A few thoughts about solidarity and violence

german version
The following text was published on the 2nd May 2014 at hambacherforst.blogsport.de. After an incident were the police came into the forest with a century to evict some tents and at the same time one f their cars lost the windows. After this happened there was a lot of mass media shitwere – without evidence – the terrorists” of the occupation were blamed to act in a really violent way. Followed by this many citizens put ressure on the occupation to dissociate from such acts or they would cut the solidarity. This text is what followed ll this happenings.

Recently, some voices came up that – built up from several newspaper articles – question the camp (the occupation of the meadow next to the forest). Above all the alleged aggressiveness of activists and the demolishing of a police car which is being attributed to the occupation were criticized. That is why we came together some days ago to talk about this topic.

These first two points in advance:
On the one hand there is no collective “We”. The constellation of people at the occupation is constantly changing and the entire movement is fortunately very diverse and will not and can not be unified.
On the other hand it is very difficult to define the term and the concept of violence – about this there exist already many different ideas.
Therefore, this text does not claim to to be to universally applicable for the entire movement but rather tries to contribute to the discussion.

First of all, we want to share what opinions and questions have been raised in our meeting.
Is, for example, violence against things generally violence? Can’t it even be irresponsible to refrain from violence if by using it worse could be prevented? Is a person automatically nonviolent if he_she doesn’t take any weapons or doesn’t fight with the own hands?
Isn’t it also violence to pay others to hurt people? Or to oppress people? What does it mean then to buy clothes which were produced by children or sick people under pressure? Or to buy meat for which living beings are all their lifes tortured and then murdered? Is it illegitimate to prevent greater violence even if this means that you have to use a certain extent of violence yourself? Is it illegitimate to defend somebody so that this person doesn’t suffer violence even if this means that this protecting requires violence? What is self-defense? Who decides about this? How much power have those who decide about it?
On the other hand was also stated that actions such as the demolishing of police cars can be counterproductive because it negatively reflects on the occupation and creates more waste. And we asked ourselves as well whether we can achieve anything with violence. Because finally the police is superior in numbers, has more resources and power and does also have the jurisdiction on their side. Some of us are also afraid that any defensive violence could lead to more violence of the other side.

However, it can also be very hard not to fight back when the police beats you up and / or you are daily confronted with the destruction caused by RW€. It is useful and important for the emotional well-being not to be defenseless in a violent situation. Post-traumatic stress reactions can occur when you impotently have face an attack (f.e. when fight or flight is not possible) – and often activists are struggling with this after a contact with the police. Thus, it can have long and serious consequences if man does not fight back. Or does it really just lead to more police brutality?
Many were angry or sad about the fact that the responses to an alleged attack by squatters at a thing are so negative whilst police violence is often hardly even noticed. Even though police violence often means brutal beatings, imprisonment and torture.

It is also repeatedly shocking how one-sided the press reports: It has not been proved who smashed the windows of the car. Apparently none of the journalist thought that it would be necessary to go to the occupation in order to get a second opinion. Nevertheless the articles are considered by many to be “the truth”. This is even more astonishing if one considers the fact that directly next to one of these articles some RW€ advertisement was published: Who gets money apparently has no interest in building up an opinion as open and as objective as possible. Somehow it is also not surprising that the violence carried out by RW€ is often ignored: An (apparently) 82km² big hole is being dredged, a beautiful old forest is being destroyed forever, people are being relocated and noone gives a damn about the heavy consequences for the humans but also for the nature as a whole. Nevertheless, those who try to resist all this with the few resources they have are being criminalized or apparently even feared.
Too bad …

With all this of cause I don’t want to say that it is not understandable if people for example feel intimidated by persons wearing masks. Nevertheless, unfortunately this is often necessary because of self-protection. It happens that the police uses pictures to identify person. And this can mean that the person concerned ha to face charges even if the only “crime” consists in having made a walk in the woods. The imagination of the police is great in this respect and in terms of credibility in front of the mass media and a court the police is also privileged. Activists don’t just wear masks for fun and certainly also not to intimidate people – least of all with these temperatures! (This text was composed in bright sunshine and more than 20 degrees)

In one newspaper article it was also mentioned that squatters had set up traps inside the forest.
Such cases are not known. This allegation we hold rather for another strategy to criminalize protest. If we build barricades or trenches we always make sure that they are clearly marked and pedestrians can unhindered enjoy the forest.
We are not on this camp to use violence but to do something about it. We are committed to the preservation of nature and villages. The destruction emanates from others.
The occupation is meant to be a place of solidarity with humans and the nature – and we hope that it will also be seen as such the future.
More criticism, suggestions and opinions are of course still welcome and we would also be very happy to continue this discussion with you here on the meadow.

Ticker en fran­cais

20:00
une vue d’ensemble de la foret Hambach et des occupations:

Karte_Wiederbesetzung_26_04_2014

Traduction:
1 occupation des ambres
2 occupation des ambres
3 occupation des ambres (place inedité)
W occupation de pré
a) première occupation foret grande (04/2012 – 11/2012)
b) deuxième occupation foret grande (08/2013 – 03/2014)

19:05
Une fete est dans la deuxieme nouveau occupation (près de l’occupation autrefois), avec musique, bon ambiance et moral et la presse.

more…

!HOY! 26A – REOCUPACION DEL BOSQUE! (castellano)

Querid@s amig@s!

Como tenemos problemas tecnicas no podemos actualizar el blog espanol ahora. Por eso ponemos los textos espanoles aqui, en el blog ingles.

Hoy, el 26 de abril de 2014, es el dia de la REOCUPACION DEL BOSQUE HAMBACH!
Ya han sucedido unas acciones estupendos! Nos alegramos mucho de esos y esperamos con placer a todo mas que viene… Por ejemplo la manifestacion que empieza ahora mismo en Buir y ira al alrededor del bosque.

Al lado de informaciones, textos y imagenes generales tambien hay tickers para hoy en los blogs. Los tickers aleman y ingles ya existen desde hace unas horas. Desde ahora tambien hay un ticker en castellano aqui.

Como solo tenemos un teclado aleman desgraciadamente no puedo poner los acentos etc.

Si quereis hablar a nosotr@s por telefono, llamaid por este numero:

0157-541.361.00

Por la completitud al final unas lemas:

El bosque Hambach queda!
Suprima RWE!
trabajo, capital, nacion, Mierda!
Viva la resistencia!
A las barricadas!

TICKER – MONDAY April 28th (+ past)

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So, here we launch the Ticker, full of Love and Revolt there’s gonna be the most current happenings and informations on the re-occupation of the Hambach Forest

Other Languages:
Castellano Ticker
“French” Ticker
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+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++ THURSDAY 7th of May +++

01:30 pm
Sorry for the bad reporting here the last days. It got very silent in the Hambach Forest.
The Police didn’t visit since the first few days of the reoccupation and the occupations are growing and getting bigger and bigger.
New images will come soon!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++ MONDAY 28th of April +++

01:25 pm
After they entertained the crowd there, the Carnival-Column left the forest and drove away =/

12:55 am
The cops are going through the second occupation! But still no information why they are going there.

12:40 am
NOW there are cops in the forest. Yeah, really. Cops wearing helmets. It was said that there are around 30 to 60 cops in the forest

11:45 am
There were no cops in the forest. But when the security was blocked today they went off.

Nicely done!

11:06 am
Security was blocked in the forest. Because of that there is a few police in the forest now.

Let’s wait and see.. We keep the news up to date anyhow!

+++++
new pictures and a video of the reoccupation are online now
+++++

7:00 am
The person who was arrested by the police this night has been released. She is fine.
After she gave her identity on the police station they took her fingerprints nevertheless. She was kept in the police station the whole night. A detailed Report only on german yet

This (all through illegal) action shows how conservative, fascistic and brutal the police is.
Our solidarity against their repression! Because together we are stronger then they are!!

~02:00 am
A Car has been stopped by the Police on the way from Düren to Merzenich because they wanted to make a car control. When they wanted to get the identity of the co-drivers, one person said, that she want to know the reason for this identity-check, before she will give her identity. Subsequently they dragged her brutally out of the car and took her to the police station. A detailed Report only on german yet

more…

FIERCE RESISTANCE TO TOILET DEMOLITION IN FOREST OCCUPATION

Bagger blockiert! Bagger blockiert! Bagger blockiert!

12 activists arrested and several injured during the demolition of the compost toilets in Hambacher Forest in Germany.

A hundred riot police officers, mounted police, and security personnel of the RWE energy corporation arrived early in the morning (23.4.2014) with bulldozers and diggers in order to demolish the compost toilets and infrastructure of the protest camp.

The activists climbed on trees, constructed blockades, and protested with music and clowning. One activist chained themself to a bulldozer with a lock-on tube, thus stopping the whole convoy for four hours. Police brutally attacked the protesters. One activist was hospitalized with a concussion after police repeatedly hit him on the head.

„We wonder why the police invests so much energy and resources in the destruction of sustainable toilets when 500 metres away lays the biggest shit-hole in Europe,“ said Ginger and Clowney after their arrest.

Hambacher Forest was occupied since April 2012 in protest against the expanding open-pit mine Hambacher Tagebau, the largest CO2 producer in Europe, owned by RWE. The occupation has been delaying the continued destruction of the ancient forest.

A few days ago an article appeared in the local mainstream media claiming that activists harrass passersby and smash police and company vehichles.
„Three days before the official re-occupation of Hambach Forst, RWE and the police are looking to intimidate and criminalize the activists. The mainstream media is very willing to support this cheap propaganda,“ said the activist Isabell Schwarz.

The activists faced several evictions, but have immediately re-occupied. The last eviction was at March 27th, but a public re-occupation is planned for April 26th.

Digger blockade!

„We oppose all this shit“ Interview with the EarthFirst! Journal

EarthFirst! Newswire

The Earth First! Journal published an extended Interviewon the Hambach Forest, the eviction, the re-occupation and the protest in the Rhineland.

Please feel free to subscribe their newsletter to be in solidarity with our friends at the EF! Journal and also up to date with “direct actions in defense of living systems”!

Here’s the interview

more…

Another Info-session about the Hambach Forest in the US

On Friday, 11th of April 2014, a very well attended Infosession in Chapel Hill/NC (US) took place.

Internationalist Books Chapel Hill

At the “Internationalist Books & Community Center” some two dozen people mingled and besides the Info-session a Q&A did happen concerning the current situation of the movement in the Rhineland – which did lead to more than 3 hours of information, exchange, discussions and questions.

We are so freakin’ pleased about this networking and sympathy and we send greetings of solidarity and love to all our comrades and friends everywhere out there – and today especially to Chapel Hill!

Call Out for Reoccupation of the Hambach Forest on April 26th 2014

After the eviction of the third occupation in the Hambach Forest near Köln, which took place on March 27th after existing almost 7 months, one thing is sure:

Occupation Number 4!

Wiederbesetzung

We had to suffer massive repression, especially this time: the raid on the meadow occupation and two other projects, confiscation of all our electronic devices, hand-written journals as well as private stuff. This proves one thing: Our direct protest against the exploitation and the destruction of nature by RWE is effective. We will show that we’re not afraid and we will not give up!

As announced before, there will be a Re-Occupation at Day X+4 (the saturday 4 weeks after the eviction).

And:
The 26th of April isn’t just a day like another.
This very day exactly 28 years ago the nuclear catastrophe in Chernobyl took place. We cannot seperate the struggles against Coal and Nuclear Power. It’s not enough to shut down nuclear power plants and substitute this by burning coal; as well as it’s not acceptable to stop mining and burning coal for the creation of nuclear energy.
It’s a common resistance against the destruction of nature and the idea of ongoing growth in disregard of the results.

It’s a criticism of capitalist thinking, which just divides in resources and capital.
We cannot wait until the next big catastrophe opens the eyes of people.

Something has to change NOW!

So we will re-occupy the Hambach Forest on April the 26th, massively and determined!

On this day, a demonstration will start at 2 pm at the train station in Buir.

If you are motivated to take part in the organization, you can visit the “Build Resistance Skill Sharing Camp”, which takes place from April 12th to 25th on the occupied meadow. There an open organization meeting for the day of the Re-occupation is going to take place: on Sunday, 13th April, at 12am.

You can participate as individuals or affinity groups in many different ways:
Spread the word, help with the organization, occupy the trees or support on the ground.
Your solidarity is stronger than all repression!

For more information write to hambacherforst@nullriseup.net, or follow our blog: hambacherforst.blogsport.de.

Together, we stop RWE and the open cast pit!
Respect Existence or Expect Resistance!

See you on April 26th!

You can find flyers and posters for self-print hier.