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#HambacherForst: It is and remains the same struggle

Although we realize that a police action in the forest can happen at any time, we startle at seven o’clock in the morning of Monday morning when we are awakened by the call “police in the forest”. Police vans come along the former A4 motorway, stop and cops get out.

Originally published by Hambi Bleibt.

Note: Enough 14 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.

Quickly we bring important stuff behind the protective fence under the tower, close and barricade the entrance and pull up the ladder. Meanwhile crow’s nest is surrounded. Police squads photograph and map the location of the tree houses. Chants are yelled. We are tense. A wheel loader enters into the forest and transports deadwood away. Then the driver approaches the tower with aggressive gestures. On its balcony activists observe the situation. He drops his gripper arm on the rinsing station below, grabs the rubble and swings it up to the level of the activists. Planks, dishes and shards fly through the air, onto the balcony and onto the forest floor. Thus the possible violation of people, through personal aggression and power games of the machine operator, is consciously accepted and structurally made possible by the police. RWE employees come with chainsaws and begin sawing our monopod, which has not yet been set up, to make the whole work in vain. Afterwards, the RWE people begin to saw construction material, boards, squared timbers and beams. Our anger rises and discharges into protest cries. After a short time, the work is stopped, the forces pull back a bit. A short break begins. We use the opportunity with reinforcement to secure further material on the ground. Then a large contingent of police comes back. The announcement of the police is: There was a feces throw, the person should surrender, otherwise they would be forcibly taken from the tree house. After a while a wheel loader starts to build an access ramp of sand into the forest. Information comes through that a cherry picker is on the way. Is this the prelude to clearing the tree houses? Secretly, we say goodbye to the tree houses, which we partly built ourselves, in which we have lived for a shorter or longer time and to the commonly designed barrio. Mentally we prepare for pain grips and punches, we think about how we will behave. After the announcement of the police, we decide together in plenary that we will continue to defend the occupation in solidarity. The fact that the police with several hundreds, special units and heavy technical equipment is on-site raises for us the question to what extent the alleged throw of faecals might justify the size and intensity of this operation. A little later comes the news that the elevator on the ancient A4 is blocked and occupied by people. Thank you for that – we burst with joy! Now it has become so late that police cancel the action and announce that the eviction is to be carried out next morning. Relief at the time saved – but at what price? Light poles are set up and crow’s nest is bathed in bright light. The floodlights are glistening bright and the generators make a constant noise. In the tree house and in the tower, it is unnaturally bright. We try to sleep and relax. The situation is extremely stressful. How should we sleep under these conditions? The surveillance situation puts us under immense pressure. Each of our movements is recorded with cameras, with each word we pronounce aloud, we ask ourselves if it is recorded too. Now dawn is coming and we are tired. Again, an announcement by the police that the person who allegedly threw a bucket has to come down, then the siege would be ended immediately. We do not trust the announcement, is that a trick? We stay in the tree houses! We are on alert! This intensifies as the police begins to aggressively push back supporters and to increase the cordon around the siege. Are we to be isolated even more and the upcoming events to be shielded from the public? As the chainsaw of an RWE employee howls and begins to cut an access for the elevator, a person abseils from the tree house. Officers are running towards them. The tree is felled, despite the incipient arrest. Protests drown out the chainsaw. The person from the tree house is led away. We are horrified and angry. Is this the prelude to the evacuation of Crow’s Nest? We will consistently defend all tree houses!

After some time, police really retire, the cherry pickers go away and slowly the situation relaxes. The destruction remains. Next day we are in Kerpen in front of the district court in a loud solidarity and support picket for the imprisoned person, who is welcomed with loud cheers when he comes free again. We are very grateful for the many moments of support around the siege! In the face of the climate crisis, the destruction of the environment, cultural heritage and human communities in the immediate vicinity of the forest and all over the world, we see no proportionality in the actions of the police, politics and RWE. It is ridiculous and makes us angry that the reporting and the public discourse now revolve around a supposed feces throw, while the actual struggle is not mentioned. We are here because we stand in the way of the destruction of the forest and of the unsustainable political decisions in the interest of corporate interests!

We are here and we will go on fighting!

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