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!

List of demands from autonomous activists in the Hambi

The occupation here is strong and diverse, and although we have different perspectives, ideologies and tactics, we (an autonomous group of activists in the forest occupation) have chosen to give a list of demands. These demands are directed towards the fossil-fuel fuckers of RWE and the CO2rrupt government of Northrhine-Westphalia.

1. An immediate end to the eviction of the Hambach Forest occupation, and all other autonomous zones.
2. An immediate end to the destruction of the unique ecosystems in the 12,000 Hambach Forest.
3. An immediate end to the destruction of villages, landscapes and agricultural lands around the RWE owned Rheinland open-pit lignite mines.
4. An immediate end to the extraction of lignite coal.
5. An immediate end to the capitalist exploitation in Germany and worldwide.
6. An immediate end to the environmental racism of fossil-fueled colonialism.

We are fully aware, that these demands will not be fulfilled, as the parties involved (RWE, NRW, and the ruling-class worldwide) have no interest in abolishing techno-industrial capitalism. Nonetheless, we will not only fight for what is “possible” or “realistic”, we we will fight for what is “radical”, “utopic” and “just”!

No more compromises, climate justice NOW!

CALLOUT FOR INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY WITH THE HAMBACHER FORST

Currently large amounts of police-vans, including water-cannons, eviction-tanks, and special commands, are gathering at the Hambach Forest occupation.
This follows already received information, that the violent eviction of the Hambacher Forst occupation will continue today.
The energy giant RWE is evicting the occupation, in order to cut the forest, to continue their extraction of lignite coal.

We are asking for climate activists all over the world, to show their solidarity, and put pressure on RWE and the German government to stop the cutting of the forest, and for an immediate phase out of coal.
Whether bannerdrops, demonstrations or direct actions, the point is clear:
Organize yourself, take action, and show your solidarity!
Our movement is stronger than their repression!
Hambacher Forst stays, today and forever!

PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT 13.09.18

LARGE AMOUNTS OF POLICE AT HAMBI, TREEHOUSE EVICTION EXPECTED

This morning marks the first day, in what may be the largest police action in the history of the state of Northrhine-Westphalia. In the early hours of the day, an several hundred police officers arrived at the entrance to the Hambach forest. This follows information already shared in German national media, that the violent eviction of the Hambacher Forest occupation is to be continued today.
Here, for the 6th year in a row, activists from all over Germany and Europe have occupied the forest, in an attempt to stop the cutting of the 12,000 year old forest for the continued expansion of energy-giant RWEs lignite coal-mine, one of Europe’s largest sources of greenhousegas-emissions.

Allegedly the official reasoning for the eviction, is an “imminent fire-danger” and a lack of proper fire extinguishers. The ridiculous reasoning behind the eviction (fire extinguishers ironically having been confiscated from the occupation in the last weeks), follows the absurd excuse of “tidying up the forest” for the previous eviction of ground structures, and the brutal state-violence in their self-declared “danger-zone”.

This being the state of things, we are expecting police forces to begin evicting the over 50 treehouses currently in the occupation. This would entail the destruction of large amounts of underwood and trees, in order to bring in heavy machinery, thus breaking the formerly announced “cutting-stop” supposed to last until the 14th of October. This will not only be an attack on the unique ecosystems of the Hambach Forest, and the autonomous living spaces inside the occupation, but will most likely also, as the last weeks have clearly shown, include brutal police violence and repression towards climate-justice activists, supporters, as well as members of national and international press.

The deployment of highly militarized police forces by the state of NRW to shut down the largest movement for nature preservation and climate-justice in Germany, is the strongest in a long line of examples showing the violence of the German police-state against legitimate civil protest in the Rheinland brown-coal area.
Responsible for this attack on political dissidence and civil rights is the interior minister of NRW, Herbert Reul (CDU), who is using the tools of the state to protect the interests of energy-giant RWE, and the coal-lobby, clearly showing the corruption inherent in the system of German free-market capitalism.

The eviction of the occupation will most likely be one of the longest in German history, and how it will develop is still very unclear, but if it follows the example of the previous police-actions, a high amount of police-brutality is to be expected.
The repression, however, will not stop the activists from resisting, in peaceful, militant, creative and colourful ways, showing the full spectrum of the movement.

Leila, an activist from the Hambach forest occupation, had this to say:
“The extraction of lignite, and the resulting destruction of local landscapes, nature, and the global environment has to stop, not tomorrow, not the day after, but today! No matter the weapons you point at us, no matter the strength of your forces, and no matter the ‘legitimacy’ of your government, we will keep struggling for a just transition away from fossil fuels, and the extractivist injustice of capitalism. RWE may have the money, but we have the movement!
We will not stop fighting until the forest is safe, the coal-mine is closed, and your system of exploitation is demolished! The Hambach forest stays, today and forever!”

Demo TODAY Thursday 13th from Buir to Hambach Forest 16:00

PLEASE SHARE

To resist the probable begin of treehouse evictions, and the coming plans for cutting, there will be a demonstration walking from Buir to Hambach Forest starting at 4pm until 6.30pm.

Begin: Buir Bahnhof
Time: Meeting at 16:00, beginning of demo at 16:30 Uhr end: ca. 18:30

Trains:
Aachen:
15:18 platform 6 to Horrem, then change to S19 at 16:01
Bonn:
15:02 Gleis 2 to Köln Hbf there change to S19 at 15:40
Köln: 15:40 from platform 11
Düsseldorf:
14:58 platform 16 to Köln Hbf there change to S19 at 15:40

Take care:at all stations between dortmund and duisburg there are police watching out who is moving in direction monchengladbach or aachen. Take care of yourselves!

ALERT:Eviction of the treehouses ordered starting this morning Thursday 13th Keep informed, Come to the Woods

According to information from WDR, eviction of #HambachForest treehouses has been ordered by NRW construction minister starting this morning of Thurs 13th september. Apparently for safety of occupiers because of fire danger. They say it’ll be one of biggest&longest police operations in history of NRW.
In case any forest dwellers still want to give their identity and challenge the eviction through the legal system, please write us by e-mail, we can then send you a draft, that you can fill in and send to the Verwaltungsgericht (administrative court) Cologne.

PRESS RELEASE – 12.09.18

ACTIVISTS THROW ROCKS, POLICE ANSWERS WITH GUNSHOTS

Tensions are rising in and around the 12,000 year old Hambach forest.

This morning (Wednesday 12th of September, at around 10:30) a police-officer fired a warning-shot in response to an attack by masked militants allegedly throwing rocks at police-officers and -cars, on the L276, a.k.a. the Secu-Road.

The current situation in the Rheinish lignite-mining area, with the strong police presence, the forced isolation, the continuous controls, and the constant threat of eviction of the climate-justice occupation, is putting a large amount of psychological pressure on activists, as well as to some extent police officers in the area.

Therefore we are asking for a general de-escalation of the situation in and around the Hambach Forest, in order to give activists, as well as state-workers, a much needed break.

For this the first step would be the removal of the limited state-of-emergency, or the so-called “danger-zone”, and secondly a clear message from energy-giant RWE that the climate-justice occupation camp will not be the target of an eviction or any other police action.

The removal of the state of “danger-zone”, and the ending of the deployment of several hundred police-officers, would also free up large amounts of resources in the state of NRW, which could then be directed towards the much more pressing topic of a transition towards green energy.

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 ANNOUNCEMENT 2 | 05.09.18

EVICTION OF GROUND STRUCTURES IN THE HAMBACH FOREST, PREPARING FOR SOONLY EXPECTED TREEHOUSE EVICTION

Since 7:30 AM police officers of the German state, in cooperation with RWE employees, have been clearing ground structures and barricades in the occupied Hambach forest.
Huts, shelters, and other necessary infrastructure (including compost-toilets and kitchens) have been destroyed all over the forest.

In clearing the road for their machinery, the police evicted three occupied barricades; two tripods and a monopod. In order to protect the structure, an activist locked themselves on in a 2.5 meter deep tunnel below the tripod.
Although they were equipped with a cherrypicker and several climbing-cops, the cops did not manage to fully evict the barricades before 17:20.

The people evicted from the barricades were alongside other activists violently arrested, and put into detention in the city of Aachen, excluding one activist, who was brought to the hospital in Bergheim with a broken arm, as a result of state violence
Outside the detention center supporters gathered to welcome the activists once released, but even this peaceful support was harassed by the police,

This attack on the movement for climate-justice in the Rheinland marks one of the largest escalations from the German police in the struggle for the Hambach forest.

While the police aggressively attacked the protest-camp, around 700 people attended a demonstration walking from the nearby city of Buir along the forest, protesting the dismantling of civil-rights and the clearing of the 12.000 year old forest, by fossil-fuel-giant RWE. The demonstration, a colourful group of people young and old, was escorted by a large amount of police officers, as well as cops on horses. The demonstration ended at the edge of the forest, and people could enter the forest unhindered.

The frontlines have been clearly drawn, with the state fighting on the side of RWE and the coal-lobby, and activists fighting for the preservation of nature and climate justice.
This day is only one of many more to come, and Day X seems to be coming closer every hour.

PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT 05.09.18

EVICTION OF GROUND- AND BLOCKADESTRUCTURES IN THE HAMBACH FOREST

Currently RWE employees in cooperation with the police forces of the NRW are evicting ground- and Blockadestructures in the Hambach Forest occupation.

Since 7:30 AM, a large amount of police officers have begun a violent eviction in the occupied forest protest-camp, further escalating the situation in the struggle about the 12.000 year old forest.

The huts, tents and improvised shelters being destroyed by the forces of the German state function not only as a base for organizing the resistance, but as a living space for a large group of people.
The repressive police action is therefore not only an attack against the movement for the preservation of the forest and for climate justice, but an attack on autonomous spaces worldwide and alternatives to the capitalist system.

The destruction of the ground structures includes the eviction of an occupied barricade, a so-called tripod, where activists are currently locked on, to further complicate the work of the police.

This violent escalation follows the call from Herbert Reul, interior minister of NRW, for a policy of “zero-tolerance” towards the climate activists in the forest. In this way Herbert Reul actively protects the interest of the energy-company RWE and the coal-lobby.


Pictures: https://twitter.com/SWeiermann