Wrap up:

Their Time to Pay | September 30th | Europe

On the September 30th of 2023, thousands protested in Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, Portugal, Turkey and Greece against climate and cost of living crisis. We have paid more than enough, now it’s their time to pay!
We won’t stop fighting until we achieve:

  • Price control of all essential sectors;
  • End of tax havens;
  • 100% renewable electricity by 2025;
  • Free public transport for all;
  • Public housing for everyone

Switzerland (Bern)

In Bern (Switzerland), 60.000 people marched on the national climate demonstration. The System Change block carried the message and demands of Their Time to Pay!

Thousands protested in Switzerland because we believe in a fair world for everyone. But the wealthy 1% have left us with a catastrophic summer, from record temperatures or wildfires to floods, they are boiling our lives away.

While we are living through the most acute crisis in our history, the fossil fuel industry had the most profitable year of their time. And WE are asked to pay for their unbelievable historic profits. The inflation imposed on society was caused by the spike in fossil fuel prices. It is not an invisible monster’s hand, but a bunch of greedy shareholders setting the prices for their own profits.

Switzerland has a huge contribution to these insanity through its financial institutions which continue to deploy massive investments in more fossil infrastructure. Swiss banks have a direct impact on emissions, as they turbocharge the expansion of the fossil industry with almost no restrictons. They channel billions to the insane coal mine extractions of Gelncore in the Global South, to the insane oil and gas projects of TotalEnergies, including the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) in Uganda and Tanzania or the planned exploitation of two major offshore gas fields in South Africa. Just to name a very few.

 Decarbonising the entire economy is absolutely contraditory to the structural addiction of our current system to fossil fuels.The government could choose to regulate them, but instead we see our public money being used to bail out the banks, we see the rents rising by up to 8% by the end of 2024 and health insurances rising by 8.7% in 2024. The cost of living crisis and the Climate Crisis have the same root. Our unconditional basic needs are not commodities. They have been commodified by a system that sees profit above everything else.

We know we are better than this. Only a System Change responds to these crisis. Therefore, we demand uncentralised, community-based and democratically controlled renewable energy systems; price control over essential sectors and the unconditional cancellation of all foreign debt from the countries of global south.

It is our present that it at stake. We are the voice of the 99% who demand a just world. We know we have the head and the heart on the right place to fight for it. So, this time is THEIR TIME TO PAY.

Austria (Vienna)

Activists from LINKS, LastGeneration Austria, SOS Balkanroute, KPÖ, Junge Linke, crazyturn.at, System Change not Climate Change and many more demonstrated today in front of Chanceller Karl Nehammers Office.

In recent years, the richest have made record profits. Right at the front: the climate killers at the energy suppliers, gas giants and car companies. At the same time, inflation is tearing into our household budgets, climate change is turning summer into hot hellscapes, and flooding towns left and right.

Together with the Europe-wide network “Their Time to Pay” (@theirtimetopay) we ask those to pay who have enough anyway: Polluters, large corporations and the associated government. No climate protection law but billions in aid for corporations: that’s Turkish-Green crisis policy.

Politics for the richest means politics against those affected most by poverty and discimination. The chancellor ridicules families who cannot afford a hot meal and announces that he will take action against wage increases. Making climate killers pay also means: Karl has to step down!

Portugal (Lisbon)

More than 15.000 people marched in Lisbon for the housing right and climate justice!

The problem of access to housing is a national emergency that requires urgent solutions. From promise to promise, the portuguese government fails to solve the housing crisis. Alongside the housing crisis, we are forced to pay the generalised increase in the price of energy, food and essential products. We pay for the extraordinary profits of oil companies, big food companies, banks and other large private companies, without governments doing anything to stop this process – on the contrary, encouraging it. In this system, everything is a commodity, accessible only to those who can afford it.

On the other hand, we are living through the most acute crisis in human history, which is rooted in the same system that is causing the housing crisis. Without resolving the climate crisis, all the social crises, including the housing crisis, will only get worse – whether due to the increase in extreme weather events and temperatures, or the failure of the food systems, which have already resulted in deaths and worsening living conditions for those who are already the most vulnerable in this system and have contributed the least to these same crises. These are the phenomena that have also claimed homes all over the world, causing millions of climate refugees to migrate, forced to leave their lives behind in search of the right to live in other regions of the planet.

On the September 30th in Lisbon, thousands of people marched to show that the link between the housing, climate and cost of living crises is unequivocal!

Luxembourg (Luxembourg city)

Today, dozens of activists met in Luxembourg on the Findel airport at 10am and then set off on a demonstration towards the Golf Grand Ducal. There they occupied the entrance and hold a struggle assembly, to come up with a common analysis of the situation, and to launch a process that will enable us to find a way to win.

The Golf Grand Ducal is a perfect example of how the rich get fat off our backs.
This golf course wastes thousands of litres of drinking water and dozens of hectares of land for the benefit of a few rich people. This land could be a forest or an urban farm for the benefit of all.
This golf course has also refused for years to give up a few metres of its land for the construction of a cycle path.

On the September 30th, in Luxembourg activists protested because water, food, electricity, heating, rent and health care must be public goods and not sources of profit.
Because Luxembourg’s plundering of the tax resources of Europe and the global South must stop.
Because the fossil fuel industry must be dismantled and the damage it causes repaired.
Because democracy must be permanent for everyone, in every neighbourhood, in every workplace, right up to the House, in good times and bad.
Billionaire now it’s your time to pay !

Turkey (Istanbul)

In Istanbul, activists from the Climate Justice Coalition Turkey protested in front of the Limak’s luxurious hotel to state that we will not continue to pay the price for all the crime and excesses imposed on us.

Today, energy, food, housing, heating and transportation costs are reflected in our bills at incredible levels, while the profits of these costs are transferred to the coffers of private companies. In order to obtain coal, oil and natural gas, that is, fossil fuels, these companies commit ecocide on an unprecedented scale in history and commit all kinds of injustice acts that violate human rights.

Old women born and raised in Akbelen Forest are beaten by police and gendarmerie when they hug trees to protect the land under which there is a coal mine. While the villagers who enter their homes by showing their ID cards and whose lands are subjected to acid rain due to coal power plants are the primary victims, those living in cities are crushed under high electricity bills, constantly rising fuel prices and rent prices.

Big companies, which have narrowed down the working area of farmers, small fishermen, tradesmen and craftsmen to the point of non-existence, and spread to all areas of life, are growing endlessly, seeking to increase their profitability at our expense, under the guarantee of the government, while the people are being pushed into deep poverty in order for these companies to grow further in the grip of inflation. According to newly announced data, the 500 largest industrial enterprises in Turkey increased their profitability by 96 percent, that is, they added money to their coffers from the public’s pocket and ignored the right to live in a healthy environment and the responsibility to protect nature.

The climate crisis, caused by the temperature increase triggered by the human species using fossil fuels, is now causing unprecedented destruction in our country and the world. While fire and flood disasters hit one after another, the drought caused by the inability to produce agricultural products, combined with the fierce profit ambition of companies, has today reached a level that threatens the survival of humanity. While the situation is obvious, no precautions have been taken to stop this downward spiral, and on the contrary, policies are being followed to completely destroy living resources and only increase company profits. The existence of humans and nature is ignored, and huge, excessive and incredible costs are placed on the people to hold on to life.

It is time to stop this vicious circle. It is enough. We cannot bear paying these unfair prices any longer. It is time to start a social movement, unlike many institutions, governments and political parties that refuse to take responsibility before history.

Greece (Thessaloniki)

Today, an open forum-discussion was held at Agia Sophia pedestrian street on the topic “Who are responsible for the multiple crises we face today? Who should pay?”. The forum was organised by Fridays For Future Thessaloniki as part of the “Their Time to Pay” movement.

More information about each protest and demands:

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