The deadly event in the Hambach Forest on 19.09.2018 shocked me, in my already existing sadness and nervous overstimulation, and almost made me freeze up. To work against this feeling of suspension, I tried, with the following cutout of my memory, to process my experiences, which I luckily have the possibility to share. Only days before I was brought into a life-threatening situation, by police-officers and RWE-workers hand-in-hand. With this small piece of text, I am trying to encourage people who say „they are doing a great job“ or „the activists are bringing themselves into danger“ to reconsider. To all police-officers who had doubts, whether at the place of action or in the detention centre: just stop only following orders and defending your own situation. Think about it, and change it.
I am thankful to all of you, who were close to me in this situation. All who told me calming words on the phone or over the walkies. Especially the supporting-people who were there, who constantly, either calmly or screaming, attempted to prevent this unprofessional and dangerous eviction.
Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.
A conveyer to the generating unit of the lignite-fired power plant in #Niederaußem Germany is blocked by activists at the moment. Action in solidarity with #Hambacher Forest. Banner says “#HambiBleibt” (Hambi stays) – #HambacherForst #Niederausmachen Images by @revomage pic.twitter.com/gj4rXSkbgq
— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) 15. September 2018
Power-plant-blockade Niederaußem, 15.09.2018
I am sitting in the top of the tripod, in a height of ca. 5 meters. The tripod is standing on both conveyor-belts, who themselves have a height of ca. 2.5m. So in case of a fall, I would have at least 7 meters to the ground. Not only the impact on the ground would injure me very seriously, also the falling metal-beams of the tripod would injure or even kill me. The tripod is secured with ropes in a way, that it is stable, as long as it isn‘t moved or manipulated.
RWE workers are putting up ladders on the conveyor-belts, helmed police climbs up, and approaches the tripod. They request the supporting-people, who are standing close to the tripod-beams, to leave the belts voluntarily. Otherwise they would be removed with force. Supporters and I keep reminding the police, that it is dangerous to move the tripod. I request the officers to deploy a technical unit, who can properly asses the construction and securely evict it. No reaction from the police-officers. I tell the supporting-people that it would be OK for me, that they left the belt voluntarily, as I can‘t imagine how the people would be brought down from the conveyor-belts on ladders or in the shovel of a digger, without injury or police-violence. They still discuss with the police, that they want to stay, since they are there for my safety. The discussion goes nowhere, they leave by themselves, and can descend unendangered on the ladders. They are brought to the police-vans around 30 meters away, and ID-controls are begun.
Tripod at „NiederAUSmachen“, 15.09.2018
Now RWE-workers are ascending onto the belts. Immediately they begin groping the tensioning-cables that keep the legs of the tripod in position. One of the banners is demonstratively and energetically pulled down. I scream to the people below, that they are threatening my life. A police-officer stops the independent actions of the RWE-people. RWE and police are exchanging thoughts on the construction. Their first (bad) idea is, to pull the three legs away from each other simultaneously, in order to bring me closer to the ground. I scream again, telling them to stop this eviction-attempt, that they have no idea about this construction, and that they can‘t properly estimate the risk. The second (and at least as bad) idea is, to shorten the legs from below. Again I am requesting the officers, to deploy a technical unit. With the comment, that I could just come down myself, my request is dismissed. After around 20 minutes two people position themselves respectively at two of the beams, RWE and police in action together. They lift up the legs and carry the tripod, with me hanging in it, ca. 10 meter towards the redirection of the conveyor-belt. I am screaming, telling them to stop. Also the supporting-people are screaming towards me from the distance. The tripod, however, is brought to the belt-redirection, where several police-officers are standing ready on the foot-bridges. The tripod is now positioned un-safely, as one leg is in a much to steep angle, relative to the others. I still have a falling-height of over 7 meters. A police officer on one of the foot-bridges is telling me roughly, that I should get down to him immediately. I attempt to calm myself and estimate the danger, but he becomes impatient and reaches for me. I ask him to leave me alone, as the situation seems very dangerous to me. As I am afraid, that lateral movement, I decide to descend. First off I tidy up all the loose material, put on my backpack, and come down. On the foot-bridge below a cop is waiting. I have no nerves or adrenaline anymore, to make passive resistance. I get myself off the rope, and walk along.
Police officers in Lower-Saxony brings down tripod, at an eviction attempt without a technical unit.
Already in the past, police officers from Lower-Saxony attempted to evict a tripod by carrying it, the construction fell over. This photo should be seen by every police-officer, to clearly understand what happens when they cross their own capacities. Luckily the person back then could walk away. Had this happened at the NiederAUSmachen action, because of the height and the circumstances at the conveyor-belts, the person would not have been able to walk away.
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