When not just one but millions of lives are taken by coal particulates, climate change and repression, even to those proactively resisting those destructive and deadly dynamics those lives seem rather distant as if an important but almost as if a statistic. It is a different matter altogether when that life that perishes is one of one that you have known, shared meals and stood on the front-line with. When our friend, comrade and documentarian lost his life, when the people mostly affected were still processing what has happened the police lines below the Beechtown occupation were being reinforced with barking police dogs, as the affected tree sitters surrounded by an eviction on just what seemed temporary media-gimmick hold were denied access of therapists and counselors. During that time the news drifted in that last company providing the cherry picker lifts was removing their equipment from use in forest evictions, there was also a statement from board of Rhein Energie advisor/Interior Minister of NRW that evictions would now seize. This was as if surreal news in that context as if begging a question of why with hundreds of millions suffering from the effects of coal and its number 1 strongest effect on climate instability and with 10s of millions of premature deaths as conservatively declared by World Health Organization, why does it take a human life to be extinguished so closely to home for corporation and their representing state organs to temporarily withdraw, show contrition and declare the present illusory seize fire. Illusory for as these statements were being made there has been no let down of police presence and intimidation and even arrests. Right after over 20 Hambi prisoners were being released new persons begun to be arrested immediately. To make that point clear that despite what has taken place there would be no stup to the cutting, the evictions and no promised coal exit the point was made clearly especially to the occupant of Beachtown itself by having two tanks drive by and maneuvered back and forth right to point where our comrade has passed where to that point there has been no vehicle accessing the forest.
Once again when so many find so few words how to express what we feel and convey this to others, family members, comrades and supporters it was and is the later that were once again so phenomenal in extending group support, “counseling” and “listening” to those affected with their mere presence, by putting on solemn musical performances and turning the spot of this tragedy into a shrine in memory of one whom is not only missed but whom should not be missed or who should have never lost their life at all for the authorities/corporations to temporarily halt, slow down or at least pretend publicly that they have done as this this globally catastrophic process of combined deforestation and carbon emissions continues and Hambacher Forst continues not only to be a symbol of the climate justice struggle but a habitat and existance facing . Having a presence being taken away also brought it closer to many in and outside of the forest what might have been distant or externalized before, allays seeming to happen in places like Bangladesh, Porto Rico, Philippines or countless other places where extractionist repression kills, destroys and removes the possibility to enjoy stable and livable planet and climate. It is a realization that even one life is too many. One life resonating with all that is also disappearing in front of lives: ecosystems, indigenous communities, stable climate, and our dear, phenomenal and forever with us in our hearts, minds and spirits comrade, artist and activist. Who only recently chose a forest name of “Sun”.
Expressions from one among many of heartfelt sorrow, and solidarity with all who have lost, grieve at this moment for one who in so many way as if continues to be here with his smiles, wit and inseparable camera…