PRESS-ANNOUNCEMENT 17.09.18

EVICTION IN THE EAST AND THE WEST, SOLIDARITY CONCERT IN FRONT OF THE FOREST

With tired eyes we are writing the press-announcement for the day. Since morning the eviction of the treehouse-village. With four cherry-pickers the police attempted to bring down the people from the traverses and tree-houses, but through lock-ons, the good and motivated mood of the activists and the supporters, four treehouses stayed occupied and undestroyed. The eviction and Gallien has been going for two days, and the police still has a lot to do, to completely remove the activists.
The activists remain resistant! That was also apparent in Oaktown: one climate-justice warrior keeps Oaktown alive. Lying in his hammock, only equipped with a bag full of books, he managed not to give in to the police forces. In stead, the police, at least for now, seem to have given up, bringing him down from the tree. more…

PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT – 15.09.18

EVICTION CONTINUES, TUNNEL REMAINS, SOLIDARITY IS ACTIVE

Today the eviction of the occupation in the 12,000 Hambach forest continued.
In the northernmost occupation, fittingly named “The North”, police brutally destroyed the homes of the climate-justice activists, which had locked themselves on in order to delay the demolition of the treehouse occupation.
As the day passed, the police ended up “successfully” evicting all of “The North”, including the treehouses Fabacea and Kontiki, and leaving the pieces of the treehouses spread all across the forest floor.

Meanwhile, the police kept working on destroying the Oaktown occupation, bringing down the treehouse Tanit, and beginning the eviction of the common-space of the occupation, the 3-floored Tower.
Besides these, the groundstructure Simona, on which the police have already worked for two days, was taken apart, despite the underground tunnelsystem, in which two people were still locked on.
The tunnel was one of the bigger stories of the day, as the police, despite trying very hard, were still not able to evict the activists from their 10 meter deep chamber.

Throughout the day, the police actively kept national as well as international press at a distance, in order to make it harder for the journalists to give a proper picture of the brutal destruction, and give the activists a voice. Despite this, journalists were able to spread information on the process of the largest police-action in the history of NRW.

Already early in the morning, news about an apparent solidarity action at the Niederaußem coal-power-plant reached us. Here activists erected a tripod, with the banner saying “Hambi bleibt!” (Hambi stays!), and locked on to a conveyor-belt transporting lignite, as well as occupying 3 diggers. This successfully led to the power-plant being brought down to around 20% of its normal capacity.
In and around the occupation, solidarity was also clear to be seen.

Here the action-group Aktion Unterholz arrived with several hundred motivated people, some breaking police-lines and entering the forest, shouting political slogans in support of the occupation, which could be heard by people in the trees, enduring the siege of the police. The action of Aktion Unterholz made a statement against the absurd police-presence, with reference to the city of Chemnitz, where police weeks ago weren’t able to handle extreme-right protesters hunting down immigrants. “Where were you in Chemnitz?!”

Following the example of the last days of eviction, the violent repression directed towards the climate-justice activists was strong.
During the action of Aktion Unterholz, police-officers brutally beat and arrested people, harassed journalists, and even used pepper-spray against demonstrators.
It is estimated that around 30 people were brought to the pre-charge detention centre in Aachen, were supporters outside were awaiting their release, with music, coffee and cake.
Most people brought into the pre-charge detention centre are released within 24 hours.
However, in connection to the eviction of a tripod in the occupied Hambach forest on September 13th, one person was brought into custody jail, for an undefined amount of time. Read more about Andrea (“UP3”) on the blog of ABC Rhineland (https://abcrhineland.blackblogs.org/).
Responsible for the continued violence against activists, journalists and nature, is interior-minister of NRW Herbert Reul (CDU). Despite the wide environmental movement, and the German plans for coal phase-out, Herbert Reul continues to protect the interests of RWE and the coal-lobby with the weapons of the state!

The struggle here continues, and is stronger every day. Although the situation here is tough, we are looking forward to experience individual and collective action of support and solidarity in NRW, Germany, Europe, and all over the world!
Hambi stays, today and forever!

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 – 11.09.18

ON THE POSSIBILITY OF “SECURITY STRIPS”, AND AN ALLEGED MOLOTOV ATTACK

The police forces of NRW, it seems, are using every excuse they can, in order to legitimize their destructive escalation in the 12.000 year old Hambacher Forst.
Information has reached us, that the police is considering cutting of so-called “security strips” (clearing meter-wide strips of underwood) on both sides of the L276, a.k.a. the Secu-Road, despite the formerly announced cutting-stop lasting until October 14th.

The background for their decision to cut hundreds of square-meters is an alleged attack on RWE cutting equipment, with rocks and a “molotov-cocktail”, early morning September 10th.
The evidence on the alleged “molotov”-attack is however disputable.

A journalist which was present at the so-called “crime scene” shortly after explains:
“On the ground was some kind of liquid, but there were no glass-shards, no bottles, or any other containers to be seen. Usually when the police is taking pictures of a crime-scene, they don’t remove evidence, but here was nothing to be found.”

The extravagant reporting of the alleged attack, which led only to superficial damages on the RWE equipment, and no one wounded, serves only as a distraction in the debate, from who are the biggest perpetrators here: energy-giant RWE and the state of NRW, led by interior minister Herbert Reul (CDU).

In the row of violent attacks in and around the Hambach Forest occupation, it is clear which party ways the heaviest. Until now the police presence have led to several attacks on activists, supporters, as well as media workers, including the driver of a mobile kitchen being threatened with a gun, and a peaceful activist being brought to the hospital with a broken arm.
Responsible for this violence is the interior minister of the state of NRW, Herbert Reul (CDU), who uses the weapons of the state, to protect the interests of energy-giant RWE, and the coal lobby, while attacking the civil rights of free protest, free assembly and free movement.

Any and all attacks on RWE, and their state-sponsored protectors, is therefore also written in the context of self-defense, against RWEs destruction of nature, living-spaces, as well as the global climate, and against the brutal violence of the police, on civil protest and the whole climate justice movement.

Although not all parts of the movement for the preservation of the forest, and the immediate phase-out of coal agree to the militancy used by some autonomous activists, it is clear that the tactical diversity within the movement has strong value, and is not only legitimate, but necessary in the fight to protect the Hambach Forest.

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!

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 06.09.18

TREEHOUSES BEING EVICTED, TREES CUT, TODAY MARKS DAY X

The polices forces of NRW have currently begun the eviction of treehouses in the Hambach Forest occupation. They will now be violently removing activists and destroying the infrastructure of the occupation, in order to prepare for RWEs continued clearing of the 12.000 year old Hambach Forest.
In this way Herbert Reul (CDU), interior minister of the state of Northrhine-Westphalia, is actively attacking climate justice and democratic civil rights, in support of fossil-fuel giant RWE and the coal-lobby, clearly showing the corruption inherent in the capitalist system.

With the eviction of the first tree houses, the Hambach Forest occupation, alongside several action-alliances (including Ende Gelände, Aktion Unterholz, and Buirer Für Buir) are calling out: Day X is here, and a new phase of the struggle has begun.
In the next days, while RWE employees, with support from the hired soldiers of the German state, attempt to evict the occupation, hundreds of people will join the forest struggle, in order to protect the climate justice protest-camp, and there are many ways to take part. See the text “How do I become active?” for more information.

Leila, an activist from the occupied forest, says: “This is the time for action. RWE wants the protest silenced, the activists imprisoned, the forest cut, and the German state is spending millions of euros in order to support this wish. This capitalist corruption is NOT to be accepted, and we will continue struggling until the last tree is cut, and beyond!”

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

Press release from the Hambach Forest – Meadow search and partial evacuation

Today, on 28/08/2018, there are partial evictions in the meadow camp of the Hambach Forest occupation as consequence of a search. The purpose of this search is to provide evidence of past actions and to seize items to carry out further actions.
As part of this mission, which began at 7:20 clock, there were over 30 sending-offs and also some arrests.
As a result of the five-day long police operation, the Hambach Forest has now been declared a danger area, ie. no people are being let in right now.

We strongly condemn the escalating actions of the police. The violence emanating from the police is in no way de-escalating, and the destruction of livelihood with the legitimation of confiscation of dangerous objects is unacceptable.

The Press Group

For further information: press_hambachforest@nullriseup.net