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“No Fear” #MayDay 2020 in Hambacher Forest

Hambacher Forest. Germany. May First! In the pre-Corona days many in the forest were in cities across Europe taking part in global actions and demonstrations. 

Originally published by Hambi Bleibt.

This year the comrades who found themselves in the forest, if not building barricades treehouses or communal spaces, followed updates of MayDay actions and demonstrations: The Anarchists and syndycalists of Wupertal walking through the street in a mob of joy and celebration shortly after midnight singing chanting and projecting rays of fireworks and light through out the street.

We watched from a distance as the legalist “demos” were either cancelled or severely limited and split up into permits of smaller demos and as larger ones were being harassed and kettled by the cops in cities from Istanbul to Frankfurt. Then the call came out through voices echoing through the forest “Cops in the Forest at Crowsnest, wanting to evict!” The tradition of staging police actions in the forest during May Day, New Years, Global Climate Marches and Strikes as well as Ende Geleande and Climate Camp action continued, might as well for the next occasions like this set up lawn chairs and together with the media wait for the next wave of NRWE CO2ps running to Hambi to make sure that are spirits are not too high and we are not thinking too much about revolution but instead about their nice and clean uniforms oh yeah lets not forget the guns and the tanks too. Logistically its much harder and 2-3 more expensive for police to show up in the forest on those dates it does however show their determination to split up, isolate and distract movements, occupations and front-lines involved in the Climate Justice, Animal Liberation, QUEER, Anti Deforestation and Anti Fascist struggles. By definition also revealing their political sentiment and connections. It should also be a part of larger socio economic anti capitalist critique of how easy it is to in time of numerous crisis: austerity, climate , corona to channel so much resources away from ecology, education and healthcare towards protecting corporate criminals against humanity and the Planet. In the end being more than responsible for worsening situation.

So this time being smaller in number but still symbolically present they compensating with extra fire power showing up with an MP5 Heckler and Koch and a larger caliber weapon being carried by a cop assuming the role, like allways, of not just the “Bad” but also arrogant cop, with the caliber having a direct effect on macho behavior.

When the forest activists exited the forest, while being 30 meters away from a group of activists,the police pointed two machine guns at the activists ordering one in the group to put down their stick while at the same time approaching closer to the activists, indicating not just lack of concern but also intent to escalate, the person pointed the stick at the police and asked them to put down their weapons first, with cops responding that they will put them down if the person puts down the stick first, another person asked the police if they are aiming for a head shot to which the female associated cop responded with “No but it makes a loud boom.”(Hmmm its very unlikely that they were carrying blanks).

The situation was then deescalated by a person that walked straight towards the cops with their hands up to talk. The same person afterwards ended up breaking down and crying, relating how traumatic it was that the situation with their van, their home could have costed their comrades their lives.

There were several reasons  given for this politically charged and symbolic “visit”. At first it was to help the RWE workers clean up the place: there was nothing to clean and the RWE secus who came with them just ended up sniffing around places they don’t ussually have easy access to, then some pallets were noticed behind parked cars and activists were informed that they would have to be removed. Parked next to the forest vans were than looked at, license plates written down and told to move by Saturday when the cops were claiming that they would return(never trust a cop). The psychological warfare: “We’ll be back.” especially resonated with newer and outside supporters exploiting the fear of police actions, attack and eviction. Instead of course the cops on Saturday were grilling, and when not at football games going after hoolies, then still quarantining from corona and this time also recovering from a small sh*t storm that pointing guns at people has caused.

All this stress and life threatening situations also has to do with exposure of the public to more and more violent forms of force being carried, deployed and used by the police. Today the machine guns are pointed at a crowd tomorrow perhaps now legal taser will be tried in the forest on psychologically affected persons(one of the most common targets for those weapons with many induced heart attack deaths annually) Also how long before somebody might be shot for holding one of the favorite to show in the media by police “weapons”/tools used in the forest an ax or a large knife?! Filling the pages of BILDS and Zeits with appreciation for the brave police doing their work while latest scientific discovery on how desperate the state of the planet and its climate might not even be found on the last page these pro RWE rags and neither will be actually what might have taken place.

What we see from the cops and don’t see from the media shows what they are concerned and afraid the most: of activists, people and communities to have a sense of autonomy and tradition and to be able to celebrate it in peace, to have undisturbed by disinformation and divisionism lines of communication and solidarity among multisectional lines, and to also have an autonomous and unsilenced voices that offers an antifascist, left, ecological, antisexist, antihomophobe and antispecist perspective. If you resonate with even one of these principles and are open to supporting and expanding to the others, JOIN US! The Struggle has only just begun!!


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