Geman police move into Hambach Forest climate activist camp to “remove barricades”
Police forces in the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) have moved into the embattled Hambach Forest that energy company RWE wants to cut down to make room for a nearby coal mine, the Rheinische Post reports. On Twitter, police said they were protecting RWE staff who “are removing barricades and cleaning up litter” in the forest in which climate activists have held out for years to prevent the coal mine’s expansion.
Wiederholt im #HambacherForst errichtete Barrikaden werden durch die @RWE_AG zur Aufrechterhaltung der Verkehrssicherung geräumt, Müll wird beseitigt. Die #Polizei #Aachen schützt die ArbeiterInnen von RWE. pic.twitter.com/cxfZDQVQf6— Polizei NRW AC (@Polizei_NRW_AC) September 5, 2018
However, police said that “no evictions” or removal of the activists’ self-made tree houses were planned. RWE has the right to start clearing the forest by 1 October after it had to halt its activities for one year following a lawsuit by environmental organisations.
Several members of Germany’s coal exit commission have said that the mine expansion should be put on hold until the commission has finished its negotiations over the management of the country’s coal exit. The commission’s leaders, however, maintain that dealing with the situation at the Hambach Forest is not part of the body’s mandate.
Read the article in German here.
See CLEW's Commission watch for updates on the coal commisison's work.