‘9 months without parole for UPIII arrested in the Hambach Forest 4 months ago, 9 months sentence for another climate activist resisting fossil fuels as the fire storms break out across the world displacing hundreds of thousands and killing hundreds, 9 months of injustice as now a global heatwave kills thousands more, breaking one all-time temperature record after another. As the largest global emergency ever seen by humanity worsens the local courts in the coal mining region of North Rhine Westphalia, with a long list of politicians openly paid by Coal, are being empolyed to not only normalize and protect the destructive and toxic RWE lignite but are also shamelesly and openly admiting to being tools of political and enviromental repression. Escalating climate crisis repression despite their official agreements during the Climate Summits, the most recent one right here in Bonn, of the necessity of action, offering, now retracted, pledges to decarbonize while instead attacking and imprisoning climate activists such as UPIII for almost a year. Imprisoning those who resist not based on clear evidence but as admitted openly at trial by judge to dissuade and intimidate others not to be active, not to protest and not to blockade and not to engage in direct action against the root of the present Climate Crisis: the ongoing Coal CO2 emissions, with RWE’s being the largest single source in Europe. By taking this course of action the prosecutor Dr. Jost Schützeberg and Judge Königsfeld have joined a growing list of politicians in the region who can be pointed to the future generation as being responsible for climate chaos reality of drought and injustice, of fires and rising water levels and rising waves of repression and normalization of state violence. By engaging in this level of cynism and injustice described below this sentence functions as another call to action to citizens, activists and radicals to resist and block the fossil fuels tyrany of break down, break down of the most elemental thing all us have known and depend on, together with all other species on Earth: the life supporting capacity of the Planet itself. It is up to all to resist, resist like UPIII on this or the other side of the walls and support each other and especially all comrades less privileged than ourselves who are not only in prisons but also fighting this struggle in the streets, barricades and forest of the Global South.
No Judges and Prisons on a Dead Planet!
System Change Not Climate Change!
Report from todays court proceedings:
After hearing a police witness (the hearing of two other officers who were prevented today was ), today, on the second day of the trial, the statements of public prosecutor Dr. Jost Schützeberg and defender Frank Hatlé followed. A report from the first day of the process can be found here: https://www.r-mediabase.eu/index.php?view=category&catid=1196&option=com_joomgallery&Itemid=519
In its ruling (9 months imprisonment without parole), the court followed the applications of the public prosecutor’s office. In describing the crime, Judge Königsfeld referred in particular to the first police witness who had made a very detailed statement about the incident, saying that although it was only partly possible to support her statements through the evidence videos, the witness had clarified her basic credibility with the accuracy of the statements with regard to things that can be proven by video. Therefore, almost all of their statements were accepted as facts.
The controversial accusation of a serious breach of the peace was thus presented as proven by videos (8-14 people were counted). In the reasoning of the verdict, there was talk of firecracker thrown by an unknown activist, which would have also partially hit. However, the witness had only talked about a branch being thrown. firecrackers would always have missed the mark.
At the time of the 4 Böller throws, which UPIII is said to have carried out, the officers already had their helmets on. After the second throw at the latest, the defendant should have realized that she would not hit. Nevertheless, she continued throwing and “wasted” material. This would lead to the conclusion that there may have been no intention of infringement after all. In so far as an acquittal in relation to “attempted grievous bodily harm.” However, through her presence she supported the first throwing activist physically and psychologically. Therefore, aid.
In the Pladoyer, defender Hatlé discussed in detail the (ignored last week) actual danger of the throws. Certified firecrackers are not capable to cause injuries or blast traumas. The mood of the officers during the mission (laughter) did not indicate any danger.
Why not a suspended sentence?
By violating §111 of the Administrative Offences Act (failure to provide personal details), the defendant had shown that she did not respect the German Code of Criminal Procedure (Attorney Hatlé stated in advance: “Nobody has to contribute to his own conviction.”). Therefore, a new offence of the person is to be expected in the future as well, which is why the person cannot be released on probation. Possible favourable facts (completed vocational training, years of social commitment, no previous convictions) were not evaluated. It was even more punitive that the accused was doing well due to frequent visits and numerous letters and further support in prison, which is why so far there could not be any talk of a real punishment suffered together with remorse. Before she started, she had been questioned about her conditions of detention. She had not mentioned the big problems (poor nutrition for her as a vegan, harassment by a female prison guards).
What is also interesting is the part that seemed more important than the actual criminal charge: the failure to provide personal details. Already on Sunday evening, public prosecutor Schützeberg had written an e-mail to Judge Königsfeld saying that the exact personal details of the accused were known. Defender Hatlé had not been informed what should have happened according to the Code of Criminal Procedure (in case of new facts relevant to the trial). This was sharply reprimanded by the defender. The defendant now confirmed her already known personal details and took a closer look at her person. The defender denied, however, that the previous non-statement may be penalized more severely. Another interesting possibility is that the investigating authorities may have been aware of the personal data since March 24. At that time there was a search request to the consulate of the country from which UPIII comes. It stated that the missing person was in a “forest near Aachen, in a group belonging to the left-wing extremist spectrum”, with precise personal details. If this information did not already lead to an identification at that time, the authorities may have worked more sloppily than they did with the NSU right wing terror cell trial recently after 7 years.
The public prosecutor hinted that “support for the Hambach forest occupation” could already be considered a criminal offence. After all, this would also cover the numerous crimes committed there. The defense attorney, however, estimated the seriousness of the crimes to be in the lower range; there could be no question of a seriousness in the medium to heavy range. Compared to the fireworks thrown on New Year’s Eve and the events that took place weekend after weekend in and around Bundesliga football stadiums, the long pre-trial detention was already absolutely inappropriate. The accusations are totally exaggerated and not proven, the accused is to be acquitted.
In the end, the judge considered his verdict as a cautionary example. He wished for a preventive effect, especially with regard to the coming cutting season. The defence has one week to appeal. The defendant remains in custody until the judgement becomes legally effective. (GF)
Please consult the reading request list as well as letters of UPIII on ABC Rhineland Blog and do write and send reading material. Pamphlets, zines, magazines and xerox copies can be send, with books you can either print them out on individual sheets of paper if possible or cut the pages from the spine and send them in “installments”. Document and index everything that you send and include dates when you send it both for your records and in the correspondence,