Climate protesters wrap Swedish parliament in giant red scarf

AFP , Sunday 21 Apr 2024

An AFP journalist observed that several hundred women surrounded Sweden's parliament with a giant knitted red scarf on Sunday to protest political inaction over global warming.

Sweden s women
Women with red scarves and placards gather at Sergels Torg Square, Stockholm, Sweden, on April 21, 2024. AFP


Responding to a call from the Mothers Rebellion movement, the women marched around the Riksdag with the scarf made of 3,000 smaller scarves, urging politicians to honor a commitment to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (34.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

"I am here for my child Dinalo and all the kids. I am angry and sad that politicians in Sweden are acting against the climate," Katarina Utne, 41, a mother of a four-year-old and human resources coach, told AFP.

The women unfurled their scarves and marched for several hundred meters, singing and holding placards calling to "save the climate for the children's future".

"The previous government was acting too slowly. The current government is going in the wrong direction regarding climate policy," said psychologist Sara Nilsson Loov, referring to a recent report on Swedish climate policy.

The government, led by the conservative Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and supported by the far-right Sweden Democrats, is in danger of failing to meet its 2030 climate targets, an agency tasked with evaluating climate policy recently reported.

According to the Swedish Climate Policy Council, the government has made financial decisions, that will increase greenhouse gas emissions in the short term.

"Ordinary people have to step up. Sweden is not the worst country but has been better previously," 67-year-old pensioner Charlotte Bellander said.

The global movement, Mothers Rebellion, was established by a group of mothers in Sweden, Germany, the USA, Zambia, and Uganda.

It organizes peaceful movements in public spaces by sitting and singing but does not engage in civil disobedience, unlike the Extinction Rebellion movement from which some of its organizers came.

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