MASS EVICTION OF FOREST OCCUPATION, LARGE SOLIDARITY PROTESTS
Today the struggle for the Hambacher Forst reached a long awaited climax.
Early in the morning the police gathered its forces from all over the state, and alongside Special Deployment Commando (SEK, German SWAT teams), several eviction-tanks, water-canons, climbing-officers, and technical units, started preparing for their biggest escalation so far, the continuation of eviction of the climate-justice occupation camp in the 12,000 year old forest.
It was clear from the beginning, as information had also reached us the day before, that the early hours would bring with it the deployment of the largest police action in the history of the state of NRW.
Entering the forest from the Secu-road at the eastern entrance, by the Deathtrap/Lollipop occupation, the police had to first evict a sitting blockade of catholic pilgrims, before they could even begin the eviction of the first barricade, which, once begun, took several hours. After having arrested the occupiers of the first barricades, a tripod and a monopod, and violently attacking a protester, they were able to continue with the eviction of the two treehouses at the entrance, Deathtrap and Lollipop. Shortly after the break of noon, the police entered at the northernmost occupation, fittingly named The North, and began evicting people from hammocks, as well as treehouses. The eviction continued through the day, with police being strongly present in all parts of the occupied forest.
In protest of the eviction of the forest occupation, the violent escalation of the police, and the cutting of the forest, despite the formerly announced cutting-stop supposed to last until October 14th, a demonstration of 1600 people walked from the nearby village of Buir towards the forest. A wide spectrum of people, from all over the region, children as well as seniors, showed a strong sign of solidarity with the campaign for the preservation of the forest, and the climate-justice occupation camp. As the demonstration reached the Mahnwache, a smaller protest “headquarters”, the police forbade it to continue. Despite the orders of the police, the demonstration continued to walk towards the Meadowcamp outside the forest, where a group of around a hundred people, in support of the civil disobedience campaign Aktion Unterholz, broke through police lines and entered the forest, in order to block police and RWE equipment, and spread out their ressources.
Despite the eviction of encampments in the occupied forest, the arrest of several activists, and the destruction of parts of the unique eco-system in the forest, the message of the day was as clear as a bonfire in the night: the movement is strong, will keep struggling against the injustice of the state of NRW and energy-giant RWE, and will definitely continue acting for climate justice in the Rheinish lignite-mining area, and all over Germany!