Today is Wednesday, 10/03/2018, German Unity Day, reason enough for RWE once again to build a fence. In and around Hambacher Forest.
Originally published by Hambi Bleibt. Images by @MonaNeubaur
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.
The clearing of the more than 60 tree houses began on September 13th. Yesterday, on Tuesday, October 2nd, after 19 days for the time being, was its end.
Within the last week – contrary to the promised moment of rest after the death of Steffen – the remaining tree house villages were evicted. The operation was characterized by massive negligence, as well as violent police intervention. Especially in the tree house village Lorien, things got tough. There sit-ins were evicted, often violently. Some of them consisted of more than 140 people. Traverses (ropes that are stretched as a link between two trees) were cut although people were still secured at them. Trees were felled while activists were in close proximity in hammocks.
Still before the end of the eviction of the last villages Lorien and Miketown, new platforms were already being built in the forest (Ghosttown) and a ‘forgotten’ tree house called Fenrir was re-occupied. This was completed by the occupations (sometimes only with hammocks in the treetops) Qualityland and Blacksocks.
Then, at the weekly forest walk on Sunday (09/30/2018) more than 10,000 people came to the Hambach Forest to go together with the forest pedagogue Michael Zobel through the forest. During and after the walk, people – including families with children – joined to build barricades together. This happened on the Sunday before, when the tree house villages Beechtown, Cozytown, Lorien, Miketown, Kleingartenverein, T-Town and Paragraph 11 still existed.
On Monday, Oct. 1st, Paragraph 11 was in for it. There were first cleared the newly built barricades, in and behind which people were under massive pepper spray use. At the same time a platform was cleared from a tree near the Aachener Weiher in Cologne at noon, which was occupied by activists in solidarity with the Hambach Forest occupation.
Also on Monday, the police raided the adjacent to the forest private property of Kurt Classen – also called the meadow – on which homes of occupants are. Without search warrant they search for material suitable for the construction of tree houses and barricades. With chainsaws said material is destroyed on site. In addition, bicycles of activists but also of press people are seized and thrown away. Furniture, windows, water and much more are confiscated. An ominous liquid – fermented lens or fecal matter – is disposed by the police in the Medic caravan. For this intervention, the police refers to the use of the police law, which allows such an approach in acute imminent danger.
The newly occupied parts of the forest Ghosttown, Blacksocks and Fenrir fell on Tuesday, Oct. 2nd, victims of the elevators and chainsaws. But the ominous Qualityland is still there – hidden in the trees.
And the forest remains resistant, the movement grows and grows and after six years of ongoing occupation, the media attention has arrived at an unprecedented level. While RWE sets out to enclose the forest, the resistance can not be smashed and continues to build tree houses, in spite of all borders and fences, to block excavators and eviction tanks and to occupy tripods.
…and to translate…
Comment by an activist
Police announces the successful eviction of over 60 tree houses, but the resistance is not over. Again and again, new platforms are built in the trees, there is still at least one occupation. We not only demand the forest not be cut down, but also the immediate coal exit. This must always be demanded along with a structural change in our society. Because it does not only count how the electricity is produced, but also by whom and for what. So we do not want an energy giant like RWE with a dirty energy source such as lignite which is feeding the arms industry. As long as RWE continues to cut trees, we will continue to actively try to protect the forest, to prevent the deforesting and to hold the coal exit in public discourse.
Moll, an activist from the Hambach Forest
Support Enough is Enough! Donate!
Donation for our work in the Enough is Enough info-shop and our independent reporting on our blog and social media channels.