Press Release 09/13/2018

MASS EVICTION OF FOREST OCCUPATION, LARGE SOLIDARITY PROTESTS

Today the struggle for the Hambacher Forst reached a long awaited climax.

Early in the morning the police gathered its forces from all over the state, and alongside Special Deployment Commando (SEK, German SWAT teams), several eviction-tanks, water-canons, climbing-officers, and technical units, started preparing for their biggest escalation so far, the continuation of eviction of the climate-justice occupation camp in the 12,000 year old forest.
It was clear from the beginning, as information had also reached us the day before, that the early hours would bring with it the deployment of the largest police action in the history of the state of NRW.

Entering the forest from the Secu-road at the eastern entrance, by the Deathtrap/Lollipop occupation, the police had to first evict a sitting blockade of catholic pilgrims, before they could even begin the eviction of the first barricade, which, once begun, took several hours. After having arrested the occupiers of the first barricades, a tripod and a monopod, and violently attacking a protester, they were able to continue with the eviction of the two treehouses at the entrance, Deathtrap and Lollipop. Shortly after the break of noon, the police entered at the northernmost occupation, fittingly named The North, and began evicting people from hammocks, as well as treehouses. The eviction continued through the day, with police being strongly present in all parts of the occupied forest.

In protest of the eviction of the forest occupation, the violent escalation of the police, and the cutting of the forest, despite the formerly announced cutting-stop supposed to last until October 14th, a demonstration of 1600 people walked from the nearby village of Buir towards the forest. A wide spectrum of people, from all over the region, children as well as seniors, showed a strong sign of solidarity with the campaign for the preservation of the forest, and the climate-justice occupation camp. As the demonstration reached the Mahnwache, a smaller protest “headquarters”, the police forbade it to continue. Despite the orders of the police, the demonstration continued to walk towards the Meadowcamp outside the forest, where a group of around a hundred people, in support of the civil disobedience campaign Aktion Unterholz, broke through police lines and entered the forest, in order to block police and RWE equipment, and spread out their ressources.

Despite the eviction of encampments in the occupied forest, the arrest of several activists, and the destruction of parts of the unique eco-system in the forest, the message of the day was as clear as a bonfire in the night: the movement is strong, will keep struggling against the injustice of the state of NRW and energy-giant RWE, and will definitely continue acting for climate justice in the Rheinish lignite-mining area, and all over Germany!

Press release – 09/06/2018

Evictions going on, Day X was proclaimed

Today, the state police of NRW continued the destructive preparation(destroying of soil structures and barricades) of the forest for the upcoming evictions. The police stormed the forest at 8 am in order to cut walking ropes and bridges between trees and to isolate tree houses this way.

In the subsequent attempt to destroy the stilt construction “Simona”, a hazel tree was felled by RWE workers in the middle of “Oaktown”.

In reaction to the felling of the first tree, the Action Alliance proclaimed “Day X”, the crossing of the so-called “red line”.

Shortly after the proclamation of Day X, which was spread all over Germany and even the world, police left the forest. Although the soil structures all were destroyed, the activists now had the opportunity to move freely again and rebuild structures.

The proclamation of Day X marked the beginning of a new phase in the struggle for the 12,000 year old Hambach Forest. Hundreds of activists will join this struggle tomorrow, not least through the support of “Aktion Unterholz”, which promised to launch a weekend of resistance to support the Hambach Forest in the form of mass actions of civil disobedience. They will break police lines and block RWE and police equipment.

Despite the high likelihood that the police will be present again tomorrow, there is a chance they will restrain themselves. In this case Aktion Unterholz will support the fight in other forms, by helping to rebuild barricades and soil structures.

At 3:00 pm, the various participating organizations of the Action Alliance held a press conference to communicate the situation to regional, national, as well as international media.

They criticize the violent action of the police forces, as well as the protection of the interests of the coal and capital giant RWE. They condemn the Interior Minister of NRW, Herbert Reul (CDU) for ordering these actions.

Furthermore Ende Gelände presented their new action plan for late October, which includes lock-ons this year, reflecting their response to the increasingly extreme situation in the struggle for the Hambach Forest.

While the 6 activists who were arrested on September 5 are back in freedom, the first trial day for the case “Kim Neuland” started in the Düren district court. The case concerns the arrest and 17-day detention of activist Maya (known as “Kim Neuland”) on 17 December 2016, in connection with the resistance against the cutting of the Hambach Forest. The trial will continue on September 14th.

The repression against the climate-justice activists is going on, who are fighting for the preservation of the forest, and against the capitalist extraction of dirty lignite. But as long as the felling of the forest is not stopped forever and the fossil-fueled capitalist exploitation of the planet continues, the resistance will continues as well!

Day X is here! How do I become active?

Attention This article was published on September 8th. The situation has changed, go for the last news to the blog, please. But the rest of this article is still actual.

Day X is here! How do I become active?

Day X is here! The soil structures of the forest occupation have already been destroyed, the first tree houses too and the FIRST TREE IS FALLEN. Eviction always means felling as well, which means, at the latest now we must become active and try to prevent and to disturb the evictions and deforesting in various ways. (For more information and suggestions see DAY X

Come into the forest, whether alone or with your affinity group, carrying out solidarity actions (climbing actions, painting banners, hanging up posters, sabotage, demos, lectures… whatever, everything goes!) And spread the word of the destruction of the Hambach Forest – a 12,000 year old Forest and place of resistance to lignite and the capitalist system, which is a thorn in the money-hungry eye of the German constitutional state.

How do I get into the wood?

At present, the large police force around the forest makes it difficult for people to get in. By detours and in the shelter of the night, it is still possible.

In addition, there is the player Aktion Unterholz, which plans to go daily into the forest with a large mass of people from Day X + 1 (the first day after Day X was called) and to try to block the eviction tanks and forest machinery. Here you can join in and spontaneously join the resistance. There will also be more general actions. More information below and here: Aktion Unterholz

Solidarity actions

Write us if you are planning a solidarity action or send us your photos so that we can publish events and photos on the blog. Please also use the hashtags #hambibleibt #hambacherforst when sharing photos or tweets on Twitter.

What do I need?

A current packing list:

  • Medicine you need
  • Sleeping bag
  • tent
  • sleeping pad
  • Camouflage clothing (pants, jacket, headgear)
  • Solid shoes
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Climbing harness, if you have one, otherwise there are still a few on site
  • lighter
  • toothbrush
  • Knive, work gloves
  • If available: camera to document events such as police violence
  • Water, vegan food (usually available in the forest but in the current situation this is not always sure)
  • a nice book
  • safe action phone
  • Musical instrument, beautiful things that you do not want nor have to to miss.

We are not willing to accept without resistance, what is happening in the forest now. If the occupation is not being continued, the gates are wide open to RWE to destroy and extinguish this unique forest and the creatures living there, in the name of greed, to dig up and sacrifice it to the lignite.

Meanwhile, this forest has become the focal point of a whole movement and by the occupation and all its associated actors, a public debate has been initiated on various political and social levels. Let us fight together, show our indignation and our solidarity, form gangs, and not leave our wild, woody and wonderful Earth to the capitalist rulers without fighting for her!

Press conference, 09/06/2018

Invitation to the common press conference, to the beginning of the tree felling, today at 3 pm
Kerpen-Buir, September 06th, 2018. This morning RWE started felling trees in the Hambach Forest. In the early hours of the morning a large crowd of police entered the forest, at half past ten the first tree was felled. Thus, the RWE Group and the police, commanded by the NRW state government, create irrevocable facts even before the official cutting period. With the so called Day X, a nationwide mass mobilization begins today. Thousands of people will engage for the conservation of the forest during the days to come with demonstrations, sitting blocks and forest walks.

The local initiative Buirer für Buir, activists of the occupation in the Hambach Forest, Ende Gelände and the Aktion Unterholz invite today to a joint press conference. It will take place at 3:00 pm in the Protestant Gemeindehaus (parish hall), Bahnstraße 42 in 50170 Kerpen-Buir. Then we drive together to the Hambach Forest, where we are available for interviews.

Today’s clearing work again sharpen the conflict over the Hambach Forest. The Federal Environment Ministry, the unions of police (GdP) and services (Ver.di), local residents and environmentalists demanded in recent weeks a coal moratorium and a deforesting stop. The Berlin coal commission threatens to fail, several members announced in the event of cuttings their exit from the panel. Nevertheless Mr. Reul, Minister of the Interior, ordered on behalf of the state government a large-scale police campaign, in order to enforce tree felling for RWE.

On Sunday, September 9, the initiative Buirer for Buir is calling for a demonstration in connection with a walk in the forest.
The occupiers of the forest are preparing to prevent the evacuation of over 60 tree houses during several weeks.
Ende Gelände announces blockades of coal infrastructure at the Hambach opencast mine on October 06 and October 25-29.
Aktion Unterholz will stop the destruction of the forest from tomorrow, Friday, 07-09-2018, with civil disobedience.

Representatives of the broad spectrum of protests comment on today’s developments as follows: “The escalation of the conflict by RWE represents a deep cut in our quality of life for the village of Buir. In addition to the forest and our neighboring villages, we also lose our peace. The Hambach Forest, for us a symbol of a future-oriented society, now threatens to become a memorial to the destruction of our future. We feel left alone by those responsible in the federal and state governments – forgotten,” says Andreas Büttgen of the local initiative Buirers for Buir.

“We defend the forest against RWE and Minister of the Interior Reul. In the trees we fight for climate justice and against capitalism. It will not be easy to get out of the forest,” says activist Momo of the occupations in the Hambach Forest.

“With the evictions and the felling, RWE clearly transgresses a red line for the climate. It is a scandal that the state government protects this way corporate profits and not the climate. We call for the carbon phase out, as an immediate measure of global climate justice,” said Karolina Drzewo, press officer of the alliance Ende Gelände.

“The destruction of the Hambach Forest is intolerable. We will therefore prevent the eviction and clearance of police and RWE from tomorrow on with actions of mass civil disobedience. By this form of action, we take our future into our own hands”, says Anna Schönberg of Aktion Unterholz.

Contact:
For background discussions, interviews or any questions, we are always happy to help.

Buirer für Buir: Andreas Büttgen, +49 173 5146141, info@nullbuirerfuerbuir.de
Waldbesetzung: Momo, press_hambachforest@nullriseup.net
Ende Gelände: Karolina Drzewo, +49 152 04560800, presse@nullende-gelaende.org, ende-gelaende.org
Aktion Unterholz: Anna Schönberg, +49 1775944678, presse_unterholz@nullriseup.net, aktion-unterholz.org

Press announcement: 05.09.2018

Press announcement: 05.09.2018

Invitation to press conference on Day X

Since August 26th the Hambach Forest has been in the crosshair of a massive police action, and we have reason to believe that an eviction of the Hambach Forest occupation soon could be a reality.

While thousands right-extremists in Chemnitz are hunting refugees and migrants, the Hambach Forest will be subject to one of the largest police actions that the state of NRW has ever seen. The lines are being crossed, and the State and police are undermining civil rights and democracy, in the name of the capitalist system.

The Hambach Forest, a forest that has existed since the end of the last iceage and for the last 6 years has been occupied by activists, has by now become a symbol of resistance.
The protest points its finger at the people who put profit before sustainability and social justice.
We want to point out and dismantle the extraction of brown-coal (lignite), and its absurd destruction of landscapes, villages and the environment.

Day X: on the day where the first tree in the Hambach Forest falls, we, the action-alliances that fight for the preservation of the forest, will hold a press conference.

Leila, an activist from the occupation, says about the current situation:
“The state of NRW is right now directing its violence against the people protecting nature and fighting climate change. This is an attack on the whole movement for climate justice, and clearly shows the reactionary face of the capitalist state.”

It is still unclear how the police will act on Day X, but we will keep you informed when the time comes.

Please direct press contact towards:
press_hambachforset@nullriseup.net

Further actors of the press conference:

Aktion Unterholz
Emil Freytag, 0177 5944676, presse_unterholz@nullriseup.net, aktion-unterholz.org

Ende Gelände!
Karolina Drzewo, 0152 04560800,presse@nullende-gelaende.org, ende-gelaende.org

Buirer für Buir,
Andreas Büttgen, 0173 5146141, andreas.buettgen@nullbuirerfuerbuir.de

Demonstration For Hambi, Wed 5.9 Possible Eviction Day

Securing of evidence?This was a house before the so-called securing of evidence. Click for an enlargement

DEMONSTRATION IN SUPPORT OF HAMBI 5.9 WED Buir Train-station.

Regardless of, and perhaps especially because of the now 3 weeks of massive police actions: barricade clearings, constant harassment, arrests (now of 26+ all but 2 now released) meadow raid and confiscations, and now the information that large police action might be planned for this Wednesday the response to all this Climate Killing Bullshit has just been freaking phenomenal.  Supporters have been constantly streaming in and despite the searches, bringing over a ton of eviction food and supplies (with tools, pallets and climbing supplies being stolen by the co2ps).  Hundreds have visited, stayed and supported regardless of constant harassment even of the official protest Mahnwache, access to which is “legally” guaranteed without id checks and controls (those pressing this issue have been able to get in without being checked, others have just given their names without presenting ids). Also please remember that the forest is large so it is really hard to cut off all access from outside… more…

September: Forest walk every sunday

In September, there are five (!) Sunday walks, every Sunday, always at 11:30 am. Planned is the well-known meeting point near the gravel pit Collas, see maps below. Andreas Büttgen (Buirer für Buir) will guide the first walk, Todde Kemmerich the second one, Eva Töller and Michael Zobel the other three:

“At the end my appeal: come into the Hambach Forest as long as it is still possible, show that you do not want to stand idly by the destruction of the Hambach Forest.”

Enrol here: info@nullzobel-natur.de to indicate that you need somebody for a live translation. more…

Skill Share: Now more than ever, and even longer!

In the last few days we were asked again and again whether the Skillsharing camp will take place, despite the impending eviction. And of course the answer is yes! No matter if and which structures are evicted, we will find a place either in the Hambi or in the vicinity and make sure that there is a great skill share! And to show that we are not going to let the repression organs spoil our events, we’ll put in some more days.
The Skillshare-Camp will be opened on the evening of 09/22 and go until 10/03.

Some frequently asked questions
Some background info

08/29/2018, 5:00–7:00 pm, Demo from Buir to Meadow Occupation in Hambach Forest

After the destruction of a large part of the meadow occupation by the police we call for a demo against state arbitrariness and for the preservation of Hambach Forest.

On Tuesday, the police brutally cleared the meadow camp, destroyed several buildings, stole water, tools and other infrastructure, and did not stop at personal items such as tents, sleeping bags, and cameras.
All those present in the meadow were given a sending-off – and this on a private property and without the owner of the meadow being informed. 15 people were arbitrarily arrested and access to the meadow and the publicly accessible forest was denied all day long. That is completely disproportionate!
The state government of North Rhine-Westphalia is trying to criminalize the resistance and to wear it down, because the meadow camp is an important infrastructure of resistance in the Hambach Forest.

But we will not accept that! We will not let that stop us!
Together, we will vigorously move with many in a demonstration to the meadow and protest for the preservation of Hambach forest and thus for climate justice.
Together we will prevent the clearing and save the Hambach forest!

Place: Buir Railway station (Open Street Map)
Time: 5:00 pm meeting point, 5:30 Start of the demo
Final rally: about 6:30

Following the demonstration, there will be food in the meadow camp and this way the meadow will be revived collectively.