Graz/Raaba, 31 January – From 9 a.m. until the early afternoon, approximately 150 activists of System Change, not Climate Change! brought the production of the automotive supplier Magna to a halt by blocking the gateways of its plant in the southeast of Graz, Austria. The action was part of the #BlockMagna campaign. The activists are calling for a radical turnaround in transport policy and a just transition in the automotive industry.
“Today, climate justice was negotiated on the streets. In times of climate crisis, which continues to escalate, we have taken the transport transition into our own hands. With our bodies, we successfully stopped the climate killer company from producing “, Klara Radinger of System Change! said.
Activists criticize the attitude of the police. Wristlocks were used and journalists were prevented from their work.
Transport is responsible for one third of CO2 emissions in Austria and at the same time has many negative effects on the quality of life on a local scale. A comprehensive social change regarding transport is not only urgently needed, but also an important step towards a fairer future, in which a good life for all is put above the profit maximisation for a few, the activists argued.
The activists criticize that Magna repeatedly evades responsibility towards its employees and society. The corporation produces particularly expensive, large and therefore especially destructive new vehicles. In the first half of 2019 alone, more than 88,000 luxury cars for BMW, Mercedes and others were manufactured in the Graz plant. Magna even wanted to evade minimal political measures such as a CO2 tax and threatened to relocate its production site – accepting the dismissal of thousands of employees.
“Instead of producing increasingly big, dangerous and power/fuel-guzzling cars for the profits of a few, corporations like Magna must be organised democratically: Employees and the population should decide, what and how such giant corporations produce”, Monika Berger of System Change! suggests.
The action was the start of the “bottom-up transport transition” campaign of System Change, not Climate Change!.