13:12 Police moves closer to the tripods at the edge of the forest. Several activists sitting under the tripod, singing.
12:58 Lorien: Climbing-police and RWE on their way to the monopod. Will probably be evicted soon.
12:28 Hundreds of police officers, are preventing people from entering the forest
12:15 Three ambulances and two emergency doctors driving towards the forest, sirens on.
12:12 The Harvester has been drawn back, there is now more press present. The monpod is still shaking.
11:50 A harvester is working close to a tripod, from which a person is hanging in a traverse. RWE putting more lifes in danger!
11:30 Police are violently forcing people towards the Punkpod and further into the forest
11:24 More “groups of hundred” cops are arriving, alongside officers on horses.
11:19 Police is pushing and beating the blockade. People screaming.
10:59 Another last offer from the police. Police threatens with arrests and biometric controls (fingerprints, photos, …)
Noch eine letzte Aufforderung der Polizei. Es wird mit Verhaftung und ED-Behandlung gedroht.
10:46 „Last offer“from the police, to leave the road. (Live)
10:35 Another hundred cops reach Lorien.
10:30 Sitting-blockadeat Lorien is being violently evicted by the police.
8:00 The weather is turning. Strong wind, rain, and a quick cooling is being reported. We need your support now! Sleepingbags, tarps, jackets, to be able to stay resistant!
20:00 In Aachen, 2,000 people are at a commemorative vigil with ensuing demonstration for the Hambi (10:00 pm – new estimate: 2,500 people)
18:22 In front of the tree house Lump in Cozytown, a lighting system is being set up again.
17:30 Meanwhile, a van is standing under the tree house Lump (Cosytown).
17:30 From the Buir station, people are streaming towards the forest.
17:18 We just got the information that the police in Beechtown said they would arrest everyone with a climbing harness.
16:00 At Lorien, barricades are removed, allegedly for “escape routes”, although police block all escape routes with their vehicles.
15:45 Police acts again violently against peaceful people in the forest.
15:34 People on the ground are being chased and arrested by police at Beechtown. No “rest for 24 hours”.
15:31 Allegedly, 3 parliamentary observers negotiated with the police at Lorien. They’re retreating now.
15:08 Sit-in and police cordon face each others in front of Lorien.
15:00 About 40 people in a sit-in, police tanks moved away. Police removes barricades, puts on helmets.
14:49 Barricades in Lorien are removed, despite the “day of rest”.
14:42 Two activists are carried away by police.
13:44 People are controlled when entering the forest.
13:31 People bring flowers and candles to the place where the person died yesterday.
09:45 Minister of the Interior Herbert Reul (CDU) urges the tree occupiers to leave the trees voluntarily.
September 19th more…
(Statement from one person in the forest, not from the whole movement.)
Throughout a history of relentless and brutal police interventions, those occupying Hambacher Wald in opposition to RWE’s ecological devastation and structural violence, have been forced to seek recourse in even more inventive methods of non-violent resistance, often putting their own safety at risk.
Over the years many of us have been physically violated, persecuted and put in jail for defending life in Hambacher Wald and beyond. Incessantly the police has chased us down – in this fatal instance in a tragically literal sense.
Even if no direct causation can be established between police activities and Stefan’s lethal fall, throughout the current police operation a series of life-threatening interventions have been observed, such as the cutting of traverserses with people in them and – Germany, what?! – the emission of carbon monoxide in a subterranean chamber.
How many more broken bones do we need, how many more fatalities, until we will collectively open our eyes to the reality of police violence, to the role of the police in perpetuating mass-destructive corporations structural violence and to the police’s institutional function of protecting the interests of the wealthy to the detriment of the oppressed?
The sudden death of Stefan has not altered our initial motivations for being here. However shamelessly the police may proceed to evict the Hambacher Wald occupation, we shall not flinch, we shall not surrender – we are here, and if we must, we will come back.
For the forest and for Stefan.
On Wednesday afternoon about 3:45 pm, the movement journalist, blogger and activist Steffen Horst Meyn, died in the tree house village Beechtown in Hambach Forest. He crashed while attempting to document an ongoing eviction action by the Special Task Force of Police (SEK), from a suspension bridge from about 20 m height. Rescue workers on the ground tried to resuscitate him. According to our information, however, he died a little later, still in the forest, in a rescue helicopter.
We are shocked and stunned by this tragic event. We deeply sympathize with the family and friends of the deceased and hope that they will get the privacy and peace they most likely need in their situation. For many of us, too, he was a friend whose loss we do not really understand. Especially the people in Beechtown who, after weeks of stress due to the eviction, now had to experience this terrible accident, we wish a lot of strength and peace.
After all the information that we at the press office of Hambach Forest have been able to gather so far, it is clearly a tragic accident.
It would have been a worthy handling in our eyes if all sides would keep a low profile for the time being. On this day, in a reaction of the Interior Ministry and the police, the voluntary exit of tree houses was required. In this situation we consider that as an absolutely inappropriate strategic use of the death.
In the communication about the occupation, and now also about the accident, the government of North Rhine-Westphalia and the police also fall back upon false reports. Actually, we would have wished we had not yet to speak on a political level about the accident. Unfortunately, after the spread of untruths and the disrespectful attempt to instrumentalise Steffen’s tragic death, we now see ourselves forced to make a few corrections.
1. At the time of the accident, local police and evacuation forces were deployed in Beechtown. We are linking here corresponding footage and photo material. (Trigger warning: https://bit.ly/2xyVOy5) It is incomprehensible to us how the police can claim the opposite.
2. In six years of almost uninterrupted tree house occupancy, this is the first and only comparable case. For six and a half years, the treetops were inhabited, people climbed daily up and down and moved between the trees without a comparable case having occurred so far. That the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the police and RWE are now trying to exploit this tragic accident in order to justify the alleged necessity of this violent eviction, we consider unworthy and a mockery of those affected.
3. The question that accompanies us all these days is the question of ‘why?’. For weeks, the Hambach Forest has been besieged to get to the underlying lignite. It is no coincidence, in our view, that this first fatal accident in the history of occupations took place right now, during the eviction.
Everyone in the occupations stood for several weeks under constant stress because of an eviction campaign, which was beaten through at an insane pace. Constant noise from expulsion and clearing, day and night floodlights and flashing blue lights, massive police presence on the ground, sonication with barking dogs and recordings of chainsaw noises, as well as the news about the repeatedly life-threatening approach of the task forces, leave physical and mental traces in all involved. Insomnia, stress and over-stimulation are poisonous for the attention and tranquility essential for safe tree climbing.
According to our information, there is no direct connection with the acute local police action at the time of the accident. But we know first-hand that the deceased only climbed into the trees because he was permanently prevented by the police from doing his press work on the ground.
“ After the press was often restricted in their work during the last few days in the Hambach Forest, I am now 25m up on Beechtown to document the evacuation work. There is no barrier tape up here.” (https://bit.ly/2MPh6NB)
Also the government of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the police and RWE should also take a deep breath these days and reflect. The attempt to blame alleged safety deficiencies in the constructions is a transparent strategy in this situation and absolutely inappropriate.
What we need now is peace for the necessary mourning. It is not enough to suspend the concrete expulsions until further notice. The night after the accident, Beechtown was still lit with a floodlight system and sonicated with barking dogs. The forest is still full of police forces that we only experienced as aggressors in recent weeks and years. The lifting platforms, eviction tanks, water cannons and chainsaws are still in the forest and waiting for their use. This is not a considerate pause.
What is needed now is an immediate withdrawal of the police units and a stop to the expulsions and felling. The forest and the people need rest to handle this accident. In addition, the police should fundamentally reconsider their deployment strategy and the manic pace of eviction.
There have been too many incidents in recent weeks that have put the health and lives of activists at risk. The freedom of the press was massively restricted during the whole mission. Safety-relevant material such as climbing ropes, climbing harnesses and fire extinguishers were systematically seized or destroyed in large quantities. And of the people in the trees was expected a mental, emotional and physical burden by this massive presence, which is not reasonable for safe climbing nor for the processing of a death.
All this has to stop. Therefore, we demand an immediate total calling off of the operation and the release of all prisoners.
Mr. Weinspach and Mr. Reul: Let us grieve in peace.
After the terrible accident that occurred during the evictions, commemorative events will take place today in different places.
From various sources (especially social media, e-mail) we know about these events:
Berlin, until 2 o’clock, Friedrichstraße 95: Memorial vigil in memory
Thu, September 20
Nuremberg, 6 pm, at the Lorenzkirche
Berlin, 6 pm, Hiroshimastraße 12: Memorial vigil in memory
Essen, from the morning, Hauptbahnhof exit Freiheit at the monument “Steile Lager”: vigil
Jena, 20:00, in front of the Stadtkirche (city church): memorial in remembrance
Aachen, 18:00, in front of the city hall: silent commemoration of the journalist killed in the Hambach Forest
Amsterdam, 20:00, in front of the german consulat
A friend who has accompanied us as a journalist for a long time in the forest, fell today from a suspension bridge over 20 meters high in Beechtown and died. At that time police and RWE tried to evict the tree house village. The SEK was in the process of arresting an activist near the suspension bridge. Our friend was apparently on the way there when he fell.
We are deeply shaken. All our thoughts and desires are with him. Our compassion goes to all the relatives, friends and people who feel concerned.
We urge the police and RWE to leave the forest immediately and stop this dangerous operation. No further lives may be endangered.
What is needed now is a moment of rest.
Even if this is difficult for you at the moment, just as it is difficult for us to give such a factual hint: We recommend, in order to protect all activists, do not give any statements, nor even make any testimonies at the police. The accident must and will be reappraised, but the police are not the place to do that. Their interest is to blame activists.
Every person has a right to experience nature, see the trees, feel the leaf-covered ground under their feet, and hear the calm ambiance of the forest. However, in the 12,000 year old Hambach Forest, the police are making it hard for nature-lovers young and old, to do so.
The whole area in and around the Hambach forest has been officially declared as a “danger-zone”, giving the forces of the state the right to ID-control and search every person entering the area, and some people have been forced to leave the area “prohibited to return” for up to several months. more…
EVICTION IN THE EAST AND THE WEST, SOLIDARITY CONCERT IN FRONT OF THE FOREST
With tired eyes we are writing the press-announcement for the day. Since morning the eviction of the treehouse-village. With four cherry-pickers the police attempted to bring down the people from the traverses and tree-houses, but through lock-ons, the good and motivated mood of the activists and the supporters, four treehouses stayed occupied and undestroyed. The eviction and Gallien has been going for two days, and the police still has a lot to do, to completely remove the activists.
The activists remain resistant! That was also apparent in Oaktown: one climate-justice warrior keeps Oaktown alive. Lying in his hammock, only equipped with a bag full of books, he managed not to give in to the police forces. In stead, the police, at least for now, seem to have given up, bringing him down from the tree.
In the Westside of the occupation, the eviction notice was read out loud for the second time, and the eviction begun. Through several sitting-blockades and newly erected barricades, activists (including people from Aktion Unterholz) delayed and complicated the eviction.
RWE begun cutting a path to the trees around Beechtown in the Westside. As people loudly yelled “stop it!”, a moment came, where the machines actually stopped.
Maybe employees of RWE have begun thinking about their actions inside the 12,000 year old Hambach
In Cozy-town the mood of the activists in the trees is holding up, despite the violent destruction in the forest. Singing they showed their opposition to RWE and the police, and were forced to experience the destruction of their home, and the kidnapping of their comrades. Here the eviction is drawing into the night, as police has put up spotlights around the occupation. Four tree-houses here are still occupied.
A cello-player also loud and clearly showed their solidarity with the occupiers of the Hambach forest. Playing a symphony from Bach, she was a wonderful example of the movements diversity. Only through the support from all edges, the eviction was possible to delay.
Also our punk supporters came numerous to the forest. With a solidarity-concert from punk-bands Zen Mob and Mülheim Asozial, and singer-songwriter Conny, they made their feelings about environmental-destruction and climate-justice clear. “Beer against diggers, beer against Germany, beer against diggers and Germany!” blasted through to the otherwise calm evening-atmosphere on the Meadow.
We want to make another thing clear: Even though the situation may seem calmer in the media, the insane eviction is violently continuing!
Police made sure that press-speakers were continually being kept away from the crime-scenes of RWE, but nonetheless all day more people are arriving, who are no longer willing to see the eco-terrorism of RWE and interior-minister of NRW Herbert Reul (CDU). Your presence and support gives the activists in the trees new power, motivation and courage, to continue in the common struggle for climate-justice here and now!
Thanks to the strong atmosphere of the solidarity-concert tonight, we are ready for the next days, ready to continue opposing RWE and the police, and continue drawing a clear line for the people on the outside: Hambi stays, today and forever!
Come by, bring all your friends and comrades! Show your solidarity with the Hambach Forest! #hambibleibt
Activists on the treehouse Nonames near Gallia have given a press conference
Despite the massive restriction of the “freedom of the press” by police in the Hambach Forest one (and only one!) press team actually managed to hear and record the statement from the activists. Here you find the link to the video! Unfortunately it is in German.
Today (monday) at 12h a second press conference will take place at the same tree house! So come by and don’t let the police keep you away from doing your important job!