[Ende Gelände] Press Release, May 21, 2016

+++ Ende Gelände demands the release of arrested Ende Gelände activists +++

5/21/2016. The alliance Ende Gelände demands the release of four activists who were arrested in the context of actions during the Pentecost weekend, May 13-15. About 3,500 people had blocked in an action of civil disobedience, the Schwarze Pumpe power plant. The police operation during the mass action was largely de-escalating. However, the Alliance criticizes the disproportionate crackdown on involved individuals and small groups; and unacceptable conditions of detention of activists.

Altogether there are currently four people in custody:

  • The activist “Yu” was arrested Friday night. She is associated with a lock-on action and a pyramid of concrete, which led to the interruption of the coal transportation from the open pit Jänschwalde to the power plant Schwarze Pumpe. She will have to stay in custody until the trial in about 3-4 weeks.
    “Yu” is accused of civil disorder, but she is sitting in custody because of the failure to indicate her identity. However, all other activists in the Ende Gelände action, who had not given their personal information had been released.
  • Two more people were arrested during the eviction of the forest occupation LAUtonomia last Wednesday. They are accused of having been involved in a lock-on action in connection with the Ende Gelände action and to have committed an offense of “dangerous interference with the traffic.” This accusation can lead to 6-month to 10-year prison sentences. Also these two activists will not be released before their trial in 3-4 weeks.
  • Another person was arrested at one of the police checks, which were intensified during the campaign period, and has not been released until today; the reason for this is unknown. They were denied the right to one phone call from prison. So they had been missing for two days.

During the action, there were a total of five blockades at different locations of the railway network around the power plant Schwarze Pumpe. The lock-on actions and concrete pyramids were key parts of the action of civil disobedience against the coal power. They did not endanger people nor destroyed any coal infrastructure, according thus to the the action consensus of Ende Gelände.

Insa Vries of Ende Gelände comments: “Who is detained for an action in the context of Ende Gelände, concerns us all. Only together we have managed to block the power plant so that it was forced to significantly reduce its output – and thus we prevented the emission of 16,000 tons of CO₂ into the atmosphere. We will not allow them to criminalize us – given the massive threat of climate change, our resistance is not only legitimate but indispensable.”

During the action, about 120 people were taken into custody. Mostly the arrested people were not allowed over 12 hours to execute their legally securitised rights as phone calls, eating and visits to the toilet. 25 activists were detained overnight in a 15 square meters small cell. “Fundamental rights to food, toileting and legal counsel apply to all people and must be granted also in custody. The fact that police denied these basic rights to detained persons, is frightening,” Insa Vries said.

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