The Hambacher Forst, about 80 hectares of an 12,000 years old forest with some 4,300 trees in the German Land North Rhine-Westphalia; the oldest trees have an age of about 350 years.
The “problem” is that below this forest is a huge reserve of lignite (brown coal). The energy company RWE wants to destroy that forest to extract this lignite in opencast surface mining to fuel nearby coal power plants to produce electricity – despite the preparedness of the major political parties in Germany to phase out coal as source of energy.
Hundreds of environmental activists have moved into the forest, most of them stay in some 100 self-build tree houses often connected by up-in-the-air walkways.
Since last month, police forces have encircled the Hambach Forest, mounting into the trees, arresting tree by tree the protesters (one journalist died), and destroying their infrastructure – in order to prepare for the cutting of the trees.
The Hambach Forest is now considered as a symbol of the fight against climate change and especially as a vivid sign of the resistance of the anti-coal power movement against the environmental destruction by the coal industry.
On September 30th, some 10,000 persons protested against the arrest of the protesters in the trees and against the planned clearing of the forest.
On Saturday, October 6th, an international demonstration is planned. For 10:30 am, some 20,000 participants are expected. In case you are in the area – why not participate, it is only 200 km away from Brussels.