UT students organize climate march in Enschede

| Marie Klinge

Students for Future Enschede, an initiative of UT students, organize their first climate march on Tuesday the 7th of June at 17:30 in the city centre. Psychology students and initiators Jana Marquardt and Katharina Hof explain about the march. ‘We realized that we are the ones that have to make a change.’

Photo by: Frans Nikkels
Archive image U-Today: an earlier climate protest from UT students, on campus.

What is ‘Students for Future Enschede’?

Hof: ‘We are part of the national Students for Future organisation, but we are based in Enschede to address the more local issues and to get local people active. As climate activists we are connected throughout the Netherlands and are therefore making changes locally and nationally. We have similar goals as ‘Fridays for Future’, but are oriented towards universities instead of schools. Currently, we have only a few active members in our organisation, but we welcome everyone who shares our mission.’

Why this climate march?

Hof: ‘Back in March, many organisations organized marches in light of the global climate strike, but there was none in Enschede. So we realized that we are the ones that have to make a change. Now is the last chance to do something about the climate change. The next global climate activities are a bit too far in the future, so we organize this march now and then do something again when the time comes. We will have several student speakers to talk about sustainability, climate change, and the environment. We want to encourage everyone at the UT to join us. Like the environment, we also need everyone’s support.’

What are the goals of your organisation?

Marquardt: ‘We aim to make politicians witness that people are in need of climate justice so, at some point, politicians will do something about it. They need to see that everything on earth really suffers. On a personal level we already do a lot, but we need a fundamental change in order to improve the climate situation. We try to address environmental issues with political leaders on a local and on a national level. Also, the university should pay even more attention. It is definitely not enough yet. So many people are interested and want to make a change.’

What differentiates your organisation from others with similar goals?

Marquardt: ‘We differ from organisations such as Extinction Rebellion. We focus more on peaceful demonstration instead of public disobedience to raise awareness for climate issues. But we still support them, and they support us. The university-based associations such as SUSTAIN and Green Hub also support us, but we are politically active and promote activism. So we cannot be part of them, as they are not allowed to criticize politics.’

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