The Hambach Forest has been occupied for five years. For five years people have been building and defending tree houses in order to protect the trees they are living on. For five years diggers, cops, and secus have kept coming closer. Officially, the forest is owned by RWE, a multinational energy company that does not only want to kill the thousands-of-years-old forest, destroy habitats, dispossess and displace residents from the surrounding villages to generate power. With it’s production of lignite in the Rhineland along it is responsible for 30% of Germany’s CO2 emissions. A company that does not shy away from exploiting the entire world in order to maximise its profits. It is a company that significantly contributes to generating situations forcing people to leave their countries of origin. Because the people who first have to deal with the consequences of global warming are not those profiting from coal, but people from the global South. This makes our struggle part of the struggle against imperialism, against oppression and racism. What happens here does not happen by accident. It is a symbol of the capitalist system. And we are working on means of attacking it.
For five years we have not only been attacking RWE, but a system of hierarchy and exploitation that facilitates the company’s mania for profit. It is very clear for us that the fight for climate justice is intimately linked with the struggle for a world without hierarchies, a world far away from capitalistic coercion where major companies do not yield any power over human beings and nature! It is intimately linked to a world where everyone has the right and courage to defend their opinions and principles without being silenced by repressions from the state and system! The fact that the occupation is still alive after five years is proof for the fact that it is possible to resist, that it is possible to dedicate your life to your own maxims and that we will succeed in turning theory into praxis. Only by organising collectively and through courage were we able to fight for this freedom and free space and to maintain it. Despite repressions, despite many of us having been beat up, abused and imprisoned, we are here and will stay here!
With direct action we were able to cause damage to RWE, because of sabotage and blockades the company lost millions of Euros. The damage done to the company’s image due to the broad publicity on the consequences of lignite extraction is unpredictable. Although RWE continues to dig for lignite and destroy everything that is alive and beautiful we showed that it is possible to influence events. Because in a system that allows few to exploit an entire planet to still their own greed, resistance becomes a duty. Time is ticking. If lignite extraction is not stopped immediately it is impossible to stop climate change. Time is ticking for the forest, too. Starting in October, RWE has permission to continue cutting trees. If the company cuts 70ha of forest as planned, a large majority of the ancient ecosystem will be lost irrevocably and the only forest occupation in German speaking countries will be evicted and destroyed. This is not only about protecting a forest. This is about global justice, and it is about making a company accountable. We can only achieve this when we are many!
All fighting the state and capitalism! Turn your theory into praxis. Help us to maintain this freedom and free space, shape it and defend it!
Starting in September we will hold workshops in the forest that will give everyone the skills to be active in and around Hambi in the way you find most attractive and suitable. We will pass on all abilities necessary to occupy a tree and carry out other actions. From October onwards we are planning a large-scale occupation of the forest making it impossible for RWE to cut the remaining area. In case you cannot come to the forest then help us and yourselves from wherever you are. Spread this call, show that you stand in solidarity with the resistance in the Rhineland, or drop by for a couple of days and actions during the cutting season between October and February. Get in touch. There are as many possible ways of supporting this occupation as there are people.
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And keep it running. Get in touch: hambacherforst [at] riseup [dot] net