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Solidarity with the occupation in the Hambach forest, Germany, against open cast mining of brown coal

Monday 10 December 2012

The Hambach Forest was occupied by anti-opencast coal activists in April this year to stop RWE expanding their huge mining projects in the Rhineland Brown Coal Region of Germany. The burning of coal in powerplants in the region is the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in Europe, and brown coal is particularly inefficient and dirty to process and burn. They even import coal from Columbia where human rights are violated in the extraction process.

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a musical action against the gigantic coal mine

The protest camp was evicted between the 13th-17th November. During the reoccupation demo we expressed our solidarity in front of at least 20 000 people and now we would like to do so again and try to inform others of the situation. The camp was evicted in a very dangerous and violent manner. People were beaten during the eviction, and during the first day a machine was knowingly driven over a tunnel which had people inside, causing a partial collapse. That is particularly dangerous, and could easily have killed somebody.

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The forest during the eviction

On the first day, the police assaulted and arrested the people on the ground and evicted the people from the trees. Some people arrested had to sit in a cold police cell for hours after having all their clothes apart from their underpants taken off them. The police stole all the material from the site.

It took the police four days to evict the tunnel. All the time the police were saying to the press that they were trying to rescue the person in the tunnel, even though that person did not want to leave and they had just almost killed them!

Afterwards people were charged and received interdictions against returning to the territory on pain of paying amounts of 50,000 to 250,000 EURO.

During a press conference on the 19th November the habitats announced that they had another area squatted in a field south of the forest. On the 21st the police came and tried to evict, but they had no authorisation. In fact, they ended up taking into custody the landowner, who happened to visit his land during this police action. Actually on the 23rd November this second camp was destroyed illegally by the police. A new camp is in construction.

Certain politicians, the police and RWE continue their corrupt link and continue to line each others pockets.

But the solidarity with the occupants and the struggle is growing as more people hear about it!

Here are suggestions from the forest team about what you can do:

Organize a solidarity action, RWE is maybe also present in your country

In case you still get your power from RWE or its subsidiaries: power switch see i.e. http://www.atomausstieg-selber-machen.de/

Organize local events.

Establish a local group which work on the topic coal, a decentralized, ecological and social energy transition or climate justice

Come to our meetings, see http://ausgeco2hlt.de

Visit the Hambacher Forst, i.e. with your political group

Organize solidarity parties to raise money for anti-repression costs. ausgeco2hlt will soon likely establish a flow-border legal support fund for climate justice activists.

Donate to the forest, the WAA or ausgeCO2hlt, or ask wealthy people you know.

Talk about the campaign, the forest, the movement etc. in your social media channels and with your friends

Distribute posters, stickers and more in your city. There are master copies: Hambacher Forst bleibt Link http://hambacherforst.blogsport.de and http://ausgeco2hlt.de

Forest not coal

A scale map of the Rheinland Brown Coal area and the existing mines and planned expansions (right click and save image to view)

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