Hambacher Forest – peaceful resistance?
via contra info
The Hambacher Forst is in the focus of the media, since Thursday 13.09. is a major police operation inclusive SEK (Special Deployment Commando) evicting the tree houses. There are different ways of resistance, but especially the left press and NGO’s like to report about non violent protest, to claim it for themselves. In our report we want to focus on militance, but we don’t see it as the only important part of the protest. Here follows a chronic of militance, resistance and repression in Hambacher Forst. Of course this chronic is not complete, because many actions are done by small groups and we only know about the actions, that where told to us.
Since 13.09. a few thousand cops are nonstop in the forest, to finally evict and destroy all of the tree houses. But the eviction of the forest and the preparation for it started way earlier. In August, there was a call on the Hambi blog to prepare for the eviction. In the call was assumed, that the eviction is planned between 22.08. and 22.09.2018. Because of this many activists came to the forest, to fight against the eviction. Daily people built barricades, new platforms, lock-ons etc. to make the eviction more difficult. It was also made clear to the cops and RWE securities, that the forest is a dangerous place for them, where they should not feel comfortable.
The way to the Danger Zone
As a few cop cars are standing in one of the main entrances of the forest on 21.08., they are kept in distance by a big group of militant people with mollies and stones. On the next day, the cops stop two cars with pointed guns in the village Buir. They confiscate one of the cars, which is the bus of the Alf kitchen collective. They try to make the Alf collective responsible for the mollies and even after they give the bus back, the bus gets raided several times again. The bus is not only a home of people, but also an important kitchen for the forest.
On the 24.08. there is a major police operation with heavy machinery to evict barricades. Probably it is especially about the barricades in the forest entrance at the Secu-Road. In the evening, new barricades are being build in the entrance and the cops come back to destroy them and to steal the tools. This time they are chased out of the forest with stones. While the cops run away, one of them even pulls out the gun and aims at the people who run after them. Reinforcement and 2 ambulances arrive to pick up the cops.
On 25.08. the cops discover another car barricade and a possible explosive near to Lorien and they want to remove it. They are being attacked by mollies, stones and fireworks and have to leave the forest, when it starts to get dark. In a press release, the cops ask for a peaceful action consent and for distancing from violence.
One day later, about 400 cops come to the same place to evict. Some 25 masked people fight them with stones but are forced back by the great number of cops. Meanwhile new barricades are set up. But the barricades could only be defended for a short time each.
On the next day again a few hundred cops are in the forest and the Meadow Camp is surrounded. The operation is probably a preparation or a test.
On the 28.08. there is a raid in the Meadow, supposedly to search Molotov cocktails. The majority of the people at the meadow are brought to the police station in Aachen, because they don’t give their identities to the cops. All the others are send off until the evening. The Cops use the day to steal everything what’s possible. They take glass bottles, slingshots, crow’s feet, climbing gear, money, id cards and electronic devices. With the reason, that you can commit crime with it aka build barricades they steal wooden pallets, solar panels and water canisters. In the end tunnels where filled up to prevent danger and a lock on is being removed. With that the cops also destroy the library. In the evening, all of the people are released from custody, of some of them, the cops could not find out the identity. At the day after the raid was a solidarity demo from Buir to the Meadow.
In the following days cop and security cars are being attacked several times with stones and fire. Also diggers of RWE, that are working close to the forest, are chased away repeatedly. After one of these actions, more than 20 RWE securities run after the activists. The activists fight back with mollies and stones. Some of the secus are throwing stones but only dared to go a few meters into the forest.
Meanwhile the police union demands not to put the cops into the dangerous forest, until the cutting season of the forest is clear.
Since 31.08. the forest and the surrounding area is declared as a “danger zone” and the cops try to search every car and person, that is on the way to the forest.
In the evening of the 02.09. there are burning barricades and a cop van is attacked and damaged with stones.
The next major police operation is taking place on the 5. and 06.09. The cops want to evict all the ground structures and barricades inclusive tripods and monopod. Some of the structures where defended with piss and shit, that is flying from above to the cops who have to leave the area.
There are solidarity demos again from Buir to the forest. On Sunday the 09.09. more than 1000 people are participating in the forest walk where one week before about 400 people joined.
In the morning of 10.09. a cop car and a secu car are being attacked each with stones and fire. Also the front window of an RWE vehicle gets smashed. After these attacks the cops call the forest phone and threaten to clear the undergrowth next to the secu road, in case of another attack. In the same night the secu road is blocked by a burning barricade. A cop van that comes close to the barricade gets covered with stones and has to escape. While the barricade is burning, the secu-point, that was converted into a fortress after several attacks in the past, gets attacked by many people with stones and molotovs. At the same time barricades are being build on the old highway. After a short time, about 40 armored cops and an eviction tank line up in the secu-point and go towards the attacking people who move to a hill. When the police tries to surround the attackers, it is raining stones from above. According to whitenesses, one could hear several cries of pain from underneath. After the cops keep distance again, the activists move back into the forest.
In the next morning the burning barricade is maintained with new firewood and there is another attack to a secu car. The cops threaten, that they will come on the 12.09. with a huge presence plus SEK and to shoot, when things would be thrown at cops.
On the 12.09. there are burning barricades in different entrances of the forest. A group of cops gets attacked by a few people on the secu road with stones. One cop shoots in the air and than aims at the attackers.
Final eviction (?)
In the morning of the 13.09. the major operation starts, which is planned to be the final eviction of the forest. Heavily armed SEK and climbing cops start to evict the tree houses. The people in the houses thought about many things, how they can make the eviction as difficult and expensive as possible, so the cops make progress very slowly. One of the first tree house villages that should be evicted is The North. When the first barricades in front of the entrance to The North are getting evicted, the cops are being attacked with stones, slingshots and Mollies. The cops escape into their cars and try to defend themselves by driving with full-speed towards the attackers. They did not get anyone but the cars remain with scratches and dents.
Afd-Nazis, that dare to go into the forest with police escort to watch the eviction, are being chased away by a group of militant people with shouts and stones. The escorting police is running faster than the Nazis.
When the first machines try to cut a way to the The North, again masked people run towards cops and RWE workers and throw with stones. The workers have to move back, you can hear cheering from the treetops and the work can not be continued for a while. The armored cops that are in the majority can force the attackers slowly back. BFE (arrest units) troops come to reinforce the cops and the activists have to move away.
In the evening, the cops manage to get more and more control over the forest and it is getting harder to attack the cops in the forest. But there is still attacks for example with shit, which are especially shitty for the cops and there is a call for decentral militant actions 1
Also there are more and more people showing solidarity with Hambi. Everyday, hundreds of people try to get into the forest and on the forest walk of 16.09., about 9.000 people are joining. Only a few of them manage to brake through the police chains. There are solidarity actions and demos in many cities.
The broad Solidarity is helpful for the Hambi to stay and it causes more pressure on RWE and the cops. One example is that 3 companys takes back the lent cherry-pickers after a few days of eviction. It would be nice, but it’s probably not the case, if many of the people in solidarity are also in solidarity with the militance. And that they realize, that the struggle is in the eyes of many people in the forest not only about the preservation of a small peace of forest neither the exit of brown coal. These reforms would not change anything in the whole shit of capitalism and state. The people, that can not go on their forest walk anymore want to have back their state of law and their democracy but they don’t realize, that there is almost nothing more totalitarian than a democratic state, that promises fundamental rights as long as the people obey. As soon as people question the authority of the state and it gets more dangerous, the state is adjusting the laws.
We stay militant, no matter if in Hambi or somewhere else. No matter if the wide public accepts us or if we have to fight against this whole shit with a few good comrades. Hatred and violence against the fucking cops, against RWE and any other large enterprise, against democracy and any form of authority. Our hearts are burning as our mollies do!
It should be mentioned, that such forms of action exclude other forms of action completely:
In the moment it is quite easy for the cops to make a difference: reflecting safety jacket + industrial safety helmet = RWE, or at least press; and people dressed in any way don’t belong in the forest and are targets for them. In this situation there would be many possibilities for false signals of group membership:
Acitivists with reflecting safety jacket and industrial safety helmet could often easily get into closed areas in – for the cops – stressful situations, and suddenly lock onto their heavy machines.
If their is stress and chaos among the police in the woods, they would also let pass any car with RWE-Brand, and so forth …
If then the Cops have to start controlling ANY person with great detail in this area, the RWE dudes as well, it would be a massive obstacle for his eviction.
But such methods of creating (even more) chaos drop out completely if you have to worry getting stones and molotov cocktails thrown at you if you wear cop feinting outfit.
Here it seams best to use militancy especially against things. There are more than enough moments when cop cars and RWE machines are without people inside in the woods, to which then for instance you could set fire.