Communication with the Hambach Forest Occupation can sometimes be difficult. Especially if you have never been here and don’t know what the structures are like, it can be frustrating. So here are some communication tips, and to make things a bit more transparent.
The Hambi email address (hambacherforst(a)riseup.net) is managed by multiple people who try to read and answer emails as regularly as possible. Please don’t be surprised if it takes a few days until you hear back. It’s also possible that you might never receive an answer, if, for example, the person you are writing to doesn’t have the capacity to answer, or if the person reading your email doesn’t know the answer to your question.
From the Internet to the Meadow
The internet on the meadow is very slow, and sometimes there can be a few days where we have no internet at all. This is why people who aren’t in the tree occupations take care of answering emails and updating the blog, when they have better internet access. If you want to get in touch quickly with the meadow- and forest-occupations, it’s better to call. Don’t be surprised though if the person who you’re talking to on the meadow has no idea that you’ve recently wrote an email.
So what to do if you need a quick answer, or if it’s been more than two weeks that you haven’t heard back? It’s best to just call the meadow occupation (0157 81008614) or the forest occupation (0178 163 7325) directly. Sometimes you have to be a bit persistent 🙂 Because cell service on the meadow is often bad, and sometimes no one even has the phone on them. Just think of it like calling the landline of friendly apartment — you never know who’s going to pick up, and sometimes no one’s home! Different people have the phone at different times, and there are many people here, and we’re not always discussing who called and what they said. So please don’t be worried if the person you’re talking to doesn’t know that you called half an hour ago and what you discussed with someone else.
Arrangements often work better if you look for a fixed contact person for your requests, especially if you want to come and do journalist interviews here.
Security on the Phone
Don’t be surprised when people answer the phone without using names. This serves the same purpose as using nicknames/chosen names: protection from surveillance and repression. In this same vein, please only use ONE of a person’s names during a given phone call, and especially don’t use a person’s nickname/chosen name and their legal name in the same sentence. You can be sure that at least the metadata from the phone call (which number is calling and how long the call lasted) is being monitored. Also be extra careful what you discuss via the meadow phone.
You are always welcome to come visit us! Spontaneously or by giving us a heads-up, either way. You don’t have to bring anything with you. You can usually find a caravan with a place to sleep and a sleeping bag. But if you would like your privacy or have certain hygienic standards then it’s best to bring your own tent and sleeping bag.
But please remember this: for some people, Hambi is their home. And you know just as well that sometimes all you want at home is to rest. So please don’t take it personally if some people aren’t so friendly at first.
For email encryption
It’s great when people want to use encrypted mail. But since you can only really safely hand over your key in person via USB, not everyone who is answering emails can read the encrypted ones. Therefore, it’s possible that you’ll get responses to encrypted emails late, or in the worst case scenario, not even at all. Especially if your email is for a specific person.
“Why are you not better organized?”
Occupying forests is really a full-time, exhausting job. Daily tasks need to be done: picking up drinking water, cooking, going dumpster diving, doing various building projects, etc. In addition to this, public relations work needs to be done, like info presentations, and anti-repression work, including preparing for court cases and supporting those in jail. In addition, life here can be unpredictable. On the one hand we have the weather (when we build things is directly dependent upon the weather), and on the other hand there’s the police and RWE. It can be quiet for weeks, and then RWE suddenly starts to do forest work or the police suddenly begin one of their operations. In addition, the occupation fluctuates a lot: every week people come and go. Of course, some are here consistently. But it’s not a fixed, tight group. And the people who check the email account or answer the meadow phone do so voluntarily and must of course be mindful of their own personal capacities.
So please don’t take offense if sometimes it’s hard to reach us. Because despite everything, it’s really worthwhile to look past all this and stay in touch. 😉