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 ANNOUNCEMENT 13.09.18

EVICTION IN THE HAMBACH FOREST CONTINUES, POLICE AND RWE ENDANGERS LIVES OF ACTIVISTS

Today the police continued the largest police deployment in the history of the state of NRW, the evictions in the 12,000 year old Hambach forest.

Early in the morning police entered Oaktown and Gallien and began cutting several trees and evicting treehouses.

Throughout the day the police cut down around 40 trees in and around Gallien, pulled out the stumps and roots left behind, and filled the holes with sand, to make it unclear, how big the trees were.

In the treehouses Pyra and Mona, in the Oaktown occupation, activists locked themselves on to concrete blocks under the floors, to postpone the eviction as far as possible. The eviction of these treehouses, that were some of the oldest in the occupation, and for a long time been home to the activists, took several hours.

To reach the treehouses, the police felled several trees, and cut off large parts of the crowns, close to traverses, in which activists where hanging.

At this point activists made it official, that under the hut Simona, a tunnelsystem, in which several people were locked on, was to be found.

Even though many activists made it explicitly clear, that the use of heavy vehicles in the area, would put the lives of the people below in danger, police continued to drive around heavy eviction-equipment in the area.

Besides this, the police let the engines of the machines keep running, close to the ventilation of the tunnelsystem, furtherly endangering the activists.

Also in the so-called „North“, another treehouse-village, the police continued their activity, and attempted to evict an unsecured activist from a skypod.

Here they felled trees close to the ropes on which the skypod was hanging, another life-threatening situation.

The action of the police, which ironically is based on „a lack of safety in the treehouses“, is bringing activists in the Hambach forest occupation into increasingly dangerous situation, and continually threatening the lives of the people.

Responsible for the this insanity continuing, is the interior minister of NRW Herbert Reul (CDU), who supports energy-giant RWE with the weapons of the state, treads down the rights of human and nature, showing his priority of profit over the well-being of people.

Therefore, we are demanding, that the police immediately removes the state of „danger-zone“, that is threatening the lives of people, and has already killed animals and plants, and leaves the area!

Today many people also showed their solidarity with the occupation.

In Buir a demonstration of hundreds took place, and in other cities all over Germany and Europe, demonstrations and actions took place. For example the NRW county-department in Berlin was occupied by activists from EndeGelände. Activists also occupied a „Deutsche Bank“, and in Düren the Green Youth organized a solidarity-concert

The movement for the preservation of the Hambach Forest is growing ever wider, and we will keep occupying the forest, standing in opposition to RWE, and fighting for life! 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!

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.