May First! In the pre-Corona days many in the forest were in cities across Europe taking part in global actions and demonstration. This year the comrades who found themselves in the forest, if not building barricades treehouses or communal spaces, followed updates of MayDay actions and demonstrations: The Anarchists and syndycalists of Wupertall walking through
— Enough 14 (@enough14) May 1, 2020
the street in a mob of joy and celebration shortly after midnight singing chanting and projecting rays of fireworks and light through out the street. We watched from a distance as the legalist “demos” were either cancelled or severely limited and split up into permits of smaller demos and as larger ones were being harassed and kettled by the cops in cities from Istanbul to Frankfurt. Then the call came out through voices echoing through the forest “Cops in the Forest at Crowsnest, wanting to evict!” The tradition of staging police actions in the forest during May Day, New Years, Global Climate Marches and Strikes as well as Ende Geleande and Climate Camp action continued, might as well for the next occasions like this set up lawn chairs and together with the media wait for the next wave of NRWE CO2ps running to Hambi to make sure that are spirits are not too high and we are not thinking too much about revolution but instead about their nice and clean uniforms oh yeah lets not forget the guns and the tanks too. Logistically its much harder and 2-3 more expensive for police to show up in the forest on those dates it does however show their determination to split up, isolate and distract movements, occupations and front-lines involved in the Climate Justice, Animal Liberation, QUEER, Anti Deforestation and Anti Fascist struggles. By definition also revealing their political sentiment and connections. It should also be a part of larger socio economic anti capitalist critique of how easy it is to in time of numerous crisis: austerity, climate , corona to channel so much resources away from ecology, education and healthcare towards protecting corporate criminals against humanity and the Planet. In the end being more than responsible for worsening situation.
So this time being smaller in number but still symbolically present they compensating with extra fire power showing up with an MP5 Heckler and Koch and a larger caliber weapon being carried by a cop assuming the role, like allways, of not just the “Bad” but also arrogant cop, with the caliber having a direct effect on macho behavior.
When the forest activists exited the forest, while being 30 meters away from a group of activists,the police pointed two machine guns at the activists ordering one in the group to put down their stick while at the same time approaching closer to the activists, indicating not just lack of concern but also intent to escalate, the person pointed the stick at the police and asked them to put down their weapons first, with cops responding that they will put them down if the person puts down the stick first, another person asked the police if they are aiming for a head shot to which the female associated cop responded with “No but it makes a loud boom.”(Hmmm its very unlikely that they were carrying blanks).
The situation was then deescalated by a person that walked straight towards the cops with their hands up to talk. The same person afterwards ended up breaking down and crying, relating how traumatic it was that the situation with their van, their home could have costed their comrades their lives.
There were several reasons given for this politically charged and symbolic “visit”. At first it was to help the RWE workers clean up the place: there was nothing to clean and the RWE secus who came with them just ended up sniffing around places they don’t ussually have easy access to, then some pallets were noticed behind parked cars and activists were informed that they would have to be removed. Parked next to the forest vans were than looked at, license plates written down and told to move by Saturday when the cops were claiming that they would return(never trust a cop). The psychological warfare: “We’ll be back.” especially resonated with newer and outside supporters exploiting the fear of police actions, attack and eviction. Instead of course the cops on Saturday were grilling, and when not at football games going after hoolies, then still quarantining from corona and this time also recovering from a small sh*t storm that pointing guns at people has caused.
— R-mediabase (@R_mediabase) May 1, 2020
All this stress and life threatening situations also has to do with exposure of the public to more and more violent forms of force being carried, deployed and used by the police. Today the machine guns are pointed at a crowd tomorrow perhaps now legal taser will be tried in the forest on psychologically affected persons(one of the most common targets for those weapons with many induced heart attack deaths annually) Also how long before somebody might be shot for holding one of the favorite to show in the media by police “weapons”/tools used in the forest an ax or a large knife?! Filling the pages of BILDS and Zeits with appreciation for the brave police doing their work while latest scientific discovery on how desperate the state of the planet and its climate might not even be found on the last page these pro RWE rags and neither will be actually what might have taken place.
What we see from the cops and don’t see from the media shows what they are concerned and afraid the most: of activists, people and communities to have a sense of autonomy and tradition and to be able to celebrate it in peace, to have undisturbed by disinformation and divisionism lines of communication and solidarity among multisectional lines, and to also have an autonomous and unsilenced voices that offers an antifascist, left, ecological, antisexist, antihomophobe and antispecist perspective. If you resonate with even one of these principles and are open to supporting and expanding to the others, JOIN US! The Struggle has only just begun!!
A hunger strike will take place in front of NRW parliament in duseldorf beggining tomorrow, monday April 6th to bring attention to the marginalization of the poor, refugees and political and climate activists during the corona crisis. Denying access to healthcare and resources while unprecedented trillions are spend for the large industries. We are calling for the following.
1. Adressing RWE’s coal emissions ressponsible for NRW being a hotspots of lung ailments, making all in the land more suceptible to infection and higher risk of covid 19 and making the company finncially responsible-
2 Anonymous access to testing for the uninsured, not marginalizing and magnify infecctous corona spread in underprivelaged and repressed groups such as prisoners, refugees, homeless and forest activiss.
3. Amnesty for the forest activists during the pandemic allowing all to access healthcare and food without fear of persecution and police surveilance- Not exploiting corona pandemic for more evictions and represive actions.
4. Opening of to be destroyed homes in the region to community based ecological initiatives as well to social ones including those addressing present crisis through food distribution to the needy and hous
5. Establishing of contact between Hambi Corona Awelness Team and local healthcare and pandemic response structures in maintaining free and anonymous access to healhcare and testing.
6. Decriminalization of containering, and appeal to supermarkets to redistribute to be thrown away food at agreed times to the: poor, foodsharing initiatives and corona volunteer groups.Destruction of food by mixing it with the trash is exposing the poor and often elderly to all the pathogens including corona from a supermarket frequented by thousand.
7.Stop of police infiltration and destabilization of protest sites and strugles collaborating with private security firms representing RWE, often employing individuals with anti-left extremist right wing ideology resulting in rising level of intimidation and threats during political events and increasing the risk of injury and provocations to activists in the forest and visitors alike.
8. Living Wage for all in the time of crisis and investment in the futureof communities and in renewable energy not trillions in subsidies for heavy toxic industries.xerce
Exercise physical not social distancing and while there in front of the NRW parliament from 9 to 3pm on Monday we will be accepting donations of bio ethanol and food and on the doorsteps of power putting together small containers of sanitizer and cooking a meal to be distributed among the homeless to symbolize that it is those that have the least, and who are often hungry, underpriveliged and underfunded(as in the case of medical workers with whom we express our solidarity) that are doing the most and have the most to lose during this crisis.
Healthcare and corona solidarity not repression is the answer!
CLIMATE CRISIS & NOW CORONA NEW OPPORTUNITY FOR STATE VIOLENCE!!
Place your add in Kölner Stadt-AnzRWEiger Now!!
May 24, Shaheen Bagh India.
May 25, 2020 Hambacher Forest: Only 1 day after the first protest site in the world: Shaheen Bagh (taking a stand against nationalist Modi CAA Citizenship Law in New Delphi) was surrounded by riot cops and bulldozed citing the Corona outbreak, only one day after, the wheels seem to be in motion to go in the same direction in NRW as Hambi was visited by a pro-RWE-Climate-Killing-Coal Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger journalist working on an article titled “Hambach Forest and Corona”. At the time there are no cases of Corona in the Forest and there were only 400 recorded cases in India when Shaheen Bagh was evicted.
The long disgusting populist and totalitarian tradition of equating with disease and vermin that needs to be sanitized and cleansed all those who dare to differ, resist and often just happen to be the “others” continues: while Orange Mussolini Trump calls Covid-19 a “A Chinese Virus” as acts of racist physical violence against those of Asian descent multiply world-wide. The ugly history of fear mongering continues as in the time of bubonic plague when Europe was swept by antisemitic pogroms resulting from rumors that the Jews have been poisoning the public wells, while Italian sailors, not the fleas, were also seen as spreaders of the Black Death and attacked.
Now in 2020, the channels of hate and manipulation have been digitized and are reaching more than ever before, the methods however have stayed the same. Instead of the angry mob we now have Reul and Laschet, RWE lapdogs, with their AFD allies for years having in unison been calling for cleansing of the forest (which at they so wanted to destroy and did destroy 90% of it), from the leftist radical scum. They already showed themselves not being very interested in global health and environmental crisis by responding
to global climate emergency instead with 40 billion for RWE and friends in the fiasco of the german coal exit and on top responding to catastrophe killing and affecting millions with largest police action in history of NRW; a 70+ million euro plus eviction of Hambacher Forest in 2018.
For those corporate disaster fetishists and profiteers Corona is just an opportunity that can not be ignored, it is a bargain not having to spend 60,000 euro on a bogus legal opinion for another eviction of this time Treehouses, Meadow(Most likely – RWE needs that CO2al underneath), Mahnwahe, or Hambi Camp(take your pick) and having the Danger Zone that included just Hambach Forest during last eviction now expended to whole of Germany is very convenient to keep number of supporters away and attention turned towards the shelves with toilet paper. And this time instead of billions its trillions for the heavy industries. What a deal!
Press conglomerates partially owned by RWE interests again playing their part in the “art” of PR, damage control and redirection and public opinion manipulation at the call of their corporate masters. Neo-liberal, media hacks not asking any important question, like climate and environmental instability amplifying all disasters and hotspots of corona in both italy and germany being the most industrialized and polluted regions in the country, etc, etc. Instead the Press the 5th column of Disaster Capitalism is staying busy distracting the populace from how decades of austerity and run-away capitalism have left the European “welfare states” and most of the global north with more focus on giving large corporations like RWE free hand-outs of billions and now using this emergency to give away trillions, to pollute, destroy and gentrify with full governmental protection of tanks, helicopters and police batons while concern for healthcare,culture, and welfare of the populace and that of ecosystems and other species is nothing more than an empty election-year promise. Now we are in the middle of a new crisis while the “last one” continues to only get worse while receding from public attention and once again the routine operation to solve the “problem” is by inaction for as long as possible and then by going after a list of usual suspects, scape-goats, anarchists, minorities and activists to blame for the disaster. Lets see if the tons of pages and gigabytes of data filled with lies and disinformation can put out this global trash fire of idiocy, incompetence and power-grabbing or whether like always it will just end up feeding the blaze.
The capitalist for profit press is also not likely to point out that the 40+ billion from the Coal Commission to RWE and others as a reward for and incentive to continue to destroy the climate have now become the standard profiteering Keynesian response to any crisis: ignore and suppressing the underlying issues for as long as possible, enlarging the power of the state and enriching the industrial interests, and in ignoring the social and ecological issues the States continue creeping closer and closer to a dystopian Fascist state model. That is why initiatives offering alternatives, front-line struggles and endangered communities and ecosystems are such a risk to this agenda and either have to be co-opted and or destroyed.
Profit and control above everything: this time instead of Climate Crisis its the Covid 19 and the agenda continues of having environment destroying industries: airlines, banking, car manufacturing, and a long list of other not so Eco and socially friendly sectors of the economy receiving largest emergency subsidies in global history. Using the time of emergency to postpone any possibility of transition and decarbonization in the next 10 years that is left before reaching the 2 degrees centigrade run away point pushes the planet in viscous feedback loops with the ensuing habitat destruction leading to unprecedented global instability and most likely to even more deadly pandemics and wide instability. Each emergency and crisis instead of solutions becomes instead another get-rich-quick scheme opportunity on a dying planet. Once it is the largest conglomerates and the economy that are becoming “The Patient 0” and receiving most assistance and treatment. This is happening as hospitals lack protective gear equipment and in many countries including Germany authorities are responding by hiring more security guards not medical personnel and the homeless are rounded up from open spaces and detained instead in confined group accommodations optimal for viral spread.
As new laws not for climate justice and healthcare but instead for new emergency police powers are passed it is once again capitalism that reveals itself more and more to be the virus destroying its only host, the planet we all call home: Earth.
So Reuls, Laschets and AFDs of this Planet enjoy your Spreading-the-Virus-of-Capitalism-Corona-Party as you are about to send in your shock troops and goons once again to make sure gigatones of RWE coal can go up in smoke destroying all hope for the stable future. Your “Its the end of the world, and I feel fine” celebration is bound to be the shortest one ever, with record breaking hurricanes, floods, global fires, pandemics, and droughts coming as your invited guests whose record breaking sizes and duration could only be compared to the growth of yours and your corporate master’s bank accounts. Just remember it will never be forgotten nor forgiven that it is you not us(the people and The Planet) who is responsible. This responsibility is also shared by Kölner Stadt-Anzeigers of this world laying the ground work for this disaster profiteering and corona capitalism, spreading fear and disinformation and justifying constant waves of state violence not just against activists in Hambi but agains a long list of social, ethnic and political actors. This is something that can never be forgotten even if the everyday reminder for future generation will be nothing more than a daily reality of ever deepening instability, hunger, disaster and disease. Instead of “Business As Usual” it becoming a Constant State of Disaster As Usual.
You can not just #StayAtHome when the security of that very home is compromised in every way imaginable by those in power. Would it not be a happier, safer and for-filling for all species world if the miners and the police stayed at home quarantining their toxic masculinity, cooking, reading a book and planting a garden instead of mining deadly coal and chasing, beating and arresting activists in the forests?
LIVING WAGE FOR ALL!!! CLIMATE AND HEALTH INSECURITY FOR NONE!!!
This is a mirror of a call written by the communities most affected by the recent fascist, racist and misogyn terror in Hanau
After Björn Höcke called for a coup last Monday, Tobias R. got into his
car in Hanau and murdered ten people who were non-German in his eyes.
This violence is horrible, but nothing new, not even that migrant
people, families, communities are being hit and not protected. We are
familiar with this from the NSU murders, we have known it since the
families of the murder victims organised a demonstration in Kassel in
2006 demanding from the state to put an end to the racist series of
murders. The merciful verdict in the NSU trial, on the other hand, was
an encouragement to all Nazis to continue murdering. Since then there
have been countless other attacks and murders against migrants and Jews.
Already in Kassel, in Cologne, in Frankfurt, in Duisburg, in Halle… we
knew that we could not rely on the state, but had to defend ourselves.
Against the political system that is concerned after attacks, but still
doesn’t do by far as much against the right-wing terror as against the
migrants – the dead in the Mediterranean are the brothers and sisters of
the dead in Hanau.
We know that we can’t rely on those who have been talking about “Döner”
killings then and who are talking about “Shisha” killings today, those
who talk about “fear of foreigners” instead of naming racism – or who
once again fantasize about disoriented single offenders. That we won’t
rely on a sensationalist press and the politicians who are now
travelling to Hanau again to attend the spectacle, but who won’t take
the warnings and experiences seriously, won’t listen and won’t act. And
it is more than clear that the “horseshoe” theory of one of these
Hans-Georg Maaßens only has the purpose to trivialize the right-wing
terror and agitation – and to weaken the antifascist resistance against it.
We are taking the right to defend ourselves. We are calling on the
society in solidarity to demonstrate and to stand up with us for the
integrity of our lives and of our coexistence and to fight for putting
down Nazis and racists.
With these attacks everybody is meant, but we are hit.
But we are also saying that racism will not chase us away, but that we
have shaped and changed this society forever. For a migrant, Jewish,
black perspective. For the society of the many. The problem is not
migration, the problem is racism.
We call and urge everyone to turn their attention to the families and
relatives of the victims, to hear their voices, to state the names of
the victims. We stand with them.
We call for a nationwide demonstration in Hanau on Saturday at 14:00.
Starting point: Hauptpost am Kanaltorplatz (close to Westbahnhof). Those who
cannot come are called to hold decentralized protests at the same time.
More information on facebook account of We’ll Come United
Briefly after the news reached us that the German government has imposed a new coal legislation, a press statement was released on this blog. This text, written by a single person, is meant as an addition to the press release in commenting upon the current situation. It is also meant as an open invitation for more people who have been involved in the Hambacher Wald occupation or the resistance against coal mining generally to express their thoughts, for the sake of pluralism.
The news that the government has finally decided that what remains of Hambacher Wald must not be cut down for lignite extraction has been received in several media as a victory for the ‘climate activists’. The reaction from our side has largely been that it is not a victory; the reasons being that the diggers have approached way too close to the edge for it to be stable, that the pumps are still draining the groundwater and thus drying out the forest, that no statement in the media can suffice for us to trust the treacherous state and RWE – in other words: that there is still no guarantee that the forest is actually saved – and lastly that this announcement is to be interpreted as a harbinger of eviction, as part of a cunning political strategy to neutralize a subversive project that had long become too bothersome to be simply ignored but also too popular to be crushed by sheer force without risking political suicide. Moreover, the other deals incorporated in the law, including the destruction of the Garzweiler villages and the opening of Datteln 4 blood coal power plant are even to the standards of the Coal Commission highly problematic. The concession of Hambacher Wald is meant to distract attention from the general outline of Germany’s destructive coal policy for the next two decades, a period in which we are bound to slip into cataclysmic climate change.
A pyrrhic victory
So we find ourselves in a situation in which our opponents have announced our victory and are trying to appropriate it to their benefit. In times of accelerating ecological destruction, those trying to resist the unyielding forces of industrial capitalism have never had much ground for celebration, and it has always been clear that here, too, in the struggle for Hambacher Wald, nothing more was to be expected to come out than a pyrrhic victory – ‘one more such victory and we will be undone’.
Of the once extensive Bürgerwald – not to mention the primordial forest it used to be part of – only a mere fraction is left, global greenhouse gas emissions are still skyrocketing as governments continue to fail to live up to their commitments (if they have any commitments at all), deforestation continues unabated, ever more wildfires consume vast tracts of woodland and tundra, the insect dieback shows no sign of recovery while ecosystems and weather patterns are swinging out of equilibrium globally – to name only a few significant developments that have progressed since Hambacher Wald was first occupied in 2012. Others obviously are: Germany is still nowhere near an end to coal combustion and will continue to subsidize this murderous industry while new police laws accompany the ongoing shift to the right and Frontex’ budgets increase annually along with the Turkish state getting financial and military support to keep refugees at bay and invade and cleanse (northern) Rojava. The persistence of the German government-coal industry coalition in subsidizing coal combustion as we descend into climate chaos has long seized to be a case of irresponsible policy; if we are to heed scientific evidence at all, it is better qualified as premeditated mass extermination (auf Deutsch: Massenvernichtung).
Such are the times we live in. Some have called the new legislation a farce, or view it as a shocking excess. Yet this is business as usual, a perfectly normal course of events under the conditions of global capitalism. Too much contestation and resistance in one place leads to externalization to another, preferably well out of sight. What did we expect? That Merkel and Laschet would admit that they had erred, and instead close down all of RWE’s power plants along with Germany’s many arms and automobile factories and reinvest tax money in reforestation and regenerative agriculture instead? Germany is one of global capitalism’s core regions. What is to be expected from its CDU ruling class but to sign with their gory hands one Turkish arms deal after another coal subsidies legislation whilst currying the favour of their senile electorate with gentle words of conciliation, charity and security? The Orwellian phrasing, calling this neoliberal coal subsidizing legislation (including the legally non-obligatory 2.4 or so billion euro tax money ‘compensation’ for RWE’s projected ‘loss’ of private profit) a coal exit legislation, suggests that the CDU demagogues hold the German population for a bunch of naïve idiots (or that the German population doesn’t mind being told bullshit as long as such things as Bangladeshi textile, South American McDonalds burgers, Congolese cobalt, Chinese electronics and Columbian blood coal cost as little as they do).
A propos reparations: now that this struggle is allegedly over and the squatters have retrospectively been found justified after all in claiming that this forest must remain – even Schmitz exclaims that we have ‘no more reason’ to be in the forest, implying that all the while we did – we still haven’t seen a single cent for the destruction of our houses and the physical and psychic violence perpetrated against us. And neither do we expect to.
Some partial achievements
Equally unreasonable as expecting anything else from the German government would it have been to expect that we ourselves were going to call a halt to industrial capitalism’s rapacious progress with a few tree houses here and the odd ‘bonfire’ there. Yet, detached from unrealistic expectations, one can also look back already upon unexpected achievements. For a pyrrhic victory is still a victory. A couple of years ago, when cutting seasons were still associated with the clear-felling of 70-80 hectares, the common assumption was that the remnants of Hambacher Wald would eventually follow the previous ninety percent of the lily-of-the-valley-hornbeam-oak forest into oblivion. For many the objective was, rather than to prevent that from happening altogether, not to allow it to happen unchallenged and unnoticed, and to make RWE pay for their operations. The fact that since 2017 no felling has taken place is therefore an important achievement. Beyond safeguarding the trees still standing, the significance of what has happened around this neck of the woods lies within the propagation of a spirit of defiance as an epoch of climate chaos and growing authoritarianism is dawning. As capitalism overstretches its ecological constraints and people grow increasingly conscious of the self-destructiveness of our current course, more cracks are to be expected. Let them burst and then bloom.
And, yes, this project may have cost RWE millions. But, again, let us not be naïve: we have never come close to bringing about the downfall of RWE and over the years the state has shown no hesitation in squandering billions of tax money on this inefficient Moloch.1 The plunder and the externalization of costs will continue. And sure enough one day RWE will go bankrupt, as capitalist enterprises do, and whichever costs are still running – for example: how on earth to deal with this immense crater full of radioactive heavy metals?! – will be externalized to the public. But not before the likes of Rolf Martin Schmitz, Gregor Golland2 and BlackRock investors scattered around the world have filled their pockets and left a mess behind, their wealth ready to be invested in the next ecocidal enterprise. This struggle has never been only about one forest, nor has it been only about one mining company.
More important than the financial losses to RWE that are generously covered by the neoliberal state are the blows dealt to their carefully constructed PR apparatus, and that of coal mining and other destructive industries generally. To those not blinded by unconditional allegiance to the sponsor of their local football club the greenwashed façade has been ripped apart. And the many blows dealt by police fists have perhaps begun to uncover the more honest face of that institution to an increasing amount of people too. Today it is as important as ever to emphasize the nature of the Hambach mine as a symptom of a sick global system of human social organization beyond it being a single issue to campaign against. While we may gaze with a sense of satisfaction upon the woodpeckers, squirrels and nuthatches of Hambacher Wald, our thoughts cannot but wander to the dispossessed Shor people of the Kuznetsk Basin, the tortured and murdered opponents of coal mining in Columbia and the immense swathes of woodland set ablaze in Australia, the size of which makes Hambacher Wald shrink to little more than a tiny grove.
In regard to looking beyond our own backyard and acknowledging the systemic nature of the problem, it might be added that the semblance of a democratic process leading up to a ‘reasonable compromise’ was propped up by the media circus of the Coal Commission in which supposed coal opponents were all too eager to participate, proudly shining alongside other men and women of importance in what can only be called a painful case of voluntary abuse. How to move towards a resistance that appeals to large parts of the population and goes beyond merely pushing problems away and eventually selling out to grey men in suit and tie known as Schreibtischtäter?
Pathways to liberty
Another point worth mentioning is how the Hambacher Wald project has opened up pathways to comparative liberty for those who prefer existing in defiance of the regime and enabling themselves to engage in non-alienated work above selling one’s freedom and labour to the regime – or to be sand in the cogs of the machinery rather than being a cog oneself (this need not amount to rejecting society altogether, it means rejecting bourgeois society’s central project). For we live not only in the shadows of an ominous future but also in the light of the present’s spring, and the pursuit of liberty knows no temporal boundaries. In Hambacher Wald a constant social experiment takes place on how people (mainly young Europeans born in the neoliberal era) combine (or fail to combine) freedom with responsibility. It offers the possibility of putting principles of mutual aid into practice in the margins of a world order dominated by unforgiving competition, exploitation and alienation.
So how does this continue? As mentioned earlier, the decision to spare Hambacher Wald can be understood as a first step in a renewed media campaign to delegitimize the habitation of the forest and all it stands for. Since at the latest September 2018 NRWE had been losing this campaign as it became too apparent even for mainstream media to ignore that the invasive violence came not from some maniacal eco-terrorists but from RWE, government and police. The timing of the massive police operation was ill-starred, moving into the Indian summer after an unsettling drought. Many people were moved to support the occupation by their concern for the climate and the trees. Soon the forest was re-occupied, reemerging like a hydra with heads multiplied, and the state did not chance another eviction resulting in public indignation. So they decided to let the storm pass and contemplate more insidious ways of undoing the highly annoying ‘tumor’ called Hambi. Now they are trying to pacify the public discontent by presenting themselves as accommodating and compromising, giving a symbolic concession with as little content as possible, all packed in Orwellian doublespeak. The aim is clear: the population must be lead to believe that CDU takes the climate problem serious, that there will soon be an end to coal without causing any disruptions to ‘the economy’, and that Hambacher Wald has been saved by a brave and thorough political decision which takes away all legitimacy for further habitation of the forest.
Statecraft has long known the tried and tested method of divide and conquer, and in a case not too dissimilar from Hambacher Wald, the autonomous ZAD de Notre-Dame-des-Landes in France, its efficacy has been demonstrated once more in 2018. The announcement that the contested airport would not be build was soon followed by the announcement that the squatters would be dealt with. An immense police operation ensued as state officials put pressure on former allies to distance themselves from the illegal occupation and allow for a return to ‘normality’. The tragedy of the last months of the ZAD as autonomous zone was not so much the military invasion itself – this lies beyond our control – as the state’s success at squeezing the solidarity and potency out of this ‘tumor’ that had become a strong symbol with potential for growth beyond the contested zone itself. There is no such thing as a single practical lesson to be learnt from the experience of the ZAD that now has to be translated to the context of Hambacher Wald, but let us be aware that the step taken by the German government is bound to have consequent steps ahead, and that there are multiple ways of dealing with this changing reality which in turn will have diverging consequences. If Hambacher Wald eventually turns out to be definitively relieved from cutting – if ever one can get a credible guarantee from a gang of liars and manipulators – the question will be how best to further protect and restore its health and ecology, and carry out the values that inspired its occupation.
Whatever happens in this old forest between Rhine and Rur, let us be like the rhizomes of stinging nettles, sometimes lying dormant when rest is needed, but emerging and re-emerging where the gardeners of ecocidal capitalist domination don’t want us.
1 As Brock and Dunlap write in their highly recommendable ‘Normalising corporate counterinsurgency: Engineering consent, managing resistance and greening destruction around the Hambach coal mine and beyond‘: “Yet the claim that RWE’s operations benefit the public coffers disregards the German environmental ministry’s findings that roughly one billion euro/year subsidies are provided to lignite power production, in addition to the financial burden of environmental and health detriments of at least 3.5 billion euro/year.”
2 Again Brock and Dunlap: “[…] the NRW police force is controlled by the state’s parliamentary Interior Committee. One of its most active members is Gregor Golland, an MP doubling as RWE employee with an annual corporate salary of up to €120,000 – only slightly less than his government salary of €128.712.”
Found on Dannenrod forest occupation blog https://waldstattasphalt.blackblogs.org/2020/01/15/we-live-in-war/
I wrote this post a time ago. Didn´t post it then. But today, after hearing that just in Colombia, only in the short time run of this new year, 20 peasant leaders have been killed already, I remember this text, and I share it now with you. Nothing has changed. Just today I feel it more. Hugs to everybody around Dannenroder forst! Keep radical!
We live in war.
We live in war. It is a hard statement but I hold it firmly.
I know it, but I don’t often feel it enough.
The feeling came again in an evening conversation with a kurdish friend, hearing him sharing about his life experience, and that of his relatives. My own family history came to my mind, about how my grandmother suffered from fascism till the point of losing her mother language.
But the thing is, we don’t know our present, and even less we know our past. Or at least, we don’t feel them enough. Having no memory is one of the worst things that can happen so us.
The news have reached us yesterday that the german government has decided that the Hambacher Forest should not be cut down. This is a statement of the Hambacher Forest Press Team:
This news brings us neither joy nor despair. We interpret this as part of a political strategy aimed at delegitimising the Hambacher forest occupation. In the following points we clarify this as an attack on the climate justice movement.
Mike from the Hambacher Forest says “I can’t accept that Hambacher Forest is used as a smokescreen to hide the ongoing ecocidal and imperialistic policy of the German state”
Contrary to what the government says, Hambacher Forest is not saved. more…
This is the temporary timetable for the skillsharing camp. This isn’t the final version. The participation of many is vital to the skillsharing camp. If you have a skill you want to share or you want to talk about a specific topic… go for it and write an e-mail about what you want to do and when, to firstname.lastname@example.org. All workshops and events are at the meadow or the forest.
The workshops are generally on the meadow, if there are at an other place, it’s mentioned in the title. Here is the current map with all workshop locations.
A little annotation: Title and description are from the people doing the workshops. We, the orga, do explicitly not support every content. We are a diverse movement and of course different opinions are required.
We do NOT want racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, other group-applied hostility against people and generally right-wing shit.
The translation isn’t finished yet, it’s going to be finished the next days.
The following text was published (and commented, mainly in english) on the german version of our site.
It is an open answer to Extinction Rebellion Köln. It is continuing the discourse that started on the hambibleibt mastodon account with a thread about controversies related to XR.
To read how it started follow this link:
why we choose to be on mastodon you can read here: https://twitter.com/HambiBleibt/status/1158493876518301696
AN OPEN ANSWER TO XR KÖLN: more…