PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT 13.09.18

LARGE AMOUNTS OF POLICE AT HAMBI, TREEHOUSE EVICTION EXPECTED

This morning marks the first day, in what may be the largest police action in the history of the state of Northrhine-Westphalia. In the early hours of the day, an several hundred police officers arrived at the entrance to the Hambach forest. This follows information already shared in German national media, that the violent eviction of the Hambacher Forest occupation is to be continued today.
Here, for the 6th year in a row, activists from all over Germany and Europe have occupied the forest, in an attempt to stop the cutting of the 12,000 year old forest for the continued expansion of energy-giant RWEs lignite coal-mine, one of Europe’s largest sources of greenhousegas-emissions.

Allegedly the official reasoning for the eviction, is an “imminent fire-danger” and a lack of proper fire extinguishers. The ridiculous reasoning behind the eviction (fire extinguishers ironically having been confiscated from the occupation in the last weeks), follows the absurd excuse of “tidying up the forest” for the previous eviction of ground structures, and the brutal state-violence in their self-declared “danger-zone”.

This being the state of things, we are expecting police forces to begin evicting the over 50 treehouses currently in the occupation. This would entail the destruction of large amounts of underwood and trees, in order to bring in heavy machinery, thus breaking the formerly announced “cutting-stop” supposed to last until the 14th of October. This will not only be an attack on the unique ecosystems of the Hambach Forest, and the autonomous living spaces inside the occupation, but will most likely also, as the last weeks have clearly shown, include brutal police violence and repression towards climate-justice activists, supporters, as well as members of national and international press.

The deployment of highly militarized police forces by the state of NRW to shut down the largest movement for nature preservation and climate-justice in Germany, is the strongest in a long line of examples showing the violence of the German police-state against legitimate civil protest in the Rheinland brown-coal area.
Responsible for this attack on political dissidence and civil rights is the interior minister of NRW, Herbert Reul (CDU), who is using the tools of the state to protect the interests of energy-giant RWE, and the coal-lobby, clearly showing the corruption inherent in the system of German free-market capitalism.

The eviction of the occupation will most likely be one of the longest in German history, and how it will develop is still very unclear, but if it follows the example of the previous police-actions, a high amount of police-brutality is to be expected.
The repression, however, will not stop the activists from resisting, in peaceful, militant, creative and colourful ways, showing the full spectrum of the movement.

Leila, an activist from the Hambach forest occupation, had this to say:
“The extraction of lignite, and the resulting destruction of local landscapes, nature, and the global environment has to stop, not tomorrow, not the day after, but today! No matter the weapons you point at us, no matter the strength of your forces, and no matter the ‘legitimacy’ of your government, we will keep struggling for a just transition away from fossil fuels, and the extractivist injustice of capitalism. RWE may have the money, but we have the movement!
We will not stop fighting until the forest is safe, the coal-mine is closed, and your system of exploitation is demolished! The Hambach forest stays, today and forever!”

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