Germany: Hambach Forest occupation evicted a third time – Reoccupation scheduled for April 26th

After the crackdown on the third occupation in the Hambach Forest, activists are determined to reoccupy the Hambach Forest on April 26th, 2014. On that day, a demonstration will start at 2pm at the train station in Buir (near Cologne).

New courage despite eviction and repression

The Hambach Forest occupation was evicted. Using numerous squadrons, climbing teams and attempts to intimidate the public (“we do not advice anyone to come here”), the police finally did what was anyways expected long ago: the RWE energy company, the federal state, the city and the police wanted to prove who dominates, who sets the tone. But it is not all so simple. In no way do raids, evictions and all fucking repressive operations show their superiority, but their fear! Furthermore, several media representatives once again showed themselves to be compliant assistants of the interests of industry and politics. For instance, during the eviction of the forest occupation in November 2012, specialists of the mine rescue team were admiring the “professionally constructed” tunnel in the Hambach Forest [built as refuge from police raids], but ultimately the media copied the police statement alone, reporting it was all about a rescue operation because one single person was endangering one’s own life and the lives of others. Absurd.

Now it is said that the city of Kerpen was responsible for the eviction order on March 27th, 2014. According to allegations, there was a danger to “life and limb”, building regulations were violated, and therefore ramblers ran the permanent risk of falling treehouses. Actually, we are really not in the mood to remark on arguments which try to legitimize the brutal crackdown of resistance, and thereby provide legitimization for environmental destruction, climate change, forced evictions of entire villages as well as the killing of human and non-human beings. And yes, we talk about murder, for what other word should we use regarding the increased nuclear radiation through mining, fine dust pollution, CO2 emissions, the streams of refugees, starving and dying people caused by climate change and capitalism, the splitting of families and local communities through the displacement of entire localities, the destruction of habitat, and the direct killing of animals by logging and pit mining? As previously written, it is not all so simple.

For how can treehouses suddenly not meet the building requirements, when those treehouses were never inspected by anyone from the administration of Kerpen? When no one from the construction agency or any other authority had the faintest idea of the alleged insecurities? Why should we build treehouses insufficiently, when we ourselves inhabit them—day in, day out–and fight for the preservation of the forest? How can treehouses pose a threat to ramblers, who would find themselves at any spot in the forest where there have been no official walking paths or hiking trails? In the end, it’s quite easy to answer these questions: nothing but pretexts.

Everyone who claims something else than that we were evicted by the RWE company is twisting obvious facts. One week after the raid on the meadow, when climbing ropes of people inside the treehouses were cut by the police at a height of three meters without any regard to the apparent danger to “life and limb”, the coverage of the eviction of Hambach Forest has focused on such (partial) arguments. The Hambach Forest occupation was evicted by the police, the “state force”, in the name of – and thus also by – the RWE. It was evicted in the interest of enterprise and politics; not because there was a danger for us or other people in the Hambach Forest, but because WE pose a danger to power interests of the, here, acting persons. The RWE has lost billions of euros not because this company is so fucked up (we can take this for granted) but because there was serious shit going on inside this fucking company (we were pleased to hear this news, by the way): Garzweiler [a town affected by opencast coal mining] stood before the political decision we now know of and cheer on; the last section of the expansion will not be implemented; this implies “survival” of 1,400 people in Holzweiler.

We are delighted at this news alongside people living on site. And this is exactly a message whose brisance could be enormous. The RWE knows it, too. If the construction of a “pit” is halted at a village, then perhaps other seemingly irrefutable decisions upon continuation and expansion can also be revoked. Especially if the pressure on the so-called decision makers would increase. What about the people in Manheim, Morschenich, Borschemich, Immerath, and all other localities that are still “doomed”, living on the edge of opencast mines operated by RWE? These people could also think about whether there are still ways in which their villages and communities could be saved. It cannot be denied that, instead of arguments like “the protest came 30 years too late,” voices are bound to be heard that are full of hope and newly burgeoning possibilities. And perhaps also voices full of willingness, radicalism, openly urging others not to give up and not to wait for any decisions, but to bring them about on their own, putting up a fight again that the RWE (supported by political decisions) thought to have already won decades ago. These thoughts, which were certainly a big deal for think tanks of the RWE and the government, resulted in their fear and pressure to take action, that have led to the raid and the eviction.

The occupation was evicted because the very idea that people resist poses a great threat; generally, but TODAY MORE THAN EVER! Especially the occupation in the Hambach Forest, the resistance in the woods, at the meadow camp, which still exists in full bloom, the resistant structures and people, all this is now an even bigger thorn in the flesh of the RWE and the federal state. Even more people could align themselves with this existing and enduring protest; those who could build a new blazing, hopeful opposition to the open-pit coal mine by their own decisions around Garzweiler. Hence the attempt of criminalization which was sought through the raid; hence the eviction of the forest occupation. As a clear sign of the “rulers” to all people in Rhineland and beyond: that resistance is futile.

As we said several times, it is not all so simple. Other things are however: after an eviction, comes an occupation – the day of the re-occupation is already publicly announced: it is set for April 26th, 2014.

A skill sharing camp will take place beforehand, from 12 to 25 April, on the meadow and everywhere around. That’s a promise! The fact that dates are already fixed and clearly stated is not an asset to the so-called “authorities”, but rather shows how confident and positive we are that we will reoccupy the Hambach Forest, that we can stop opencast mining in Rhineland, and moreover push back domination, authority and faith in growth for good – inside of us and around us! It is never too late to stand up for one’s own interests! Let’s create two, three, many Holzweiler and equally many Hambach Forests!


see video from February 2014 here + photos from and after the latest eviction

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