Forest to be Coal Mined occupied in Germany
On Saturday the 14th of April, part of the Hambach forest near Cologne, Germany was squatted by a group of activists in opposition to the planned open cast coal mine by RWE. People are more than welcome to join in the campaign and visit.
For more information see: http://hambachforest.blogsport.de/
Here`s a 10min. video (sorry,no english subtitles yet)
This is the first declaration by the squatters:
First Declaration of the Hambach jungle
The Forest is now squatted!
A part of the Hambach forest has been squatted in order to save it from the excavators sent by the giantic energy corporation RWE to dig up the coal.
Alongside the "Waldfest", a cultural happening in the woods (with the slogan "Forest, not coal!"), activists have squatted the woodland, although both activities remain independent of each other.
At the „Waldfest“ people from different groups met up forming a broad coalition to get active in saving the Hambach Forest and stop the extraction as well as the production of energy from coal.
Hambach forest, near Cologne, is set to be completely destroyed, making space for the largest coal mine in Europe „Hambacher Tagebau“ according to the plans of RWE.
By squatting we are also taking over responsibility adopting our trees, protecting them our own way.
We have decided to squat knowing that it is surpassing the small path of legal protest. Nevertheless two reasons lead us to this conclusion:
Firstly: The gap between what is legally allowed and what is regarded as justified by us is too big.
RWE is destroying local communities, as well as endangering peoples health by destroying the forest in order to mine the brown coal, not to mention causing climate change, and they are legally allowed to do so.
Nonetheless we are not able to see any justification in their action.
By squatting this forest we're not acting legally according to current Laws, but the action is justified by the aim of trying to stop RWEs world destruction course.
Secondly: We believe that the gap between what is legal and what is just will always exist. Due to this simple fact, a neutral point of view cannot exist. Just and legal remain different because everybody themselves has their own opinion of what is just and what is not.
Therefore establishing free and lively forms of interaction, defining what is just and sensible, is a must; As opposed to having the definition derivated from ancient laws which, for the most part, are only protecting the interests of the ruling elites.
By squatting this land we're trying to generate a process of vivid negotiating, furthermore bringing attention to the topic of how climate and enviromental destruction shall be dealt with.
Loudly we're shouting „No!“ at anybody whose solution is to go on just like they used to, and who are -just like RWE- even speeding up the destruction by building a new coal plant!
If we are to be evicted by police force then we are facing the answer of a repressive state which is trying to subdue any horizontal and vivid process of self-organization. That is the ideolgy of the state as well as of the capitalist corporations who are far too inflexible, not to mention unable to give sensible answers to the topics of our time.
They will eventually perish just like the dinosaurs who were also unable to cope with the changing conditions. In fact the solution is not to modify the existing system of exploitation and supression into something more flexible, but to overcome that system!
Against coal energy - Here and Everywhere
This squat is opposing coal energy in general as it is the most CO2 intensive form of gaining energy. The „Rheinische BraunkohleRevier“ (Rhinanian Brown Coal Area) is Europe's climate killer no. 1. In contrast,most of the coal burnt here is shipped from other parts of the world e.g.Columbia where the extraction coincides with brutal human rights violations.
Worldwide the conflicts arising alongside coal extraction and burning are getting worse. Especially in Southeast Asia where in the last few years activists resisting coal extraction have been murdered.
We want to create an awareness of these struggles to help the people fighting.Therefore we'll include more information about the situation in theseareas in our further declarations, letting those activists speak.
Furthermore we declare our solidarity towards the radical anti-coal campaigns like the coal-action-network in the U.K., rising-tide-groups in Australia and North-America, or the „wij stoppen steenkool“ campaign in the Netherlands. With their direct form of action, these groups gave us inspiration, and we hope they will inspire other groups world-wide as well.
The woods for all!
Occupying the forest shall be an act for re-empowerment by the locals. The „Occupying Force“ RWE shall loose their „right“ of „directing“ over the region unscruplously destroying the local and global fundamentals of life.
People should decide what will happen to the forest in a cooperative manner instead. This space should be open to all on the basis of equal treatment of each other. Therefore it is necessary that the people in the forest question which role-models and ways of acting they reproduce, what structures of oppression and dominance exist directly and indirectly. We think that it is important that we all act together to fight, prevent and intervene in discrimination of any kind.
Space for preparing the change
Squatting the Hambach Forest is a direct action directly confronting the injustice of the coal industry. But we want to go on further: It'll also be a place for people of different backgrounds to meet up and network. People that used to have only the fight against coal expansion in common can now come together and exchange ideas and experiences of the ongoing struggle.
Through this we hope that people are enabled to network and organize - for further resistance and more.
We do need a place where people are able plan the climate-just future themselves.
Firstly: The current politics - they totally failed and keep on failing in answering the pressing matter of climate change!
Secondly: Organizing ourselves from below is much more fun!
Maybe this squat might become such a place. The offshoot of a new world amidst the heart of fossil-nuclear capitalism.
Why „declarations out of the Hambach jungle?
The name of this text came up following the tradition of the Zapatistas in Mexico and their „Declarations of the lacandon jungle“. The Zapatistas achieved their aim of living in dignity in the borders of the poorest Mexican state through a strong direct and determined push back of the repressive police and para-military Mexicos.
We are not claiming our action to be comparable to the things that happened in Mexico but nevertheless our aim is the same. Fighting for a self-determinated life in dignity inmidst a system of destruction and oppression.
We believe that successful stuggles like in Chaipas are possible all over the world and necessary. We want to make the first steps in this direction.
The form of a declaration was also chosen because we are tired of corrupting and shortening the contents only to make them fit into a standard press format, after which they're still totally corrupted by the press.
Instead we're optimistic that this and the following declarations will reach -hopefully a lot of- people directly.
We call the woods the forest Hambach jungle knowing that this terminology is incorrect.
But Hambach Jungle is, in its structure, one of the oldest forests in Western Europe. Rare habitats are found here. Unlike RWE, who wish to destroy the forest in total, we pledge another solution, an experiment whereby the natural forest will, in a few decades, turn into jungle-like wood.
Then, we would leave the Hambach Jungle deliberately!