>> /p> Participants in the procession from the Ministry of Finance to the building of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which started the student protest called Antifossil Spring, May 2, 2023, Prague. The event is organized by the University for Climate (UZK).
Prague – Several dozen student activists marched through the center of Prague this afternoon to protest against the government's energy policy, which, according to them, is not doing enough to move away from fossil fuels. From the Ministry of Finance, they went with stops to the building of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MPO), where they plan to stay until Thursday. The event was organized by the University for the Climate organization, which organized a student strike last November.
“We express our dissatisfaction with how, in our opinion, our government is acting very insufficiently and very little in the matter of the climate crisis,” said Marie Skalková to ČTK on behalf of the organizers. According to her, after last year's strike, during which students spent the night in the faculty buildings, the students met twice with representatives of the government, but the negotiations did not lead anywhere.
“The only thing the government representatives were able to promise us among a lot of vague statements was that the Czech Republic would stop burning coal by 2033,” added the activist. According to her, however, this contradicts the fact that the mining authority recently, without authority, decided to extend the mining permit in the Bílina mine until 2035. The Ministry of Industry stated in March that the extension of mining is not excluded, with the government's goal of moving away from coal by 2033. This situation was also criticized by the speakers who spoke at the stops of the march at the Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square and Republic Square.
The participants of the protest gathered before 16:00 in front of the Ministry of Finance in Mala Strana, where they left chalk signs on the pavement such as “The state budget is not balanced on a dead planet”, “Finance renewable resources, not fossil capitalism” or “Let's solve coal before it ruins us “. Similar slogans were chanted by students during the march, slogans such as “Next winter without fossil gas”, “MPO has to work, that's why we are going on strike” or “We have bare hands – green revolution”. The march was supervised by police officers from the anti-conflict team and passed without incident.
After about two hours from the beginning, the procession arrived at the Ministry of Education, where some participants of the event plan to spend the next two nights. Tonight and Wednesday they are planning concerts or lectures. “We think that this particular resort has a major influence on what kind of energy mix we have here, and that it is this resort that should be the most proactive,” explained Jan Kubišta, another student spokesperson, why the organizers chose this particular building MPO.
In addition to a clear plan to move away from fossil fuels, the activists also demand that the Czech Republic withdraw from the energy charter, which, according to them, brings nothing to the republic and only gives energy corporations a tool for extortion through international arbitrations. Another requirement, according to Kubišta, is that the transition from fossil sources does not endanger people who are employed in this sector.
The University's Climate Movement was created in the spring of 2019 in response to the Fridays for Future high school initiative. whose creation was instigated by the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.