Barricade Eviction Press Statement

On 28.06.2018, the Hambach Forest between Cologne and Aachen was cleared of barricades. Some people from the movement would like to make a press statement.

At 9:15 the police entered the forest. The contact officer had previously called and informed us that there will be a large-scale police operation to clear the access routes of RWE forces, under the protection of the police. Furthermore, it was announced that RWE forces will confiscate “dangerous items” if necessary. What then followed went far beyond that. There were transgressions not only of interpersonal but also of legal limits, so that in our view the action must once again be regarded as a targeted attempt to provocate and divide the movement. Once again, facts are distorted to justify the incidents to the public.

The press release of the Aachen police says:

“In addition to RWE’s barricade clearances, the forest floor was also inspected off the paths. Employees of the responsible authorities (Kolpingstadt Kerpen, Gemeinde Merzenich, Rhein-Erft- Kreis) and the police jointly assessed all objects found as bulky waste. These included plastic tarpaulins, pallets, wood, metal poles and old furniture. On behalf of the responsible regulatory authorities, RWE transported a total of 140 m³ of refuse in over 17 trucks today alone”.

We want to make a correction here:

Tearing down sleeping and storage areas (tents, constructions, etc.), declaring them as bulky waste and then carting them out of the forest is a farce that is unacceptable. In the course of “barricade clearance” in search of “dangerous objects”, structures were deliberately destroyed and subsequently presented as “garbage” in the press report of the Aachen police.

Another quote from the press release of the Aachen police:

“In the interests of transparency, an attempt was also made to enter into dialogue with the residents of the Meadow, but talks were rejected.

It must be made clear that the police have illegally gained access to the legal meadow camp. The police justified the breach of the law with the “execution of danger”. In a situation where police hundreds gain access to people’s private rooms and then demand communication, the behaviour of the meadow dwellers is more than legitimate.

Aachen Police:

“But it must be clear to everyone that the forest must be freely and above all safely accessible to everyone and that if disruptions and crimes occur, the officials will continue to intervene consistently!”

The forest is accessible to all civilians at all times, in contrast to the statement of the Aachen police, we are happy about conversations and discussions. The barricades are usually portrayed as dangerous but they primarily serve to protect the forest, to make clearing more difficult, and to protect against arbitrary violence by the police and the security company Mundt commissioned by RWE.

To the topic why we don’t want the police in the forest, there was already a detailed article on our blog.

Another situation:

“A puppy dog ran to the contact policeman during the evacuation work, who assured the activists by telephone that they could pick him up without police control. Here with it came with the collection of the puppy to a break of this promise and the activist was held over 90min by the police with handcuffs. And was only allowed to leave again after providing personal details.”

Note: It is consensus in the Hambacher Forest not to maintain contact with the Police. People doing so were asked to leave. The “institution” of contact policeman has been established after years of public critique of Forestry Ministry and Law enforcement for not engaging forest activists in discussion. It has been put in place only after events in which forest activists have been seriously injured, including by a moving vehicle by RWE security and consists of calling Hambacher Forest published numbers 15 minutes as the police is already on the way, before their appearance in the forest.  Contact cops are not just “good cop” PR tools but also intelligence assets in charge of contacts and extracting information from anybody willing to talk to them.  They are not legally obligated to honor any promises they make and often will say anything towards a strategic end in sight.  Like for example doing everything possible that RWE continues to profit by wrecking our Planet.  So much for public safety!

Rainbow Action vs RWE Agenda of Climate Chaos


Celebrating 40 years of resistance to Lignite Mining in Rhineland the previous Sunday a “Rainbow Action” took place in the forest.  Starting with hundreds of bicyclist converging from both Cologne and Aachen bringing back a cheerful, colorful and busy feeling breaking the Forest monotony of constantly anticipating and dreading large police actions and evictions.  Anticipating or denying which has turned into such an art and sport in Hambi that perhaps bets should be taken with the winner who gets the date of next police action right getting as a reward a police baton or helmet from past actions that can be found at ZAD or at many infoshops.  Those not guessing right or not knowing would and will be hit with hundreds more batons, sprayed in the face with pepper spray during those more unwelcome visits that could happen today, tomorrow or day after and which more and more resemble large scale military maneuvers and exercises.

If the majority had any actual and not just simbolic say in aproving these actions not just everyone in those photos but most of the German and World’s population would choose to have those same resources invested in sustainable and ecological energy transition, re-training, education and not in Climate Chaos imposing repression of present day reality of RWE’s Energie-Reich of North Rhine Westphalia and of German and Global North’s Illusion of Coal Exits and energie transitions, while thermally nuking the Global South and destroying last remaining millenarian habitats left in all of Europe.

In the forest the continual insanity if lignite extraction and dumping of over 150 millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere from the mine destroying Hambi alone and the waves of brutality, arrogance and injustice that perpetuate it, all of it is also beginning to resemble less and less repression as we have known it and more and more feudal hunts in which the local peasants(the police) would form lines and funnel wild animals into awaiting feudal lords, in this case RWE, that would dispatch them with a spear or a crossbow, in our case locking-up and taking out of action forest and climate activists for months and months in prisons in ever greater numbers, stripped of any illusion of a due process while the whole habitat of Millenarian Hambacher Forest is being killed and erased: as if it were a hunting trophy in the Fossil Fuels Planet-wide safari keeping the whole Earth in the cross-hairs and not letting go of the trigger.  Slaughtering last of the last while going on an on about either about Cease Fire or about how dangerous those animals really are.

These cheerfull and colorful photos are our own distraction from the  bleak, gray planet wide cloud of coal dust, its microparticles and carbon, concussion grenades and CS gas and in the Global South of live bullets that is beginning to engulf us and the rest of the planet like the dome of coal driven smog and smoke that now covers most of  Chinese cities.  None of which would not be possible without the present campaign of Green Scare Propaganda (latest Bild tabloid article with Hambi on front Page “Eco Terrorism out of Control” in which local police chief is quoted as saying that Hambi eviction would take two months) that projects a darker image of ecological activism. This image being more more conducive to keeping climate activists and occupiers of the forest in prison for months without transparent and just(if such thing ever existed in capitalist legal machine) legal process, keeping the environmental groups and experts out of coal exit talks as RWE would like and will get if the climate emergency it is causing will continue to cause more political polarization, more fear based politics and more corruptions and shortsightedness of those in power. Propaganda and lies that attempt to erode this support seen in those fotos, divide one group from another and finally limit the discussion on why so little is done to address this global emergency when so many resources are used instead to attack and imprison those that point out and fight against these systemic problems.

If there can be “No Jobs on a Dead Planet” then also all the pension funds, gifts, investments and positions that RWE is offering right and left to influence the status-quo “decision”-making and which it uses to enlarge its Climate-Change-Denying-Idiot-Bubble and to continue to get a free ride and to maintain their planetary criminality and terrorism(giving  actual criminals and freedom fighter world over a horrible rap)then all those perks and kick-downs that keep the capitalist machine oiled up and greased up are all pretty meaningless as well.  Breathing money can not be any more successful than breathing CO2 especially in a “Culture” that connects one to the other and finances and justifies its own suffocation.

As this year started with arctic melting and ice-cover break-up in mid-winter and continues with extreme weather all-time temperature records aready in April and May it will continue with some of the largest police actions in (Post?)Modern Germany  putting in place and reinforcing a global disaster that is so extreme, complete, irreversible and unprecedented that it will be especially the children and descendants of those who with wealth, privilege and arrogance are attempting to isolate themselves from this reality who will be wanting the answers the most.

The people in the Forest and many of those in those photos will not fall in the category of those that have done nothing or who helped to destroy all hope for stable and livable planet. It has been said that the best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago and the next best time is now. This must be another thing that Fighting Climate Change and trees have in common.

Join us then here and everywhere to resist this toxic, waves of scorching heatwaves fueled by fossil fools reality that few would  be willing to accept if it wasn’t forced upon the population, and upon those in the forest and those on the barricades with tanks with helicopters, with platoons of cops with dogs and horses and then followed with criminalization and unjust non-transparent prison sentences. Forced by hierarchical patriarchal power structures that manage to convince those they co-opted and sucked into their sphere of influence that they do not have any individual choice, which might be the case but that does not absolve any of those involved from responsibility for their actions. Responsibility that they will have to face in the imminent future of food insecurity, climate destabilization and ecological collapse. Responsibility that they all will have to face especially from those closest to them they are pulling with them into violent and precarious reality in which the weather becomes our enemy and specie after specie vanishes at the fastest rate in the history of this planet, the gretest extinction not the 6th(chronological designation)of Life ever.  Hence once again the importace of Propaganda in redirecting the attention from, how State and power structures are imposing a reality of terror, huger and violence on the rest of the planet to focus on activists that are atempting to stop this globally suicidal machine.

Einstein said that if bees vanish(rather prophetic statement as colony collapse disorder managed to wipe out most of domesticated bees already) we are bound to follow.  It should take no Einstein to guess what the faith and effect of “business as usuall” mentality  on this Civilization, on humanity in general, and especially of this Planet as a whole will be and already is if more than half of all species are killed-off, climate turns each year more and more into an unstable nightmare and such vital resources as clean water and air become more and more scarce.

 

You want to imagine the future? Imagine a Coal Power Plant’s Smoke Stack that perpetually collapses on each being and each habitat that exists and that will ever exist on this Planet, and that keeps collapsing and crashing down on them all forever……

Ok a little admission of guilt for all of those who did not spot it: the previous sentence is a total rip off of Orwell’s quote. He said that if you want to imagine the future imagine a Jack-boot that steps on a human face forever.  With both police chief of Duren: Winesbach(sp?) who quadruples at least every estimate of activists in the forests in his frequent especially tabloid interviews and not any less surreal Rhine Energie board of advisors member and police minister of North Rhine Westphalia Herbert Reul, both in a big hurry to change their sneakers and office shoes for army boots with the new draconian police laws that they are attempting to put in place and which they have already been testing on Hambi prisoners  for awhile with minimal public outcry outside of anarchists communities. Will all of that this quote like that of Einstein’s warning about the bees is turning to be another self-actualized prediction.  So until at least the army boot and munitions factories get buried by the collapsing-coal-power-plant-chimneys of climate-chaos get ready for one bumpy ride.  Get a guitar and/or gas mask, crypto up, form a reliable affinity group, don’t forget to tell all un-solidaric assholes to fuck-off and no matter what have fun.  Poetry, music and art have always been a crucial part in the arsenal of protest and resistance…

On a finite planet not just all good things but also the bad ones must come to an end and how and when they end is decided especially by those who have not buried themselves in the virtual media and industry manufactured “realities” and who for every connection to life and solidarity that is severed forcefully and intentionally form at least two in their place, two that become much stronger than ever before as their importance finally is realized.

For the Earth, For the Climate, For Hambi!!

 

 

 

A Radio Report from the USA about Hambi and the Rhenish Lignite Mining

This e-mail was sent to us:
“Hi everyone,

I’m just now getting around to sending out this link to the story about Germany’s coal problem, about which we spoke last fall. The audio version, which aired nationwide on 300 radio stations in the US on the BBC co-production The World, is embedded here:

https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-11-15/germany-talks-good-game-climate-its-still-stuck-coal

Make sure to click on the audio player to hear what actually went on the air, as it is different from the text story (and includes your voices).
A text version was also reprinted on msn.com online and in several US newspapers. Here’s one:

http://www.post-gazette.com/powersource/policy-powersource/2017/11/16/Analysis-Germany-talks-a-good-game-on-climate-but-it-s-still-stuck-on-coal/stories/201711160124

Thank you all very much for your time, help and expertise, without which none of this would have been possible. I hope our paths will cross again in the future.

Until then, best regards,”

TV report from 12/28/2017

Last week, a team from the German TV channel ARD was in the Hambach Forest. Their report was on television on Thursday, 12/28/2017, and now also at
http://mediathek.daserste.de/Morgenmagazin/MOMA-Reporter-Was-wurde-aus-den-Aktivis/Video?bcastId=435054&documentId=48753082 (high resolution)
and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lV1S7codk80
Both links will be opened in an new tab.
Although the language is German, you can get a good impression of the troubles on the secu road, at which the TV team accidentally was present, the day after the stop of the deforestation.
More info: Live Ticker Barricade Eviction 12/20
The film also shows the result of this year’s clear-cutting, which lasted only two days and the team also visited a tree house.

Validity of the main operating plan without deforestation renewed until 3/31/2018

Press release of the district government Arnsberg

Original text

Validity of the main operating plan without deforestation renewed until 3/31/2018

By decision of December 20, 2017, the district government of Arnsberg, which is responsible for mining and energy in NRW, renewed the validity of the current main operating plan for the Hambach open-cast mine until March 31th, 2018. As a result of the licence, the continuation of lignite extraction will be secured also after 12/31/2017, thus ensuring the important supply of lignite to the power plants in the months to come.

In view of pending court proceedings, clearing and logging measures on wooded areas are excluded from the prolongation. In the period until the end of March next year, the issues relating to nature conservation legislation will be further intensively investigated and examined by the district government of Arnsberg. After that, the decision on the license until the end of 2020 of the next main operating plan will be taken.

Solidarity Rap for This Black Friday

Rhymes for action on the frontlines of globla resistance.  Sung for Hambacher Forest Peeps as the mainstream WDR media told us to get out of the way as we filmed this and then removed us from most of their shots.  No compromise in getting our message out, alowing it to be diluted, reframed or apropriated.  Our solidarity goes to comrades in Zad the Notre Dam who never welcomed media with open arms for this reason.  This is also a reminder to chanell the intensity of this message into an independent media and prepare our cameras and smart phones as weapons in the battle for the future of this planet as a livable location for multitude of species, organism and communities.  We can only rely on the mainstream profit-based media to ignore not just our presence but also the repression and violence that we are about to face.

“Don’t Hate the Media – Be the AutonoMedia!” Calling on videographers, photographers and artists to come to the forest and document a reality on a brink of extinction and to come when the attack and state violence beggin and document it.

All used digital cameras, phone, smartphones, and keyboarded and keyboardless data entry devices for press work and documentation work would be more than apreciated by all the barrios through out the forest.

Even the Ministry of Economic Affairs knows: no one needs coal anymore!

An internal paper from the German Ministry of Economic Affairs shows that producing electricity from coal (in Germany this is mostly lignite,alsocalled brown coal) is not only unnecessary, but even reduces security of supply, since Germany now produces more electricity than it consumes, and constant intervention in the grid is required to cope with this overcapacity.
http://www1.wdr.de/mediathek/audio/wdr5/wdr5-leonardo-top-themen/audio-mehr-kohle-kraftwerke-als-noetig-100.html (German. Will be opened in a new tab.)

Already in 2004, the Umweltbundesamt (Federal Environment Agency) published a background paper on the report: “Lignite – a subsidy-free energy source?”, written by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. Central statement: “Overall, according to the calculations of the Wuppertal Institute, lignite benefits amount to at least 4.5 billion euros annually.”
See https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/sites/default/files/medien/publikation/long/3572.pdf
The more environmentally friendly gas power plants (they produce only half as much carbon dioxide per kilowatt) are not supported and are therefore often out of service. The support of renewables has meanwhile been reversed.

Already in 2004, the Umweltbundesamt (Federal Environment Agency) published a background paper on the report: “Lignite – a subsidy-free energy source?”, written by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. Central statement: “Overall, according to the calculations of the Wuppertal Institute, the preferential treatment of the lignite amounts to at least 4.5 billion euros annually.”
See https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/sites/default/files/medien/publikation/long/3572.pdf
The more environmentally friendly and flexible gas power plants (they produce only half as much carbon dioxide per kilowatt) are not supported and are therefore often out of service. The support of renewables has meanwhile been reversed.

“As Germany hosts green summit, an energy firm is razing a nearby forest”

Article about the Hambach Forest, found on edition.cnn.com, website of CNN.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/11/16/europe/germany-coal-hambach-forest/index.html

A reply on the German version of this blog:

Particular attention should be paid to the passage where Mr Steffen of RWE indicates as a reason for further clearing of the Hambach Forest that it is simply in the way:
“We are going to continue to log this season as well, it is inevitable. We have to do it because the forest is in the way of the excavators,” he explains.

That this is the philosophy of RWE – to destroy everything that is in the way without any consideration – it seems that they no longer intend to deny it.

The only question is how such people behave in traffic.
Yes, I could have avoided it. But the child, which ran in front of my car, was in the way.

Communication and Transparency

On Monday a photographer made an announced appearance in th forest.  The first clue that something was amiss was that he showed up escorted by the police to the edge of the forest.  Once inside and having made contact with people in the forest, the usual media questions perteining to the struggle were instead replaced by his statements such “You act excatly like you claim the police does.” This person claimed to be a freelancer with no official media affiliation who took lots of interest in trying to photograph forest defences which he was asked not to photograph.  All of this resulted in this person being asked to leave and not come back without setting up an appointment. Soon after this took place the police contacted an outside person connected to the occupation and informed them that they were dissapointed that access to the forest was closed to the people from the outside and revealed that the photographer was in the process of taking photos for a police journal for an article titled “Transparency and Communication”.  His bahaviour in the forest was neither, transparent nor very communicative.  But as Orwell stateted if something is repeated often enough it becomes the “truth”.   That is perhaps why we were then indirectlly asked by the contact cop to publish this same article that he has written himself on our blog.  The answer was not no but simply no answer.

Reminder to newer people to the struggle not to talk to the cops.  Anything you say can and will be used against you and your friends while they routinely disinform especially those they are trying to get any intelligence out of as this case clearly shows.