Who is Lea Bonasera of Letzte Generation?
Lea Bonasera is 25 years old, and is one of the co-founders of the activist group "Letzte Generation". She says she gets annoyed by people who call climate activists "climate-gluers" and 'eco-terrorists" because she's convinced by the absolute truth that civil disobedience can be a remedy to powerlessness. In Lea Bonasera's book, The Time for Courage Is Now!, she pencils out a splendid connection between theory and practice, writing about her experiences in previous protests and takes a scientific approach to the history and aims of civil disobedience. Lea Bonasera studied international relations at Oxford and currently writing her PHD thesis on the subject of Civil Disobedience in Democracies. She has taken a stand on the streets at least a dozen times, in front of ministries and on hunger strikes!
Aufstand de Lasten Generation was founded on August 30, 2021. A group of 7 activists frustrated by the slow progress on reducing carbon emissions in Germany set up tents in Berlins seat of Government, Regierungsviertel, and began a hunger strike. Germany was set up to elect a new chancellor, and the goal of the hunger strike was to convince leading candidates to sit down with them for public discussion about climate issues. Lea Bonasera refused water for seven hours on September 25th, and at 6 p.m Lea and her comrades received a call from Olaf Scholz, the frontrunner from the center-left Social Democrat Party. Bonasera and a rebel she was doing the hunger strike with, ended their action and were sent to the ICU. On September 26th, the Social Democrats received 25.7% of the vote, the highest share of any party, with Scholz as presumptive Chancellor.
Lea Bonasera and another Letzte Generation activist named Jescke met with Scholz a few weeks later in front of a small audience. The conversation was awkward and unproductive. Bonasera pressed the politician to acknowledge the apocalyptic gravity of the climate crisis. Scholz preferred to exchange views on pragmatic solutions that could increase wealth while reducing emissions. They hardly found common ground. " You're looking for a response that says there is a fatalistic situation," Scholz said. "in which we can't make the world a better place, in which we can't fix anything." Bonasera, Jescke and Scholz kept interrupting each other through the whole 45 minute conversation. At the end of the conversation all parties were dissatisfied. "As the likely next Chancellor of this nation, it is up to you to make sure that our population has enough to eat," Bonasera said, in a lamenting tone, "and if you can't do so, if you don't live up to your responsibility, then we see ourselves forced to create massive disturbances here in Germany. Peaceful, but massive."
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“What are our responsibilities at this time? Because of the fossil fuel industry, we are facing horrors of a magnitude never before experienced in our existence. Our government continues to lead us to the edge of no return. We must stand up and defend ourselves. No one else is going to do it. It must be us, if we want to live.
Our methods must be disruptive, and they must be nonviolent. Our actions are evidence-based, credible, and we have a plan. The only thing missing at this point in time is YOU!”
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