Hambacher Forest: In addition to the report on the occupation in Morschenich (House occupied in Morschenich) two people from the forest write here, because they feel the need to give a comment in retrospect. As always, the following is a formulation of individuals and not necessarily representative of the whole forest population.
Originally published by Hambi Bleibt. Final part translated by Enough 14 (The translation at the Hambi Bleibt blog is in progress)
An important point of anti-capitalist criticism starts right here: If a company can own a whole village, it can also determine what happens to it.
The examples of Manheim and Morschenich, where RWE relocates people and destroys houses, history and personal memories, in order to re-market the entire region, makes obvious the whole tragedy that comes with the massive depropriation by a big company. In the form of the villages, Hambach forest and the surrounding forests, RWE not only possesses important resources, but also can design the whole region and its habitats. Actually, such kind of property is theft. Because even if the company stops lignite mining in the region and instead pursues other plans (industry settlement etc.), it does not focus on the needs of those still living here, it’s all just about maximizing profits. This approach has always been supported by the state government in Düsseldorf.
This must end now at the point where finally the decision is to be made how to proceed with the remaining villages. Above all, it is up to the people who, despite all intimidation and destruction by RWE, still are living in Morschenich and struggling to keep their homes. As far as we can tell, the fact that the already resettled moved away so “voluntarily” is often due to the enormous pressure that RWE has exerted on these people and because of the fact that confidentiality clauses have been signed.
Another point is the policy – in our eyes on purpose – to locate migrants in the villages to be demolished. This will deprive these people of the opportunity to build a durable social network and deny them active political and social participation. By reviving this village, we oppose the more or less obvious marginalization of refugees. This happens, for example, when we meet on the sports ground in Morschenich like on Easter Sunday as we meet with villagers for a football match or simply spend time together, have discussions and meet for coffee and cake at the Hambi Camp in Morschenich.
If the two occupied houses had not been immediately and brutally evicted by the police, they would have had the potential, in our eyes, to contribute to the revitalization of Morschenich and to exchange and togetherness. A self-organised social space would have been born that could have accommodated joint learning and cooking as well as street parties and political action. So what was the point of this whole police action? Legally substantiated theft of living space by RWE? And how is it going to be in the future?
When it is true that this village can remain, and everything points to it, the demolition works make no sense. Unless we believe in RWE’s perfidious approach to reselling the “newly created” building plots. Against such pointless destruction, which is unjustifiable in view of the housing shortage in German cities, we are in many ways powerless as long as we accept the laws imposed by the state. As is so often the case, the question of legality and legitimacy is revealed. Only because misappropriation of an entire region and the merciless assertion of corporate interests in the form of capital accumulation by expropriation are legal, they are by no means legitimate!
In addition to this relationship between legitimacy and legality, at this point it is also important for us to point out the behaviour of the police during the eviction of the squatted houses: People sitting on the roofs of empty houses and on the street were physically attacked by the police on a massive scale. The police’s actions were perhaps legal, but in our view they were by no means proportionate and served the mere exercise of power by the cops. From peaceful sitting blockade and the occupation of two roofs people partly came out with a bleeding nose or black eye.
In addition to the symbolic significance of squatting houses, the focus here is also on sharing empty living space and creating free space. So if RWE intends to excavate this village, occupation as a direct action makes sense not only in theory but in practical terms! We will oppose the further destruction of Morschenich and are happy about support.
People who would like to network to this end you are welcome to get in touch with us.
Some individuals of the Hambacher Forest occupation, April 30, 2019
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