Climate activism is not a crime

Eighteen activists were in custody – after having prevented with their bodies bucket-wheel excavators in Lusatia (East Germany) from continuing to dig lignite. Nine have now disclosed their personal details and are set free, 9 others are still imprisoned. Every bit of lignite that we extract and burn makes it less likely that we will stay below the 1.5 °C target. Every bit of lignite we can block from being burnt makes it more likely that we will still be able to sustain our livelihood and eventually create a good life for all.

In recent weeks, a completely inadequate date has been presented for the German phase out from coal. To burn lignite until 2038 is like a death sentence for a habitable earth. People throughout Germany showed with colorful, determined protests that this outrageous result of the coal commission is not a consensus. In the course of this, Ende-Gelände activists occupied on Monday several excavators in the Lusatian lignite mining district. The judiciary machine in the federal state of Brandenburg has now ordered pre-trial detention for the eighteen activists who decided not to disclose their personal details.

To order pre-trial detention for the charge of trespassing is completely disproportionate, commented the activist’s lawyer. In fact, there has never been pre-trial detention for trespassing before.

What this arbitrariness should show us, however, is clear: The government will try – against the will of the population – to enforce violently the profit interests of the big companies.

Those who continue to advocate climate justice and understand the urgency of acting as such, await criminalization and repression.

However, it also shows us once more that we must act ourselves. From the government’s side, we only expect billions of presents for those who caused the climate crisis and repressions for those affected by them and try to prevent them.

Let us understand these intimidation attempts as a call for a climate rebellion from below! With each passing day, it becomes more urgent that we defend our living space against profit-driven growth craze. We will always encounter repression when we offer effective resistance. But together we can face them with anger and determination, rather than helplessness and fear. Now is the time to plan, organize, strike and block, make known our displeasure and make it clear that it can not go on as it does!

The idea of being imprisoned is terrible. But for many the prospect of a climate crisis that makes life on this earth impossible is even worse.

It is time to act.

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