Wuppertal. Haan. German territory. December 26, 2019. Since August 15, 2019 we have occupied the Osterholz forest. A lot has happened in these four and a half months. The forest, which was supposed to be cleared in October, is still standing, and that’s good. We will continue to actively oppose any possible logging for the capital interests of a private company called Oetelshofen.
Originally published by Jeder Baum Zählt (Every Tree Counts). Translated by Enough 14.
On the 20th of September, millions of people around the world took to the streets to demonstrate for climate justice. The German government’s response should be a lesson to all those who think that decisive changes will come from the rulers. The “climate package” presented by the German government is above all an economic stimulus package for the (E) car industry. The proposed coal phase-out law is primarily a wind power phase-out law. The rulers are trying to cheat their way through by deceiving public opinion. In other words: Business as usual. The COP 25 climate negotiations have also utterly failed. This is not surprising, since the ruling class has long since understood what needs to be done, but this is exactly what they do not want to do. Those who believe that the rulers “have not yet understood the seriousness of the situation” succumb to an erroneous belief: the rulers have understood the seriousness of the situation very well. They simply have other interests. The lackeys of capital stand for an everlasting continuation of the way things are and their friends of green capital only want to change things marginally. Instead of destroying entire regions for coal, they now want to destroy unique landscapes for the mining of lithium for their electric cars. The same sauce, but now with a green colour.
Don’t get us wrong. The Fridays for Future strikes have been going on for over a year now and they are right and important. They have sensitized and politicized many people. Apart from the Fridays For Future demonstrations, which have an appealing character, there are also many forest occupations, Ende Gelände and other initiatives that are actively resisting. We are part of this movement and welcome the many actions that throw sand in the gears of the destructive capitalist machinery. But we are not blind. We see that the Northern European climate movement often uses “left-wing liberal” arguments. Even though the system question is increasingly being asked and also discussed (and that’s a good thing!), there are left-wing liberal forces that appeal to the ruling classes. So to those who have brought us to the point where we are now.
Again and again, job losses are brought into play by the ruling class. The jobs in the coal industry, or as in the Osterholz forest, the jobs in the lime industry. Of course, job losses due to automation waves, changed market requirements, etc., are never discussed. The livelihoods of wage earners in polluting industries are taken hostage by the rulers in order to enforce their destructive interests. However, the fate of these people is just as unimportant to them as the fate of the people who, as a result of climate change, are already forced to leave their towns and villages because the basis of their existence is already destroyed there.
Raoul Vaneigem wrote in November this year: ” Ecologists, why bother bawling at States for climate improvement when the same States taunt you by polluting more every day, and when it is urgent to act on a field where the questions have nothing to do with intellectual niceties. “
If we want to bring about real change, this will only be possible if we understand the climate issue as part of a questioning of the system that caused this climate catastrophe and directly head for the next catastrophe with its “lithium solution”. We must free ourselves from the chains, chains that are sometimes invisible. But at the latest when the question of livelihood arises. The dependencies are so fundamental that they cannot be reformed. Here the owning parts of society dictate where the journey is going to, there the wage earners, who as petitioners can “apply” for a cosmetic change every now and then.
All major changes have been fought for in the past and have not been requested. This time this will be even more the case, because climate justice inevitably calls the whole system into question. In countries like Chile, for example, people are just showing what needs to be done. There, the population have not been appeased with small concessions for more than 2 months now. Large parts of the population have understood that it will be a long and hard struggle, that the elite that led them into the neoliberal and also ecological catastrophe has to go, so that everything can be rebuilt from scratch.
So: A rough new year!
Or as Raoul Vaneigem wrote: “Here we are where, at the beginning of everything! “
May the revolt begin!
Jeder Baum Zählt (Every Tree Counts), December 26, 2019
PS We are always happy about visitors, but also about supporters who want to stay longer in the Osterholz forest.
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