In August 2021, seven young people set up camp in the government district of Berlin. On Monday, August 30th, 2021, they went on an indefinite hunger strike.

Their demand before the federal elections in Germany was to have a public discussion about the climate emergency with all three chancellor candidates: Annalena Baerbock, Robert Habeck and Olaf Scholz. In addition, citizens' councils should be set up to decide on immediate measures against the climate catastrophe.

If an analysis of the electoral system said “[t]he target paths of all parties lead to a clear exceeding of this budget [of the IPCC]. Hence our assessment: there is no option for climate justice.” In August 2021, what choice was left but to sound the alarm as clearly as possible?

To bring the climate emergency into focus, the hunger strikers have popped up time and time again at campaign speeches by top candidates to confront them with their strike and their demands.

Timo Knorr

After 20 to 24 days of hunger strikes and three hospital stays, all but two people ended their hunger strikes.

Lea Bonasera and Henning Jeschke personally addressed Olaf Scholz – at that point the likely winner of the election – and, after 27 days without food and a 7-hour thirst strike, they finally achieved his commitment to a public discussion about the climate emergency.

Some photographs taken by Stefan Müller.