EF! Newswire: Reportback from Lützerath

photo credit to Luetzibleibt

cross-posted from the EF! Newswire

In small gangs, cops start charging towards groups of protesters, beating up people with batons and pepper spray, kicking and pushing them to the ground. Dozens of people are injured, many with serious head injuries, treated by paramedics, and waiting for a helicopter to hospital.

Lützerath has become a battlefield, where cops defend fossil capital at all costs, enforcing climate catastrophe. From all over Germany, over a thousand police have come to coerce the eviction of Lützerath – the last remaining village being cleared for the expansion of the Garzweiler II opencast mine run by energy giant RWE. For years now activists had prepared for ‘Day X’ – built camps, barricades, tree houses, and tripods, and occupied houses to stop the destruction of the village. They rebuilt community in an area that had long been politically neglected, inhabitants intimidated and paid off, slowly cut off from infrastructure. The last remaining farmer, Eckardt Heukamp, lost his court case in 2022 and had to leave his family farm. This is the second time he’s had to move and see his home destroyed for the expansion of the mine.

Over the last couple of months, since my last visit, even more land has been lost to the mine, even more carbon dioxide has been emitted, habitats lost, political promises broken, livelihoods destroyed. All too clearly, the German state and energy giant RWE show us that they don’t care about our futures, about climate catastrophe, about the web of life that makes human life possible. Even liberal environmentalists are forced to recognise that the government doesn’t give a shit. It’s a coalition with the Green Party that is making this possible. The government will not protect us.

Cops and security forces are taking down structures, violently removing protesters. They have outsourced some of the dirtiest work to RWE personnel – the RWE fire brigade are evicting two tunnellers who locked on underneath the village, and RWE vehicles are used to transport protestors. In close collaboration with RWE, cops use water cannons, horses, and dogs to repress resistance, several people are bitten by dogs. Of course they refuse to investigate the cutting of safety lines, and the dangerous removal of protestors from treehouses and ropes.

Thousands have built and occupied structures, burning barricades, tripods, and monopods. Some take part in sitting blockades and demonstrations, putting their bodies in the way to stop the destruction. 35,000 came today to show that they oppose the eviction. And they are not giving up – groups of protesters have just entered the mine, people are burning police cars, and sabotaging machinery.

They build on a long history of combative resistance in this region of Germany, called the Rhineland. Since the 70s, local groups have fought back against RWE. For over 10 years, the Hambacher Forest occupation resisted (and partially stopped) the destruction of the ancient forest and the expansion of the neighbouring Hambach coal mine – through blockades, sabotage, occupations, building tree houses, tunnels, and many other forms of resistance. The Hambacher Forest occupation, just like Lützerath, has always been not just about stopping a coal mine, but about alternative ways of living and organising together, about solidarity and mutual aid, about anarchist values and practices – a world without coal, police, prisons, and borders, a fight against colonialism, capitalism, patriarchy, and the state.

But this resistance has always been diverse too. In Lützerath, we see black bloc and church groups, students and pensioners, Fridays for the Future and antifascists. We see solidarity with Rojava and the Zapatistas. People coming together who might not otherwise meet, talking and connecting, sharing skills and building community.

Lützerath is the latest of dozens of villages that have been evicted, inhabitants dispossessed under old Nazi legislation, to facilitate the expansion of lignite coal mines, the dirtiest and most carbon intensive form of electricity generation. This eviction takes place three years after the eviction of the neighbouring Hambacher Forest in 2018, which lasted over four weeks and led to the death of a young film maker. The eviction was stopped by the courts in October 2018, and later declared illegal.

Financed by Deutsche Bank and HSBC Bank, among others, RWE are planning to extract a further 280 million tonnes of coal from the Garzweiler mine. The company itself has admitted that the coal that is being mined here is not necessary for the country’s energy supply. It’s part of a deal between RWE and the government which brings forward the end date of lignite coal mining in Germany from 2038 to 2030, “saving” five remaining villages. But studies show that by reconnecting two generating units and increasing annual extraction, the amount of total coal burnt is hardly reduced at all.

The ‘gas crisis’ triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine serves as a great excuse to continue supporting the coal industry, appealing to people to cut energy use, switch off their lights and turn down their radiators, while leaving industrial energy use intact. The German armament industry – one of the major electricity users – is thriving. Rheinmetall, the largest German arms manufacturer, based in the Rhineland, made record profits in 2022. There is a lot of money to be made from war.

There is still a lot of money to be made from coal, too, indirectly subsidised by the German state. German coal interests have always been inseparable from state interests in the Rhineland. Politicians from all parties – from mayors to parliamentarians – have been on RWE’s payroll. Revolving door relationships have lubricated the political manoeuvring to defend coal at all costs. Just recently, the office manager of Germany’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Leader of the Green Party has become a RWE lobbyist. But there are plenty of examples.

Paying out communities in shares, not cash, for decades means that many communities are financially dependent on RWE’s financial well-being. A quarter of RWE’s shares are owned by communities, cities, and towns. That means local authorities are shareholders, licensors, clients, constituencies, employees, and tax collectors at the same time. Through payments for attending advisory councils and supervisory boards, politicians have lucrative side incomes, and revolving door relationships ensure preferential treatment.

The boundaries between RWE and NRW (the state of North Rhine Westphalia) – NRWE – have always been blurry. RWE representatives can be found everywhere – in church choirs and town councils, school board and universities. They finance police barbecues and fire trucks, sponsor football clubs and festivals, concerts and exhibitions, viewing platforms and historic castles. They put up baking carts and public bookshelves, pay for school buildings, organise volunteering activities and tours through the mine. They go into school and hand out lunch boxes to first graders. They create teaching materials, role-playing games, and girls’ days in their training centres, offer school trips into power stations, zoo schools, and environmental education initiatives.

In collaboration with government forces, RWE has been able to stop and repress the publication of scientific reports and censor media coverage, write legislation and pay for university research. They conduct acceptance studies to understand resistance and collaborate with researchers to co-opt and repress dissent.

All of these are classic counterinsurgency strategies to repress, pacify, and co-opt dissent – a combination of psychological operations, intimidation, and surveillance – including rape threats and sexual abuse – combined with physical violence and beatings. They are covered up by a well-oiled propaganda machine that consists of PR agencies, RWE departments, police forces and other state structures.

Intimidation and violence against the press help to reduce negative coverage. During the ongoing eviction RWE published strict guidelines – co-written with police – that restricted media coverage by journalists, requiring additional police accreditation and restricting access to certain areas, times of the day, and only when accompanied by RWE representatives. As predicted, footage of police violence is absent from the mainstream media.

Carlton,MN: Water Protectors Halt Work at Three Line 3 Construction Sites

July 12, 2021

Contact: media@resistline3.org or 406-552-8764


The “Fight for a Habitable Future on our Planet”

Water Protectors Halt Work at Three Line 3 Construction Sites 

CARLTON, MN: On Monday, July 12th, water protectors stopped work at three Line 3 pipeline construction sites in Carlton County. At all three sites people climbed on top of excavators and chained themselves to heavy machinery. A growing resistance movement has been regularly delaying construction through non-violent direct action since December over concerns about the threats the pipeline poses to water, land, Indigenous sovereignty, and the future of the climate.

Alex, one of the individuals risking arrest today, spoke to why they felt compelled to take nonviolent direct action. They said, “We are all treaty people. We have a responsibility to honor and fight for Indigenous sovereignty, land, and water. I’m here fighting Line 3 as someone who loves the Great Lakes. They’re the largest fresh body of water on this planet and if we destroy them we’ll never get that back.”

Another water protector, Mandy, said “Right now we’re looking at a future with extreme water shortages, accelerating difficulty in growing food, mass human displacement due to natural disasters and manmade disasters caused by fossil fuel infrastructure projects like Line 3. I’m here to fight against ecocide and the ongoing genocide of Indigenous peoples, and I’m here to fight for a habitable future on our planet.”

The Line 3 pipeline has faced significant resistance in Minnesota since it was first proposed in 2014. The Indigenous-led movement to stop Line 3 has long asserted that construction of the pipeline would violate treaty rights and threaten the health of ecosystems in Anishinaabe territory. In particular, Line 3 construction threatens sacred manoomin (wild rice) lakes and other water bodies which are already suffering from this year’s drought.

Beyond harming the land and the water, pipeline construction also threatens communities along the route. Prior to the start of construction in December of 2020, Indigenous advocates and allies had testified before state agencies that the Line 3 pipeline project was likely to increase rates of human trafficking in the area, particularly for Indigenous women, girls, and relatives. In recent months, several Enbridge employees have been arrested in sex trafficking stings confirming many in the movements’ worst fear: that Line 3 is increasing rates of sexual violence along the route, and likely contributing to the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW).

Additional photos, videos, and interviews with movement leadership available upon request.

Camp Migizi: Four arrested in Stop Line 3 action in St. Louis County, Minnesota

Cross-posted from Camp Migizi

On July 10th, off Genew Road in St. Louis County, Water protectors shut down work for a full day at a site where Enbridge was trying to lay pipe. Two water protectors locked to each other through the treads of a machine, while two others climbed up an excavator’s arm, out of reach of police.

About 30 police officers from St. Louis, Carlton, and Aitkin counties responded, as well as State Troopers and a Fond Du Lac Tribal Officer. A large crowd gathered on the roadway to support those locked down, drumming, singing, and rallying for 7 hours in the summer heat.

The comrade who climbed the excavator said, “If this pipeline doesn’t go through Enbridge could go bankrupt. And it would deal a really serious blow to the extraction and oil industry that does so much damage to indigenous lands and lands in general. They’re scared and rightfully so because we’re not backing down.”

Venmo @Taysha-Martineau to support Camp Migizi!

Fairy Creek:Eleven months at the blockade!

Cross-posted from the Fairy Creek Blockade

Saturday, July 11th Report
Day 52 of Police Enforcement
Day 335 of Direct Action Protecting Vancouver Island’s Ancient Temperate Rainforests on Ancestral Pacheedaht and Ditidaht Territories
4 total arrests today
393 arrests to date and counting.
Today marks the 11th month since our blockade started!
To help ring in the event, a forest defender celebrated her 27th birthday by getting arrested. “It was amazing; I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s exactly what I’m here on the planet to do, what the accumulation of the last year called me to do. This is how I want to welcome in my next lap around the sun.”

RCMP actually sang her Happy Birthday while she was extracted from her blockade device, a tube cemented into the ground (we call these ‘sleeping dragons’) at the bottom of a trench.

This particular forest defender has a family history with the RCMP. Her grandfather was an officer and being here on the frontlines has left her feeling conflicted. She knows that people get into this line of work seeking to do good, and today an officer even told a blockader that we are “not criminals.” Many of the RCMP disagree with this enforcement, and we have even heard of some officers speaking out and facing disciplinary action. As always, we urge those officers who feel conflicted to educate themselves on not only the history of the RCMP as a means to oppress Indigenous people, but on the nature of what we are doing here. Laws don’t change easily, and we need John Horgan and the NDP to understand that they are on the wrong side of history. Only they can tell the RCMP to stand down.

The arrest was exhilarating for her, but there was also a dark moment. During the extraction process a male officer needed to position himself such that he loomed over her, triggering memories of traumatic experiences. Knowing that the officer needed to stay in this position for her safety did nothing to lessen the panic and fear she felt. Confused, tears streaming down her face, she acknowledged that the officer was respectful of her body and personal space, but she still shook recounting the event. She’s chosen to take this experience as an opportunity to grow. This kind of determination is what has allowed us to occupy these blockades for 11 months now.

Later, RCMP used an excavator to extract a blockader from a sleeping dragon. While the forest defender was unable to see what was happening, he could feel it. The excavator digging into the earth beside him and puncturing the PVC pipe his arm was locked into made him ask the question “What could happen if this machine messes up?” With his arm barely able to fit in the tube, escape would not have been easy.

Nearby, a woman in her 50’s who works as a physical therapist was in a similar position. “If you mess up my arm I can’t feed my family,” she told the police. “Please, don’t hurt me or use that excavator on us.” Confusingly, they met her request. The RCMP seem to be picking the safety precautions they follow at random.
With our setup today—a sleeping dragon with a trench on either side and two more sleeping dragons leading into it from the trenches such that three people can lock in (one from the top and one on either side laying in the trenches—a small misstep meant large rocks falling on the forest defenders lying in the trenches. “We’re going to bring the excavator up,” RCMP threatened. Using the backhoe would cause the road to crumble into the ditch; burying blockaders in the process. Forest defenders knew this was a scare tactic to try to get them to unclip willingly. We’ll repeat a question we have repeatedly asked the RCMP in person: why can’t police use hand tools to extract people from hardblocks that were constructed using hand tools? They just did so recently, in fact.
You may remember Grounded Eagle—the BIPOC young adult who was given a concussion by RCMP when they dropped his tripod. Fully recovered, and eager to get back into the action, he found himself up at Waterfall Camp this past week. In his extraction this time around he shared his concerns about the RCMP using an angle grinder. As someone in the Firesworkers Union he knows the smallest spark can cause a subterranean fire. While they worked on him he felt sparks flying onto his hands as they dumped water onto the cutting area.
As always, police set up an exclusion line that was too distant for observation and ignored all complaints. At a distance of 40 metres, photography of the action was impossible. We’ve attached photos of the set-up and a few interactions with police.
Some blockaders felt a weight had been lifted today. Another blockader’s face lit up when he spoke about an owl that swooped in to perch on the police tape; flapping its wings and glaring at the RCMP. Both the blockaders and officers could barely believe what they were seeing; it was as if the forest itself was protesting this enforcement. In a rare moment of vulnerability the RCMP admitted they aren’t ecologists, they’re not in forestry, and that they don’t have all the information. We wonder if any of the officers present this day will speak up like their colleagues have. The time is short and this is truly the last stand. Old growth logging is happening RIGHT NOW and we’re down to a fractional percentage point left.

If we are to stop this, we need your help.

If you’ve been following our updates and waiting to get involved, now is your time. Numbers are low and we need your help now more than ever. This Saturday is a BIG day of action with some special plans. We’d love to see you this week and on Saturday.

Come to camp.

Join us at Fairy Creek (Ada’itsx) HQ!! Please arrive prepared to self-sufficiently camp overnight. Arrestees and non-arrestees are needed DAILY.
Read our pre-arrival info sheet: http://bit.ly/FCBarrivalinfo
Worried about getting arrested? Here’s some educational information: http://bit.ly/FCBarrestee
Get here: https://bit.ly/FCBnavigation


Backcountry hikers/campers, climbers, tradesmen, kitchen, visitor services, logistics, you name it, we need it! Come prepared to wield your unique skillset & creativity for the betterment of the movement. It is up to YOU to figure out where and how you can be most useful. Get up in it! Visit different camps! Meet people! Ask around!! Find gaps!!!


Communications, social media management, research, fundraising, content creation, graphic design, video editing, writing, outreach, admin, legal, strategy, local organization, the list goes on. Got skills? Got heart? We’d love your help!
Fill out our intake form now: https://bit.ly/FCBintake

-Support for supplies and legal fees:
-Current list of supplies & physical donations required:

Check with your local Extinction Rebellion, Fridays for Future, or any other activist group focused on protecting our future and Indigenous sovereignty. If there aren’t any in your area, rally a few friends and start your own!
Check this page: http://bit.ly/LS4Fevents

Find your MLA’s number here: https://bit.ly/MLAEveryDay

We are developing a network of health practitioners to help forest defenders both on and off site. If you are willing to offer healing help, sign up here: http://bit.ly/FCBtherapy

-Link to all ancient forest petitions:
-Stand.earth MLA Action Toolkit


Klecko klecko! In solidarity, thank you 🙂