bund’s overriding aim is fighting environmental degradation and climate change. Other groups focus on global poverty and hunger, health, inequality, and workers’ rights in developing countries, as well as opposing other global menaces, from fracking to arms exports. They are largely united in criticising globalisation and most dislike TTIP, the proposed EU-US trade and investment pact, that faces widespread opposition in Germany.
Due to growing public awareness of climate change and the impact of the global financial crisis, Bund’s membership has swelled by 150,000. Its chairman says that people have lost trust in capitalism and are looking for alternatives.
Why didn’t Mr Wagstyl explain that Bund – this ‘union’ – is actually the German branch of Friends of the Earth . . . Fear of infection?
Bar Chart reports that protester Monika Lambert said she had come “to exercise my democratic rights to say that everything the G-7 decides is in the interest of the banks and capitalists.” Lambert, from the Bavarian city of Erlangen, said Germany’s history has shown that it is important to speak out.
“I asked my parents what they did during the Nazi period and they did nothing,” she said. “I don’t want to tell my children and grandchildren the same thing.”