Hambach Forest: Journalist Dies in ongoing Evictions for Coal Mine. Solidarity Appeal

Journalist Dies During German Police Sweep of Hambach Forest

Hambach Forest, Germany – One person has been confirmed to have died during police operations to clear the Hambach Forest to make way for a coal mine. The injury leading to the man’s death took place Wednesday afternoon as officers were attempting to remove protesters from trees, which they had climbed to prevent them from being cut down.

The deceased was a journalist who fell to his death while police were making arrests in the immediate area.Image result for Journalist Dies During German Police Sweep of Hambach Forest

 

Update September 19, 2018 8:00 pm: Today’s tragic events will change everything. The action will not take place as planned. At the moment we do not know if something else will be done instead. We express our condolences to the relatives and friends of the journalist who died in Hambacher Forst today.

Forest activists from “Hambi Bleibt” (Hambi Lives) quickly released a statement regarding the tragic incident:

A friend who has accompanied us journalistically for a long time in the forest today fell from a plank bridge over 20 meters high in Beechtown and died. At the time police and RWE tried to clear the tree house village. The SEK [SWAT] was in the process of arresting an activist near the plank bridge. The man was apparently on the way there when he fell.

We are deeply shocked. All our thoughts and wishes are with him. Our compassion goes to all the relatives, friends and people who feel affected. We urge the police and RWE to leave the forest immediately and stop this dangerous operation. No further lives may be endangered. What is needed now is a moment of calmness.

Hambi Bleibt, September 19, 2018

German police told the newspaper Der Speigel that they are investigating the area as a crime scene. Police have also reportedly stopped their eviction operations against the climate justice activists in the wake of the deadly incident.

For days, German state police have been attempting to clear tree-sits and other blockades to facilitate clear-cutting the Hambach Forest so the area can be strip-mined.

Activists have been recently joined by many additional supporters looking to defend the forest, and police have made several arrests before today’s incident.

Coal company RWE plans to destroy all of what remains of the ancient Hambach Forest in order to access the lignite coal deposits that lie underneath.

Title image credit: Aktion Unterholz


 

#AktionRebuild: Come to #HambacherForest!

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Update September 19, 2018 8:00 pm: Today’s tragic events will change everything. The action will not take place as planned. At the moment we do not know what will be done instead.

We express our condolences to the relatives and friends of the journalist who died in Hambacher Forst today.

On Saturday we want to give the forest a voice again. The sounds of the chants on the forest walk are still in our memories.

The “Rebuild” action is another attempt to give our protest a structure, to give the push of solidarity one more platform, to save the forest and to stop the uprooting. Therefore we nee massive support! Get creative and start to build. Nothing is over yet, Hambi stays!

Come to the Hambacher forest vigil on Saturday. Wait for further announcements.


Hambacher Eviction Resistance Continues, Tree by Tree: More Solidarity Welcome

hf1#Hambacher Forest: Thousands marched in solidarity, hundreds take over the forest

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On the fourth day of the eviction of the Hambach Forest occupation, activists and supporters from all over made it clear to energy-giant RWE and the government of NRW, that the squatters inside the forest are not alone in their struggle!

Originally published by Hambi Bleibt. Edited by Enough is Enough.

Already from early in the morning, it was clear that the weekly “forest walk” was going to be something special.

09:39 September 16: Activist started #AufBäumen this morning. While #RWE and cops evict, cut trees and destroy #HambacherForest, activists are planting new trees. #HambacherForst #Eco #HambacherWald #HambiBleibt Image by @_mtiemann pic.twitter.com/ZijD8Fxcio

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) 16. September 2018

Despite the fact, that police beforehand had made it official that the “forest-walk”, led by Eva and Michael Zobel, would not be allowed to enter the forest, thousands of people, from all stages of life, went towards the nearby village of Buir, completely filling up several trains on the way there. After hours of continuous arrival of motivated “forest-walkers”, the march began moving in the direction of the forest, waving flags, yelling slogans, and showing their solidarity with the climate-justice activists inside the occupation, and protesting for the preservation of the 12,000 year old forest, and against the extraction of lignite-coal by energy-giant RWE.gg

11:01 Cops are busy evicting tree houses in #Oaktown #HambacherForest – #HambacherForst #HambiBleibt Image by @infozentrale pic.twitter.com/B6PdXGWhj0

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) 16. September 2018

When arriving at the protest vigil, many hundred people chose to break off from the march, and while yelling “we want a forest walk!” managed to break through police lines, entering the forest.
Here people spread out, surrounded the occupations that were being evicted, in order to support the activists, and some places even managed to force the police to leave the premises. At one point a few hundred activists managed to completely surround an eviction tank near the Cozy-town occupation! Others went through the forest, erecting barricades, and playing cat-and-mouse games with the officers still present.
Although police violently arrested several activists, these moments gave people the strong experience of how active self-empowerment and solidarity is the strongest weapon against repression, making it clear that if we are determined enough, we can overcome any obstacles.
They may have the money, but we have the masses!

13:37 According to @AktionUnterholz there are 7000 people at the #HambacherForest walk today. – #HambacherForst #AktionUnterholz #Aufbäumen #HambiBleibt. Video by @MonaNeubaur pic.twitter.com/EsQmWnyIbl

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) 16. September 2018

While some people were taking back the forest, attempting to halt the destruction of the unique ecosystems of the Hambach Forest, the action group “AufBäumen Gegen Kohle” had planned a “tree-planting action”, where a large group, equipped with shovels, watering cans and seedlings, attempted to plant new trees at the edge of the forest, bringing new life, to make up for the mass-murder committed by RWE.
Their peaceful protest however was met with very aggressive behaviour from the police, pushing and punching activists to keep them from getting to their goal.bunteGleiseKonfetti-400x268.jpg

14:59 Hundreds left the registered Forest walk that was not allowed into #HambacherForest by cops. Many people now went into the forest as a wild spontaneous demo. #HambacherForst #HambiBleibt Video by @infozentrale pic.twitter.com/eDnQ1GTfVp

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) 16. September 2018

At the end of the day, despite the presence of large amounts of activists and supporters, police forces managed to evict the rest of the treehouses in Oaktown, including Mousehouse, Floki and Nest. One activist in Oaktown, however, impressively managed to stay up in a tree throughout the day, where they still remain to this moment.
The police also began the eviction in the so-called “WWestside”, which includes the treehouse-villages Beech-town and Cozy-town. From here two people were evicted and transported away to the pre-charge detention centre.evictionjuly22-400x225

13:53 Cops continue with evictions this Sunday. People at sit-blockade chant “#HambiBleibt!” (Hambi stays). #HambacherForest #HambacherForst Image by @KimKolumna pic.twitter.com/ofl2BhRpRY

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) 16. September 2018

Throughout the day, the police kept press-workers at a distance, making it hard (almost impossible) for journalists to properly show the brutal reality of the police’s destruction of the climate-justice occupation in national and international media. It seems clear, that for interior-minister of NRW Herbert Reul (CDU) and the government of NRW, the protection of the interests of energy-giant RWE and the coal-lobby, has higher priority than the protection of the “freedom of the press”.

15:28 Cops are powerless. Hundreds reach the next “village” in #HambacherForest #HambacherForst #HambiBleibt #eco #antireport Video by @infozentrale pic.twitter.com/lOOIglTnWl

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) 16. September 2018Luftschloss-17-1

The support and solidarity in the last days has been truly empowering, giving us the energy to keep going. Although tomorrow Monday brings with it for many people the beginning of another working week, we are hoping to see all of you here, to help keep the resistance alive! Hambacher Forst stays, to infinity and beyond!

17:15 #Lastweet Cops now attacked people with pepperspray in #HambacherForest #HambacherForst #HambiBleibt https://t.co/dfa6WVwJXT

— Enough is Enough! (@enough14) 16. September 2018

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