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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #279 - Germany: Forest against coal (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Fri, 9 Feb 2018 08:26:25 +0200


One of the struggles that make ecological news in Germany is that of the Hambach forest: from direct action to lobbying, the challenge is to protect an old millennium forest threatened by the establishment of a colossal coal power plant. ---- It is possible to follow the daily struggle with the site Foret.hambachforest.org and to support the occupants. ---- The movement also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account ---- Since 2012, a group of mostly anarchist activists have been busy occupying the Hambach Forest in confrontation with the authorities and RWE, one of the major energy groups in Germany, which is officially owner. ---- In a mining area, between Aachen and Cologne, the challenge is to save 1,000 hectares of forest from lignite extraction, or brown coal, considered one of the worst fossil fuels. " Hambi ", nickname given to this space several thousand years ago by the militants, was initially 9 times larger.

Spiral of repression

Police operations are regular and brutal, coordinated by RWE's private security and the public forces can mobilize several hundred agents. The goal is to prevent the establishment of a real area to defend by regularly destroying the huts and infrastructures in an escalation of violence contrary to the declarations of good intentions.

Bullying and confiscation of laptops and computers is common. In total more than 200 investigative procedures were supported by RWE on the basis of false accusations. RWE is developing, in the wake of the punch operations, access roads for deforestation machines and patrols as last March.

Equipped with oversized equipment, the operation is done 24 hours a day up to 450 meters deep and up to 3 million cubic meters of earth maneuvered per day, creating a sustainable disaster zone. More than a million trees of what was originally a protected natural area were destroyed ; Agricultural land and valuable ecosystems have disappeared in the area of approximately 170 square kilometers, the largest open pit mine in Western Europe. Nearly 40,000 people were expelled - or " displaced " depending on the point of view.

The ore is used to supply the company's thermal power plants, which emit high levels of CO2, arsenic, nitrous oxide and mercury. To this must be added the radioactive emissions present during the extraction and burning of lignite, making coal-fired power plants the largest sources of radioactive pollution after nuclear power plants.

Peripheral housing areas are confronted with levels of radioactivity above thresholds that are declared tolerable, more prone to diseases caused by fine particles, and also suffer from soil subsidence caused by pumping water that must not be released. reach the mines. Dewatering groundwaters condemns to death surrounding biotopes and underground reserves suffer pollution by heavy metals released during extraction.

Against RWE and his world

If justice allows deforestation, the fight does not stop despite the potentate RWE. Place of concrete resistance, Hambach is also a point of support for the campaigns of a broad movement on the climate. It combines both the techniques of blocking and demonstrations from the antinuclear movement, direct actions and also a more institutional lobbying calling for the gradual end of coal-fired power plants, a reasonable political option that is supported by Greenpeace against the claim of an immediate stop of the die.

The same organization states that the nine German brown coal plants cause the death of at least 1800 people a year. For the most radical part of the movement, only the halt without transition will save what can still be - and this includes the current generations victims of coal - without entering medium-term negotiations skillfully recovered by large corporations .

Fred (AL Alsace)

http://www.alternativelibertaire.org/?Allemagne-Foret-contre-charbon
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