We glide down the deep black mountain, sink to the ankles in the ancient witness of the forest that it once was. It’s a strange feeling as it were to wade through the Hambach Forest of superimposed in accurately piled hills in the coal bunker at the Hambach mine. Like bones excavated from a grave. I breathe in the smell, feel the mud of coal dust on my shoes, trousers, gloves. A slightly smaller version of a bucket wheel excavator moves slowly in our direction. We reach firmer, albeit from wet coal dust slippery floor and approach with quick, firm steps the steel monster in front of us. A staircase invites us to climb up. The railings are covered with a centimeters thick layer of soft coal dust. My gloves are already quite sticky of it. There are many steel passageways, staircases and ladders, we climb upwards. But already after a few stairways it goes no further. Crap! We saw before that it must be possible! Hopefully we are not yet discovered. We are at an impasse which looks as if it was little used and talk about what to do. Next to us we hear a loud crackling, for a second I am terrified but then I understand that it is the coal as it crackles through a giant funnel on the conveyor belt. Just stay here? No, it must be possible somewhere. There is still the other half of the excavator. So back down, passing under the monster and on the other side there is an inviting stairway. Here it looks already quite different. How good that the door is open there, there is a way up. we finally found the right way. They seem to have not yet discovered us. Ladder after ladder, we climb to the highest point. With each ladder I get get more quiet, with each ladder we bring more distance between them and us. They must indeed take the same route as we did.
Some ladders hang a little bit crooked because the shovel wheel is shoveling the coal just quite far on top in the slope . I pay attention at every step, at every grip on the iron rungs of the ladders to hold me properly and not to slip. We can not use an accident in such an action. Almost on top we take the wrong turn again, but for that reason we found the emergency stop button. As befits such buttons it’s big and round and red, with the inscription “emergency stop” on it. We spot the last ladder which should lead us to the top platform. Above, in approximately 46 meters above sea level, it is a bit slippery and the platform is lopsided. But now we are no longer in hurry and can take our time. We are still undiscovered. Shortly we discuss how to go on. First, we hoist the banner (“There are no jobs on a dead planet” with a skull in the middle of an orange helmet, on which is written RWE) and take pictures of it.
Then I go down again the just crested ladder and then climb the other one, where the emergency stop button is. After pressing it, I enjoy the sound of the slowly powering down excavator while I am on my way to the top again. The sound is similar to the on of an old Windows computer which is shut down (just that this is faster with less than a minute). When I’m back on top, the bucket wheel is standing, as well as the conveyor belts underneath. I type an SMS “Both loading diggers in the coal bunker at the Hambach mine occupied! Activists attached with bicycle locks”. This message will also be available on the blog very soon. We install our “camp”, change our position again. An emergency blanket under us is insulating against the cold from below or at least is preventing that we have to sit in the wet coal dust. Recently several white jeeps of the security guards are to be seen below, one is looking up to us and we are waving to him. On the stairs below us we see little workers in orange suits.
Although they already know where we are, it takes almost two hours until the first one comes up to look after us. We are relieved that he is talking very friendly with us because we prepared ourselves for much more aggressive contact. He tells us that he will send up soon two of his “boys” to watch “that nothing can happen” to us or in other words, that we will not stay unguarded up here. We should not care about that, because we are anyway fixed with U-shaped bicycle locks (thickness 8 of 9, 19,95 Euros each) around our necks. We are alert and happy that everything worked. The other excavator is too far away from us as we could see the other two occupiers. But we know that they sit up there too and we already communicated by phone, with them too everything is ok so far.
We have some discussions with the workers, who from now on stay close to us. Some are more, others less talkative. We explain our motivations to resist against lignite mining and offer them chocolate and peanuts (“spiced”). Though they do not accept them, it draws at least a maybe unintentional smile out of the most. Some fall into trouble in explaining or simply interrupt the conversation from when it will be uncomfortable, others think bravely. We ask them how they like it to work here, what they once wanted to be and stuff. One told me if I was his daughter and would do what I am doing now (chaining myself with a bicycle lock on the highest point of an excavator) I would get a spanking. I’m astonished. That’s what I always am when I meet people who are so very different from me and I asked him again if he really would do so. He emphatically confirms what he said. But a few hours later, he weakens his statement again, maybe it came back to his mind that his bosses do not like so much to hear or to read about such violent fantasies against activists. After all, there was in the press already too much fuss about that.
Eventually, I believe between four and five o’clock is change of shift. Also the workers with us up here have to be substituted. There are always two or three up here. One of the three, who are now with us, seems to have more to say than the other two in the truest sense of the word, not only hierarchically. We discuss a long time with him. Sometimes these discussions are interesting, friendly and basically constructive, but sometimes aggressive and repulsive for me. He believes indeed, that the mining would get no negative side effects, such as mining damage, radioactively and heavy metal contaminated fine dust and the associated health consequences for some people in this region. He also means that the people are looking forward for their new homes and that the afforestation on the Sophienhöhe (the gigantic slag heap) would perform a richer and better ecosystem than the Hambach Forest. I got almost sick because I did not get rid of the feeling that he actually meant it seriously, seemed to be even really convinced. There are brief moments like these, when I am overwhelmed by a feeling of helplessness because I realize that we live in different worlds. Of course, he has more to do with people who support the mining and I obviously more with those who are against it. Hence our realities are built to which we adhere. But I for my part fill my reality and lifetime by thinking about the human-made worldwide destruction of this planet and how to influence it, while he mostly eight hours a day (or night) especially is busy with working, whereas he likely and understandably likes to be busy with other things or to relax. Certainly he is not the only one who is fascinated and convinced of the power, the ingenuity, the human possibilities and sees himself as part of it. I can understand it, in a slightly different manner these gigantic, human-made structures fascinate me too. All that have devised technically clever heads, just like the machines needed to build. Such a sophisticated system, a strict, forward-looking planning and organization. Until then actually fascinating. But the end of the story is a bit simpler though equally fascinating, in an inverted manner. To bring some coal out of the earth and to burn it once in power plants, in which more than half of its energy eventually just disappears useless by the huge chimneys. In my cost-benefit analysis, a clearly negative result. That’s not worth it no way. Again and again, all kind of hurdles are overcome to save the economy, a company or a bank by all means, even if it brings limitations, but the gigantic power consumption is not questioned, oh no, the renewables allegedly can not keep up and therefore lignite is without alternative. It is more important to maintain weapons production and to ship them all over the world. After all, “we” are the fourth largest exporter of weapons, an important part of the economy. Just as we can do in no case without shop window and Christmas lighting in a big style. Who would else want to buy something? The consumer always is to blame, we can not do anything. “It is not my child that is beaten there, that does not concern me, you can not do anything…”
The same worker, let’s call him Uwe, also declared that I should stop the phone calls. Huh? Why? “That does not matter, just stop it!” Wow. He did it again, I am extremely puzzled. After some back and forth discussion he finally explains why. Allegedly “mis”information had landed on the Blog, so that it sounded as if we have been threatened by the saying “If you were my daughter I would give you a spanking”, which the company management absolutely did not like at all. And that, because we were staying illegally on their premises, he could also take away the phone, at least in his opinion. What a crap! It’s only stupid that I’m limited with a bicycle lock around my neck to prevent that he actually takes away the thing from me, legally or not. Later I still answer calls and change SMSes with the others and every time he only tells me that I should stop it now.
Meanwhile, the sun has risen, but we only see its shade through the foggy air and the overcast sky with pink clouds. Above the open cast mine and its coal bunker hang tight dust plumes. What a symbol! To the north extends the mine, which we could imagine at night by the lights. The barren shrubs, the green brown withered grass and the young birches around us underline the tristesse of that human-created wound that gapes in this part of the world. Steel giant plate and rubber snakes move masses of earth, take what they need and destroy what in their way is not something to give back, even if they are of a different opinion.
We’re both a little tired, sometimes we doze off for a couple of minutes but once the head zutief drops to the chest you will be awakened by the light pressure on the throat. That’s ok, we are not even to sleep here. Below there for hours bustle, cars & trucks travel back and forth. So far, hardly police, only one patrol car have since they discovered us. The factory fire service and in-house emergency services are also at the start. Two paramedics come up to us and must first breather before they ask us how we are doing. They are friendly, we tell them that with us so far everything is cool (especially the feet when mans exactly does), then you get back to the descent.
Eventually comes approached the lift. Because we are attached to the vertical part of a railing, we can also get up a bit cumbersome. Thus, we will soon see a lot of orange safety vests on the platform of another excavator. Our will, meanwhile, brought to the horizontal. This goes so slowly and gently that you are hardly aware of. During a police bus down after others comes down to the bunker, tells us of a worker almost smirking, we would attract more attention and people as a folk festival. I ask how the two that actually for you personally is if such blockade actions take place. Do not reply directly but with a question of what I would guess because. I say that I’m not sure, would ask why because I can imagine that it might be at times but also could be quite interesting when the workday time runs differently than expected. Finally, they explain, it was getting annoying but not the doomsday. We make them again clearly that such actions do not personally directed against them.
Finally, the lift with climbing cops comes up. But it’s always the same faces, two of them I already know. With the Flex the bicycle locks are opened and removed from our necks. While my Ankettgefährte is brought down, the one Klettercop and I entertained ourselves short. Then a belt is buckled me and I shipped in the lift. I sigh, because now begins the truly grueling part: the confrontation with the cops and their violence. At the bottom I am asked whether I go voluntarily or they would force me with violence to do so. For me, it is part of the action to not to cooperate also about the whole as far as possible to take a long, finally there is a blockade action. One of the cops turns my wrist so backward that I am unfortunately forced to work in order to avoid serious injuries. Around me are felt thousands of camera lenses focused on me so I hold nearly reduced the whole time my face. A cop takes me around my head to pull up so that any people can take pictures of my face in her hair. I do not see anything because I screw up my eyes tightly together and stretch them out her tongue. Then we continue towards the police vehicle. I’m superficial and extremely cumbersome searches while my arm is twisted still backward. Then the handcuffs snap and I’m transported in the car. As long as we are surrounded by workers I lay my head on your knees so that they can take any pictures, finally I can, as much as possible with his hands tied behind his back, straighten up. We help each other to us to scratch the tabs on the jacket of the other and us using precisely this to emphasize the hair from her face. Policewoman us sitting opposite a smile can not help. I ask her what it does to her when she sees it all here. She replies that they all would find not nice but not go on a to the discussion when we talk about how fatal it is but that actually so many find no good, proceed exactly as the prevailing conditions, but still only the least likely actively trying to change them.
Once at the police station in Düren we are dragged into the cells, then a stouter policewoman with black Pott section has me undressed ever and calls a young woman to the already in our tub (= police bus) mitgefahren is to help her. She is still in training and today I am her exercise object. I am doing it again and again that she would do better than the black-haired, because that is much rougher and makes it stand out among many garments complex than the younger one. I mean a positively surprised expression on her face to perceive you probably can think again, what is required of her. The black-haired man told her wähend the procedure what she has to do. “Everything which she could strangle has to go.” I get my sweater and my Termounterhose and a par socks again and when I tightened it comes a policeman in karriertem shirt to me to me to explain to you that they want to treat me now fingerprinted. I say that I do not agree with it. This keeps them not from me to think of a number in front of the chest and my head again pull the hair so that the camera can photograph my distorted face to me then to twist his arm behind his back because I obviously do not want to walk around me to bring into the room in which they will try to take my fingerprints and to take pictures of me.
Because of the arm twisted on my back I’m hunched over so that I only see a lot of legs and feet shod in addition to my socked. First, I’ll dragged to the sink; My hands are all black caked on coal. A policeman tried to wash me while I still can perceive leaning forward just a bunch of half people around me the crowd around us, because over the waistbands not come into view. One complains to me that it is always the women are with us. I’ve already heard me, but that’s already a year ago. Then I’ll shifted again, I want to put on the floor to catch the Finder Footprints to take off. The electric thing is already there ready below. Several cops make it more or less on Curling, who tried to save me the impressions of, braces his knee in my upper arm. This gives bruises. I’m not quite there in such situations, take everything only dimly perceive because I often closed my eyes and because I have to concern myself more with the pain, but not all, always the pain attacks get so out like they belong facial hair and , I can do it again and again to erase the fingerprint but my fingertips are always so dirty and cut that sure can not do anything with the imprints. One cop scolds “you stupid girl” and I wrestle me an “oh how cute” from. After this procedure, I will put on a swivel chair, I take the opportunity to turn me against the wall because I will grade no longer detained. I am preparing for the second round, while I rub my aching wrists. A cop leans so he can look at me against the wall and wants me grinning explain that I could save myself the pain yes if I would join. I answer him only that part of it because I grad not have enough energy to explain to him that it is to cooperate with a system not possible for me, which my and the livelihoods of all creatures destroyed this planet and me does violence in this direct form, just because I do not agree. So I can only choose between physical and psychological violence and I decide rather for the physical, hopefully short-term, as for mental, probably long-term. Would I cooperate, I would submit to me and would have to endure the feeling of having abandoned early. The long-term trauma can be drawn according to their risk somewhat veringert when battling at least a little.
Nevertheless, I feel like a rag doll as she now for the third time in the hair grip around my face to squeeze into a camera lens to me. Again grimaces, narrowed eyes again taunting awards “oh, that’s almost unbearable” “(addressed to the cameraman) Oh, you bring everywhere something out” etc. to laughter that to me from pearls, ultimately this is not a fun and I have good reason to grimace. Next, they take pictures tattoos on my back is a top priority “Nobody must be Bulle” what they abfotogafieren well and then drag me to another chair. Normally, the procedure according to the photos is done but the fingerprints were apparently so bad that they want to try again with NEM another device. So there today after the 3rd round, the photograph the tattoos of even ne 4.
As I look hunched over on the floor, I’m counting the pairs of feet around me. Six. A seventh straight enters the room. My fingers of one hand are so excited of it is quite painful. Only a few weeks ago a friend of mine was at a ED treatment broken a finger and two others cheated. I hope that does not happen to me today the same. While I’m depressed anywhere and feel pain and will expertly replaced and laughed at pain handles surges in me an anger on that gives me the feeling to be strong enough to shake them off for a moment. But unfortunately, to feel just for a moment to the next then more pain. The next moment I roll a few tears on the cheek but I force myself not allow. Not here, not now. Instead, I pull myself together and praise the one cop because of my back pain point is looking for massage. One wants degrees pinch my head between his legs, but I can do it by a jerky movement backwards to the vehindern, otherwise I probably would have lost control and hit him blue eggs. And me… pre-trial detention? He probably figured that that’s not a good idea and not try it again.
I’ll rotate two or three times back and forth, on both hands they try twice. They also take impressions of the whole hand. Then finally let everyone off except for two of me and drag me back towards the cell. On the way we pass the toilet and I am told that if I wanted to use that I had to move me even yourself. Of course I do, what do you think because you idiots? I just did not cooperate with what I do not want (to be locked up in a cell, for example). The door closes behind me. I try to be a little clearer. I hock me of the toilet and then wash my hands and face that. Then the door opens again. I sat back down on the floor with the words “and further in the text” and let me grind in the cell. I wrap myself in the ceiling and trying to relax my aching limbs, finally to be times warm and to sleep. Here in the cell I was just myself and the relaxation is a way to let myself feel my own solidarity. I lay still for a while awake, then I sink in these cells doze, with one ear still perceiving everything and immediately ready to act if something happens. I have no idea how long, and whether I sleep, because the door opens and a cop beats me a deal “you draw now on itself and then go kannste, I grad to edit a lot of people with ads”. Well, that’s even n konstuktiver proposal, even though I do not really want to contribute that this system works. However, I now grab my things, then the door opens behind me again and I’m doing me from pulling at me. I take my time. Hiss comes through one and asks if I was already finished what I deny. When I finally finished then I press the bell, and shortly afterwards the keys clacking in the castle. One of the cops of me earlier ED Mistreated accompanied me to the door. I go, ignoring his murmured “good day”, dignified him utter a word or look, just get out of this terrible building.
Outside are waiting my fellow occupation members and two other great people. We embrace a long time and it’s the best feeling on that day to be just detained by people who just feel rudimentary, what I feel. I feel safe and secure in this poor and can finally get rid of the tears that I have previously held back. Away with it. Finally, the last two of the other excavators occupation come out and we merge into a single ball of love and solidarity. “I’m glad that it gives you” I whisper into the ball and hit all a kiss in the face. Only an elderly woman whose car door we are tearing us from the timeless embrace. We trot to the car and drive away. “Just get out of here. Be finally back among beautiful people…”