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#HambacherForest: Statement to the police operation on November 22

Statement by activists from Hambacher forest about the police operation on November 22.

Originally published by Hambi Bleibt. Translation slightly edited by Enough is Enough. Image above by @HambiBleibt 

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.

On 19 November, activists in a question and answer session on security confronted North Rhine-Westphalian Minister of the Interior Herbert Reul with topics from the Hambach Forest. 

More here Minister of the Interior can not give answers to police violence

The answer promptly followed on Thursday, November 22, 1818 in the form of a disproportionate police operation. The press release of the police Aachen, we have looked closer to it and adapted to the truth. Each comment largely refers to the respective sections of the press release.

Aachen/ Hambach/ Morschenich (ots) – On Thursday, November 22, 2018, RWE employees in the Hambacher Forest removed barricades from “roads” and paths, objects that, according to the police, do not belong to the forest and, in the context of the police operation, one or another activist. Among the articles were e.g. tents and constructions made of plastic tarpaulins that served as shared dormitories or kitchen. To remove means to destroy everything, the articles that were easy to collect were taken and, as in the past, the rest was left as garbage on the forest floor. The reason given by the police is the protection of RWE employees from infringements and doing so they became infringing themselves. Already in the past, police operations came with significant crimes committed by police forces.This time the Aachen police were kind enough to honestly announce their presence by re-appointing Hambach Forest as a danger area. However, crimes committed by the police are hardly or not at all prosecuted, here in the forest nor elsewhere. Criminal charges are dropped or they threat immediately with a contra-charge. There is no sufficient investigation of the criminal offenses of the police. Here is a recent study on the subject of personal injury in office by police officers:

The operation was violent, as usual. For example, in the morning near a tripod on a forest road, an activist brutally taken away and brought into the GeSa (detention center in Aachen). This was a confusion with a person with similar clothing (ski goggles and cap…), which has been observed by the responsible for the arrest officer for several months, according to his own statement. In retrospect, the police justified the arrest with a vague charge that completely deviates from the statement of the responsible officer. The tripod and the person on it are cleared.

A tree house (Skypod, platform suspended between the trees) attached to the ground by a rope was moved by the police with the help of a car without first checking whether there are still people in it. During the action, the platform tipped one meter forward. A person staying on top would have crashed from a height of 10 meters. Also off the forest roads, the officers “fought” against shelters made of pallets and tarpaulins, among them  also compost toilets (tattered tarpaulins).

And the supposed “bomb dummies”? We believe to speak on behalf of all forest protectors when we say that no one is going to blow anything up here. But, such a dummy employs police officers and keeps them more likely from possible acts of violence. This is our (writers of the text) interpretation of the find. But it is possible too, of course, that this dummy was put there by RWE or police to dramatize the operation.

At 2:30 pm, we see an RWE employee whispering something to one of the 15 police people in front of the meadow camp. About 3:15 pm then approximately 100 officers with 20 police vehicles and a helicopter support storm the camp. According to the police because of a stone, allegedly thrown at two RWE employees, by which nobody was hurt. Of course nobody was hurt. For a stone that is never thrown usually does not hurt anybody.

Then the whole thing apparently happened again in this time window, although at this time the four alleged culprits, according to police statement, already escaped to the meadow, so at 2:30 pm they could not be in the forest. Nevertheless, two people were provisionally arrested for allegedly attempted aggravated assault. About 12 people in the meadow camp had been encircled by the police, despite repeated confirmation that they do not fit into the perpetrator profile, for an hour in the cold plus about 90 minutes for identification.

Three people were taken into custody and some more brought in the police headquarters Aachen, to identify them. Meanwhile everyone is free again.

Feeling powerless in such moments against an arbitrarily acting state power leaves anger and many questions. Repression leaves traces. We thank the professional and courageous support by the EA, our wonderful reliable lawyer and the many solidary comrades.

All of this distracts us from the real issues for which we come from different political backgrounds. It’s about much more than the Hambacher Forest. It is about a solidary, emphatic and conscious cooperation. Let us learn from each other!



Added by Enough is Enough: During the police operation on November 22, the memorial for Steffen was also destroyed. Steffen died during the wave of ecivtions in September 2018. More about that part of the police operation on November 22: here.


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