Datteln. Germany. February 2, 2020. At this moment, about 150 people are occupying the coal-fired power station Datteln 4 near the city of Dortmund, Germany. At 7.30 am the activists of Ende Gelände and DeCOALonize Europe entered the premises of the power plant; now they are blocking crucial infrastructure. Their action of civil disobedience is a protest against the coal law of the German goverment.
According to this law, coal will be phased out as late as 2038; utilities will be paid billions of Euros in recompensation, and the new power plant Datteln 4 is supposed to be connected to the grid later this year.
At 12 o‘clock the activists will hold a press conference in front of the power plant, including speakers from the action coalition Ende Gelände and the Russian environmental organization Ecodefense.
“The coal-law is a desaster“, says Kathrin Henneberger, spokes person of Ende Gelände. “We cannot continue to burn coal for 18 more years. We need to exit all fossil energies immediately, otherwise we are racing towards a world that is 4-6 degrees hotter. Datteln 4 would be the final nail in the coffin of climate justice.“
Aleksandra Koroleva of the Russian environmental organization Ecodefense comments: “The coal that is burnt in Datteln 4 comes also from Russia, e.g. from the Kuzbass Region in Sibiria, where people suffer from severe health problems caused by the open-cast coal mines. Protests against coal-mining are violently repressed. Despite all this, Germany imported twice as much coal from Russia in 2019 than in the year before. This ridicules all political efforts for climate protection.”
Ende Gelände organizes mass actions of civil disobedience against coal since 2015. Most recently with 6,000 people in the Rhineland coalfield, and 4,000 people in the Lusatia mining region. The alliance calls for an immediate coal phase-out and for overcoming a capitalist system based on exploitation of human beings and natural resources.
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