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

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,”