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#EndeGelaende: “We are also fighting for the livelihoods of people in the global South who are most impacted by climate change”

Largest action of civil disobedience against coal. “Coal mines of the Rhineland mining area have become symbols of the climate movement.”

Submitted to Enough is Enough. Images by Ende Gelaende.

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.

This weekend, 6,500 people took part in the biggest action of civil disobedience ever against lignite mining. Several thousand activists occupied the tracks of the Hambach coal train for more than 24 hours, thus blocking the transport of lignite from the mines to the surrounding power plants. The police did not allow support groups to supply activist with food and water. But people managed to smuggle supplies to the blockade during the night hours.Some activists chained themselves to the tracks and thus prolonged the occupation until 4.30pm on Sunday. 

The private train tracks are a crucial supply line. Usually, trains run several times per hour to carry lignite from the open-cast mines to RWE’s power plants (about 9000 tons/h).

„We are sitting at a very sensitive spot of RWE’s mining operations“, says Karolina Drzewo, spokesperson of Ende Gelände. „Since yesterday (Saturday) , not a single gram of lignite has left Europe’s biggest coal pit. If the government blocks climate protection, we must take coal phase-out into our own hands.“

„You cannot evict our protest, you cannot ignore our voices“, says Selma Richter, spokesperson of Ende Gelände. This summer of heat waves and water shortages made us feel directly the threat of climate change. But we are not only fighting for our own future, we are also fighting for the livelihoods of people in the global South who are most impacted by climate change.“

“Germany’s Coal Commission is desperately clinging to outdated energy technologies. It wants to sacrifice our future to the profits of corporations. We have shown with our action: They will not get away with it! The majority of the population wants to shut down coal-fired power plants immediately,” says Karolina Drzewo, spokesperson for Ende Gelände.

Selma Richter, spokesperson for Ende Gelände: “The Hambach forest and the coal mines of the Rhineland mining region have become symbols of the climate movement. Never before have so many people acted with civil disobedience for effective climate protection.”

“Ende Gelände”, an alliance for coal phase-out, had been negotiating for weeks about an area for a protest camp. A first camp was evicted by the police in the middle of Wednesday night. A second camp was built shortly after, giving shelter to 4,500 activists. A total of 6,500 activists set off on Saturday to block lignite infrastructure around the Hambach open-pit mine to demand the immediate phase-out of coal. A small group occupied a coal excavator in the early morning of Saturday, which had to stop for several hours. 4,000 activists occupied the rail tracks of the Hambach Railway for more than 24 hours, thus blocking the supply of lignite to the surrounding power stations. Some activists chained themselves to the rails. In accordance with the group’s action consensus, the activists were peaceful throughout the action despite the police attempting to escalate the situation.

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