Last Generation: “We don’t want to please everyone, but to make people think about the environmental crisis”

ANDco-stars, terrorists, climate Taliban: online and in mainstream newspapers, the nicknames for activists Last generation are wasted. A stubbornly blind approach to the issues they bring to the table. Because if we don’t stop it in time, the environmental collapse will cause deep social and political crises, and everything we take for granted today – water and food first and foremost – will no longer be taken for granted. We had a chat with a representative of the movement, Delfina, to try to understand how to move souls and consciousnesses

Just type “Last Generation” into the Google bar to understand how much hatred and derision the actions of the Ultima Generation are drawing. However, the washable paint with which they smeared some monuments, as well as the coals poured into the Trevi Fountain, did not cause any damage. Just a nuisance. Yes, the disorder. According to the Treccani dictionary, in scientific and technical language disorder is “disruption of the normal course of a phenomenon, the normal operation of a device or machine”.

The actions of the Last Generation aim to block the engine that led us to be blind and deaf to the Earth’s cry for help and that today leads us to read with a casual, almost discomforting, real, disobedient activism

Everyone is good at calling themselves activists on social media, but who has the guts to chain naked people to a road blocking traffic, throw mud at them at a demonstration, or spray paint on a monument, risking a vandalism report? For these and many other reasons, the activism of the Last Generation should not only be respected, but also supported.

UG's action at the Trevi Fountain
UG’s action at the Trevi Fountain

Delfina, can you tell us how the movement was born? How long have you been a part of it?

I have been a part of it since its inception in 2021 and I am also active Extinction Rebellion, the movement from which Ultima Generazione emerged. UG was born as a movement of people who are genuinely concerned about the inaction of governments – of all political colors – to respect the commitments made during international treaties – such as the Paris Treaty – to protect the environment. These are constantly broken promises and agreements that will lead in the medium term to social and political imbalances dictated by water crises and food shortages. I’m not saying that, science is. Why remain aware that we are heading towards all this without doing anything to reverse the trend?

How is Ultima Generazione trying to reverse this trend?

Ultima Generazione wants to spread the message that we can rebel against the feeling of powerlessness we feel in the face of political inaction. If we want to, we can regain power and control over our lives. To do this we asked ourselves what, historically, created significant changes in our society. Consider divorce or abortion. Well, it was the demonstrations, the non-violent actions, the active participation of the people. We organize actions that are so disturbing and disturbing that they cannot be ignored. We go back to what has historically worked best. Collecting signatures and petitions is not working: we must act now. And if we organize collectively, we are likely to put pressure on something higher than us to change.

UG action in Rome
UG action in Rome

Your actions are often harshly criticized. Desecrating monuments rooted in Italian identity or blocking the road for those going to work can cause understandable resentment. How do you respond to those who criticize and insult you?

Many call us terrorists. To them we say: and who undermines the conditions for the survival of the human race, what is he? Today we are still few, but what we do is on everyone’s lips.

That’s exactly what our actions are all about: to get people talking about what we do

Some people have neither the space nor the time to think about climate change. We make people aware of climate collapse. We want to burst bubbles, open niches, bring the conversation to everyone’s tables, all over Italy. Unfortunately, people will soon see the effects of the environmental crisis first hand: we have already seen it in Emilia Romagna. I am very afraid:

It is estimated that by 2030, 47% of the world’s population will not have access to water. It’s more than a worrying scenario: it’s terrifying

How do you organize your actions?

Behind every act there is a lot of commitment and work, especially work for ourselves. Embracing nonviolence also means knowing how to remain dispassionate when receiving insults, threats, and even violent acts. How can you stay in the conflict without being part of it? That’s what we’re wondering. We do a lot of simulations to get used to tolerating, not reacting. With one caveat: we’re not here to please everyone, we’re here to make people think and call for action.

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