Wuppertal. Germany. Speech by people from the evicted Osterholz forest at the demonstration: “Justice for Georgios and for all other victims of state violence!” (January 29, 2022).
It’s great that you stand here in solidarity with us.
We are the gang from the trees, the annoying ones from the ground.
I don’t think I need to tell anyone what was going on this week at the Osterholz forest in Wuppertal, but the first thing we want to mention is that we are very grateful for all the support we received. Thanks to the great people of the Danni EA (legal team, translator). The supporters for the central prisoners holding facility (GeSa, Translator) were there out of nowhere, within one day, despite the absolute chaos, the people we needed were there – solidarity is not a one-way street. What we would like to say about the citizens’ initiative Osterholz bleibt: On the first occupation day in August 2019, when we were hanging in metal beds in the trees without warning and were suddenly there, you came and brought us coffee, tea, rolls and above all power. You were by our side in storm and sunshine and were always a great support. Over time we became a family. Thank you also Dar Jin (tree of life) Wuppertal, Fridays for Future and all the other people who have supported us so consistently. However, we are telling a little story today. We are talking about police super heroes and how they save lives. Well saving in the sense of how do you manage to put people who are trying to save a forest in danger and then call that saving.
A person was at 18 meters in a construction above a trench. I’ll try to give you a little picture of the construction. The trees were about 25 meters from each other. The construction consisted of a traverse system, which is a system of ropes, a hammock and a tarpaulin against rain, which was tied to a branch. The cops climbed up with their crampons to the height of this person who was apparently not yet in danger. They were cluelessly looking at the construction – at least I hope they were clueless, otherwise it would be grossly negligent to check the construction from up there. Maybe supposedly well-trained climbing cops shouldn’t test load-bearing rope systems with half an ass and keep their thoughts together, because people’s lives are at stake. Then they rashly installed their rappelling gear into the trusses to be able to rappel people along with the truss. Apparently, the firefighters have the task to compensate for the lack of competence of the super heroes and started to build a safety cushion on the ground directly below the Activists. Because the cops were probably still mentally in their suspension rail rappelling training. You know at what point it starts to get funny? Watching cops start butchering traverses at a height of 18 meters. The first one was just cut. Then they re-hooked the second and last truss into their system and cut it loose from the tree. Next, they descended the person. The hooligans on the ground were already sure about their victory. It’s a pity that the cops on the ground once again didn’t notice the incompetence of their climbing colleagues and apparently didn’t want to activate their eagle eyes. The traverse, which was supposed to be on tension, was getting looser and looser, but “Hey, let’s let descended further, it has to be like this.”
There was something about a tarp that was wrapped around a branch, wasn’t there? And imagine, this must also be made at other points of the construction firmly, so that people are protected against rain… And no, we’re not talking about a stable truck tarpaulin, but from such a cheap 4-cornered plastic garbage, where people put things under it so that it does not get wet. If there is a small crack in it, these things tear sometimes on entire length, exactly, this “garbage” becomes all at once the safety device of your life! The Activist survived this evacuation above all because this piece of tarpaulin fortunately did not tear!!! What the hell, you want to be heroes! You monsters.
The person hung in this tarp for a good 30 minutes until one of these rather incompetent cops released him out of the situation and then brought him to the ground. Paramedics came, then directly to the hospital.
We give the cops a little advice: Don’t mess with things you don’t understand and don’t mess with our ropes and safety materials!
After that, they kidnapped our friends, isolated them and tried to intimidate them, which, according to our experience, is an absolutely normal procedure to oppress people and exploit power relations.
The people who were besieged for days in the forest by the beating troops, taken from the trees and imprisoned, are all doing well according to the circumstances.
All the people are released again and were able to embrace their companions.
The Osterholz was a red line, which you have crossed and Till Iseke tells us in the evening quite nicely on the radio that this was the last planned uprooting in the Osterholz forest for the time being and lets afterwards quite incidentally announce that he never says never, that means the company seems to be planning to carry out further uprooting to destroy habitats, to exploit nature and all that only to increase profits and to fill their pockets with money.
For us, this means that this struggle is far from over. This will not be the last time that people have occupied forests to oppose the power-hungry greed for profit of exploitative companies. Because who knows, for every tree that is cut down today, ten other trees could be occupied tomorrow…..[Be part of it].
Greetings also go out to Elany in Switzerland. She is currently in pre-trial detention for alleged sabotage.
Barrio Osterholz has one last piece of good news before we say goodbye: A person who was supposed to be transferred from the prisoners holding facility to a long-term detention facility was able to escape and has escaped from the cops and the justice system. We wish you all the luck in the world and a good life in freedom!