Giant Coal Excavator Occupied, Hambacher Forest, Germany


The world’s largest excavator, also owned by RWE. Not necessarily the one occupied.

The Hambach Forest, in Southwest Germany, is the site of an ongoing forest and meadow occupation against the expansion of the adjacent lignite (brown coal) mine.

March 15th, 2015

In the night from Saturday to Sunday at about 00:30 am, activists of the anti-coal-movement have occupied an excavator inside the opencast-mine Inden. One person is locked on, three others have climbed the digger with harnesses. A banner reading “Lignite kills. Everywhere.” was dropped.

“The deadlock of the excavator, which is one of the centrepieces of RWE, means a massive intervention in the smooth running of the corporation. Thereby we deliberately disturb the continued exploitation of a source of energy which entire ecosystems fall victim to”, says Konny L. (name changed). “Due to the expansion of the pit people are displaced and dispossessed. At the Hambach mine, an old forest is being cut down, which was since the beginning of the Middle Ages in citizens‘ hands – if a forest can ever belong to someone – and was ever since managed relatively sustainable. Now RWE has bought it, with the sole purpose of utterly destroying it for the profits from coal mining.”

However, it is not only the regional consequences that prompt the activist into action. Konny L. illustrates: “The global warming caused by lignite combustion leads to droughts, floods, epidemics, etc. These cost hundreds of thousands of lives and force countless people to flee. “
From the activists‘ perspective, active resistance against a profit-oriented business model is the only way to effectively counteract these problems in order to “end this catastrophe that will sooner or later be felt fiercely worldwide. Those who only think of their own interests or believe in governments and business to do the job, will in the long run destroy their own and future generations‘ livelihoods.”

The occupants have announced to block the work of the excavator for as long as the eviction by the police will take. The occupation is still ongoing.

The digger is locked dead – caused by not even by 10 determined people!
A system is not unstoppable, if the will is there and if people start using their own the heads for decisions, instead of just ruminating given rules and opinions. Then another way of life becomes possible, with no one starving and no one afraid of their own species. A way of life, where people treat each other respectfully and without oppression.
The action is in solidarity with the people in and around Fukushima, who, like so many people worldwide, have become victims to the greed of few. The resistance movements against coal and nuclear energy are going hand in hand, because both sources of energy do (sooner as well as later) cause large-scale environmental destruction and thousands of casualties. We will not be intimidated by repression and threats. Unless all living beings get the possibility to live and grow without human oppression, something is going horribly wrong.

Let’s fix it! Come to Blockupy Action Day in Frankfurt (18.3.), the eviction of the occupied-by-refugees Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule in Berlin (19.3.), the protests against the G7 summit in Elmau, Bavaria (2.-8.6.).
Let’s live resistance and start rebellion together!

Digger Occupation – News Ticker

The bottom is being cleared – the top is still untouched

The eviction of the partial occupation by three persons in the lower / mid range of the excavator is has proceeded quite far. One person is already in custody. The V-shaped steel tube, in which another person’s both hands are chained to each other, has already been cut open, presumably by grinding. Thus, it is anticipated that the two other persons won‘t remain on the excavator very much longer.
The three other persons, who occupied the tip of the excavator at 70 meters height with climbing equipment, after all didn‘t have any police contact.
One embedded press person is also, after all, in place.

Climbing Cops arrived
about 06:30

The climbing unit of the police is on site and will probably sooner or later start preparing eviction.

Trickle is redirected

A small digger has shown up (or rather a regular-sized one, which is of course tiny in relation to the giant excavator). Using this, the trickle, which (as we all know) threatened to tilt the giant digger and kill the climbers, has been begun to divert. So just in case any autonomous sports groups are around in the mine, please do not under any circumstances sabotage the activities of this digger – it guards the lives of our comrades! (… and along the way, the capital of RWE …)

Helicopter doesn‘t do anything

As mentioned. It came, it saw, and it didn‘t do anything.

Police submit a request to God to tilt the excavator

Some of the uniform wearers were, in company of RWE employees, on the excavator in order to speak to a part of the occupants. According to them, the excavator at it‘s current position is being undermined by a trickle and therefore threatens to tip over. Of course RWE happen to have noticed just right now that they have parked their giant digger in quicksand. Now isn‘t that delightful for the activists, to finally have a meaningful and so very funny reason for not leaving a perilous place?

Police arrived

About 15 policeofficinated‘s have arrived under the digger and made contact with the RWE employees.
By the way, the excavator has not moved despite the threats.

RWE workforce once again life threatening

Staff of RWE pronounced to pivot the occupied excavator after the activists were already on top of it. This indeed could be life-threatening for the climbers, some of whom are located on the tower of the digger and some in moving parts. After this fact had already been clearly pointed out to the empolyees, they explicitly threatened to activate the machines if the people would not within five minutes be down. And an end to the open death threats is not in sight.