Europe on the ground


“Silent march against racism” and conservation work in the Buddenhagen marshland

„Racism kills”: This was the motto of a silent protest march I took part in in Stralsund last weekend. The march, organized by Tutmonde e.V. (an organisation of migrants in Stralsund), Fridays For Future Stralsund and the local youth organisation of the Greens in Stralsund led from the “Neuer Markt” through the old town to the “Alter Markt”.

It was almost two years ago that ten people were killed in Hanau in a racist attack. The perpetrator had been allowed to legally possess weapons, despite his psychological disorders, which were known to the authorities. On the internet and through his environment, he had become increasingly radicalized.

The attack has shown us once again that not only racism itself can be deadly, but also a situation in which authorities and society turn a blind eye. The Hanau attack is only one example of many senseless and cruel acts of violence and hatred from the right. I was glad that so many people joined this commemorative march and took a stance against racism.

Visit to the Ozeaneum

Following the march, I visited the Ozeaneum in Stralsund. It is always a great pleasure to experience the hustle and bustle under water and to explore the new exhibitions. The “1:1 Giants of the Seas” exhibition particularly impressed me this time.

Conservation work in the Buddenhagen marshland

Finally, on Saturday, I went to the Buddenhagener marshland to do some conservation work. Peatlands have always been particularly close to my heart: thanks to their enormous CO2 storage capacities, they make an important contribution to climate protection, and – given that many rare animal and plant species live there – also to biodiversity. As part of the “Green Encounters,” organized by the Dauerwaldstiftung (a foundation for the protection of forests), we went down to our ankles in the bog water to prune birch and pine trees. Forester Eckhard Wenzlaff explained to us that it is precisely these plants that draw water from the marshlands. So in this case, removing trees means protecting the environment!

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