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Greta Thunberg, the world green idol has a fan club in France

Greta with Leonardo Dicaprio or Arnold Schwarzenegger. Greta to the National Assembly. Greta takes the boat to New York, Greta shot Trump and stared at the planet with her speech at the UN. All this in the mess, without forgetting: Greta refuses a price for the environment. Media frenzy is the tree that hides the forest. Namely his participation in the global strikes of “Fridays for future”. Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish girl with Asperger Syndrome, is simply everywhere. In autumn 2018 in front of the Stockholm Parliament, the girl is at the origin of the youth strikes that spread each Friday around the world gathering up to 7.5 million people according to the organizers.

She quickly became the mouthpiece for millions of teenagers struggling against climate change, and a target of choice and gratuitous violence for her opponents. “Greta has allowed young French people to identify themselves,” says Hugo Viel, one of the founding members of the French Youth for Climate movement, which for the majority of participants is their first commitment, thanks to the aura of Greta and “Another participant remembers the” strong curiosity of both protesters and the media about Greta Thunberg during the demonstrations. “It was between a crowd that sees Nathalie Portman pass in the street and a curiosity in front of a beast of fair.

No ambition to control the movement

However, the young Swede, long favorite bookmakers for the Nobel Peace Prize, would not be a leader, not having the ambition “Greta does not want to impose his vision of things to those who are mobilized “What does it mean for a horizontal movement to reproduce classic hierarchical patterns?” Sign of this multilateralism, during her visit to New York, the Swedish activist took advantage of his platform to announce a complaint with 15 other children to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. In the five target countries is France.

Iris Duquesne, 16, is the French girl who is part of the collective and shares the poster with her model that she met in September for the first time at the United Nations platform. “She represents youth who are fed up with not being listened to while keeping calm and talking clearly, Greta is not afraid to do the things she just thinks and to fight for that.” Moreover, she finds “outrageous criticism, often below the belt, of which she is the object in France.” People tend to forget that she is human and only 16 years old. is not meant to find simple solutions to the problems of the whole world. “

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“Topics at the top of the pile”

At the initiative of his speech in the National Assembly, the former LREM deputy Matthieu Orphelin is also dithyrambic: “Greta Thunberg allows us to talk about the climate.” With his coming to the Assembly, there was a cover three times more than for opening an annual climate conference, it puts its subjects at the top of the pile and gives them a major impact. “

When did a speech by Greta Thunberg in the Chamber, which had to be content with an adjoining room in the Assembly? “It's almost impossible to achieve,” says Matthieu Orphelin, “Since the beginning of the five-year term, there must have been only the President of the Court of Auditors and Justin Trudeau …”

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Still, despite a growing influence in France, the movement of youth strikes seems to decline in France, unlike the global dynamics. One of the organizers confesses “to have had an impact in the political life to be able to last”. Iris Duquesne explains this growing disinterest by a negative campaign around their gatherings. “We have to stop people from thinking that we are being manipulated.” And Friday's strikes seem to be rivaled by the rise of the Extinction Rebellion movement, which had multiplied its punching demonstrations in early October. A member who left the strike movement notes, disappointed, that “some Greta supporters have also become fans of Extinction Rebellion”.

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