Düren/Ellen. On Saturday morning, the main conveyor belt in the Hambach open cast mine was blockaded. Four people had their wrists locked to each other in steel tubes in teams of two. This stopped all three Hambach coal diggers from operating for several hours.
The main conveyor belt delivers the lignite from the open cast mine to the train station connected to it. From there it is brought to the nearby power stations via the train, the so called ‘Hambachbahn’. The technical police team first deconstructed the conveyor belt construction in order to bring the activists into an RWE garage, where they were released from their lock-ons.
Only last week-end, other actions of prostest and direct resistance against lignite mining had taken place: There was a mass blockade called ‘Ende Gelände’ and a sequence of train blockades against the ‘Hambachbahn’. The stock price of the energy company RWE has dropped to the lowest level since twenty five years. „The energy giant is sinking“, one activist comments on the situation. „It does not make any sense to go on destroying habitat and emitting incredible amounts of carbon dioxide using the stone-age-technology of lignite combustion, only to save a single company from their own mistakes’ consequences.“
The material cost of these direct actions caused to RWE are not a side effect, but their goal. „Our generation is expected to accept the consequences of false decisions taken fourty years ago. Calling this a democratic process would be eyewashing“, is how one of the activists explains their motivation. „For decades RWE has ignored all arguments in the conflict of lignite mining: climate change, destruction of land, health problems, expropriations, subsidies and countless other problems are accepted, as long as the company has sufficient power and earns enough profit from the destruction. In order to protect ourselves and future generations from this, we have no other options than attacking these profits by means of direct action.“