Protests against lignite mining: Now is again “end of terrain”

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Protests against lignite mining

Tens of thousands of demonstrators want to block coal infrastructure. With the support of student protests, the action could become bigger than ever.

Two young women hang banners on a white tent

Preparations are underway: building the camp for thousands of activists from “Ende Gelände” Photo: dpa

Excavator occupations, rail blockades, street protests: With large demonstrations and mass actions of civil disobedience, tens of thousands of people want to demonstrate in the coming days for a more effective climate protection policy and a quick end to lignite mining. For this purpose, environmental activists from all over Europe and a massive police deployment around the lignite mine Garzweiler are expected in the Rhineland. The police are staging massive stunctions and activists have announced the blockades of bucket wheel excavators and coal infrastructure facilities.

This is a now well-known dispute over the future of coal in the next round. For years, a protest coalition called “End of the Terrain” has been calling for actions of civil disobedience and has repeatedly occupied coal plants and open cast mines in Lusatia and the Rhineland. The multi-day protests are now considered within the environmental movement as a successor to the former energy-related Castor protests, which annually thousands of people gathered in Wendland, Lower Saxony, to stand for several days with various protests against nuclear energy and block the Castor transport. In the meantime, this no longer drives in this form since the accumulating nuclear waste has been temporarily stored at other locations.

The upcoming protests in the Rhineland could become the largest anti-coal protests in Germany due to the youth movement Fridays for Future. For Friday, students have announced that they want to demonstrate with a star train in nearby Aachen for more climate protection. The police expect up to 20,000 participants. Incoming is also expected from neighboring European countries.

Large-scale operation with several thousand policemen

At the same time, thousands of people want to block the coal infrastructure on Friday and continue to do so over the weekend. In recent years, this has always been successful. The “End of the Road” protests, which call for civil disobedience and operate at the borderline of criminal law, are committed to a non-violent action consensus. Again and again, however, it comes to scuffles and minor clashes with the police in the attempt to flow around police chains.

on the upcoming “End of the Terrain” demonstrations on taz.de as well as via Twitter, Periscope and Instagram. Follow the livestreams of the taz under the accounts @tazgezwitscher. @kat_schipkowski and @martinkaul,

At the same time, it is expected that smaller, more radical groups and militant environmentalists could become active in the context of the protests with smaller blockade reactions. The police in North Rhine-Westphalia is preparing for a large-scale deployment with several thousand police officers from all over Germany. From ranks of the police is to be heard however also, one will deliver no wild chases with demonstrators at the open pit edge – also in order to produce in the dangerous terrain no additional dangers.

For Saturday, the Fridays for Future Alliance plans another demonstration – in Hochneukirch, close to the Garzweiler open pit. Environmental organizations such as Greenpeace and BUND, the campaign organization Campact and local residents' initiatives also call for demonstrations on Saturday, including bicycle convoys. Thousands of people are expected as well.

(TagToTranslate) End Terrain! (t) Carbon Exit (t) RWE (t) Civil Disobedience (t) Castor Transport (t) fridays for future (t) Fridays For Future (t) Ecology (t) Eco (t) taz (t) daily

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