Newsletter Climate Antirepression #19 – October 2022

Hey, we are back with a new climate anti-repression newsletter. After almost 10 years of denial of personnel in the climate justice movement, we look back at the strategy and want to stimulate to discuss it anew. Check out our focus for that. In addition, there are again trial dates and people in jail who are happy to receive your mail.

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Content

RHEINLAND
Block Neurath – trial on 21.10.
Lützerath threatened with eviction – again

EAST
Lusatia: Three persons in custody after coal-fired power plant blockade
Berlin: Mass trial for last generation

NORTH
Hamburg: Review of Ende Gelände
Wolfsburg: Camp may take place on VW construction site

SOUTH
Munich: Public prosecutor threatens prison sentences for freeway blockades

FOCUS ON PERSONNEL / ID-REFUSAL
Where does the strategy come from?
Why refuse to provide personal details?
How does it work?
How does the state react?
What other side effects does the strategy have?
And what next?

RHINELAND

Block Neurath – trial on 21.10.

The first trial date of the activists of the Neurath Blockade 2021 is fixed. Come gladly on 21 October at 8.30 o’clock to the district court Bergheim and accompany the process.
In November 2021, on the occasion of the World Climate Conference COP 26 in Glasgow, activists with a small action group blocked the coal supply to the Neurath power plant in the Rhenish lignite mining area, forcing RWE to partially shut down the power plant. The action ran under the name “BlockNeurath”. A press review can be found here. Through the action, the power plant has blown over 8000 tons of CO2 less into the air and according to RWE, a damage of 1.4 million euros! Yay!
The activists will be happy if you visit the trial, organize info events or take part in solidarity actions! We dont`t shut up – WeShutNeurathDown!

The detailed invitation: https://antirrr.nirgendwo.info/2022/10/04/block-neurath-prozess-am-21-10-2022/ (German)

Lützerath threatened with eviction – again

For climate activists, autumn in the Rhineland traditionally means the beginning of a new clearing season. Starting in October, clearing is allowed again for the expansion of the open pit mine! The village of Lützerath at the Garzweiler mine became a crystallization point of protests in the last years and this fall it will be more serious than ever: Since the last farmer of the village sold his land to RWE after a lost court case and the politicians decided in a dirty deal with RWE on October 1st that Lützerath shall be dredged, the whole village with all its tree houses, huts, tents and squatted houses is threatened with eviction — again, but more urgent than ever.

Tear down the Wall

At the beginning of August, the large corporation had already tried once again to create facts by extending the boundaries of the open pit mine to Lützerath ahead of time in the form of an earth wall. Several people peacefully opposed the construction of the earth wall with sit-in blockades — and promptly received the answer of the state power: 7 days of detention or giving personal data and getting criminal proceedings, among others with the accusation of disguise.

How can I support?

The best thing is to go there. There is enough to do on the spot! Be it building barricades, getting firewood, cooking food or press work; your skills are urgently needed! If you can’t imagine doing that, take a look online for support opportunities (e.g. collecting donations, going to posters or organizing info events in your city) at https://luetzerathlebt.info . There you will also find all the information about how to get there!
As we as AntiRRR will support all activists who are and will be affected by repressions around the eviction of Lützerath, we urgently need donations to cover the costs. (Donation account on our homepage antirrr.nirgendwo.info)

For those going there: Watch out for each other! Even if the picket in Lützerath will exist at least until the end of October and thus serves as a relatively safe place to travel to, police controls around the place are to be expected at the latest at the beginning of the eviction.
Call the Legal Team (0641 2010 9954 7) if you come into police custody, have stress with the cops or observe arrests! Take a personal anonymous ID number on the spot or online, so that the Legal Team (EA) can keep track of you, especially if you plan to deny your personal data!

And when will the eviction start?

Unfortunately we can never know exactly. Repression works a lot on unpredictability, and exactly this waiting is strategically deliberately draining for the people in Lützerath who oppose the excavators. That’s why it’s even more important not just to wait for Day X, but to support it now! Otherwise, in case of emergency, you’ll find out via the social media pages that it’s on.

EAST

Lusatia: Three people in custody after coal power plant blockade

The action group “Involuntary Fire Brigade” blocked the lignite-fired power plant Jänschwalde on Monday, 19.9.22, demonstrating against the destruction of local and global livelihoods. Since then, three people have been in custody for a limited period of 2 months – Ava, Carlo and Ralph. So far they refuse to release their personal data. During the custody review, three other persons were ordered to report daily to the police at their place of residence – despite providing their personal data. The reason given by the judge was the high damage amount of 3.2 million euros – two blocks of the power plant had to be completely shut down (yeah).
Break the isolation and write letters! Let’s not forget our prisoners!

Background information on the blockade of the power plant, letters from the prisoners, addresses to write to, and solo photos at https://unfreiwilligefeuerwehr.blackblogs.org/

Berlin: Mass trial for last generation

The activists of the so-called “last generation” have been on the move against the climate crisis for several months: They block streets, often sticking themselves to them, and turn off gas taps to demand a food-saving law or an end to fossil fuels from those in power. After an action, they often go straight back on the streets. Personal details are basically given to stand by the deeds. Now there is a wave of criminal proceedings and unfortunately people now also have to deal with the reporting requirements and residence bans that have been tightened or introduced in many police laws in recent years.

NORTH

Hamburg: Review of Ende Gelände

Ende Gelände blocked the port of Hamburg with the summer action 2022 – specifically against the expansion of gas infrastructure and colonial economic structures. The police used massive violence against the demonstrators on several occasions. Among other things, activists were injured – some seriously – by the use of water cannons, batons, mace and painkillers, as well as by punches and kicks.
Ende Gelände adds in the newsletter: “But also in other everyday life we experience the police as part of a problem. They reproduce a society permeated by discrimination and use their position of power to manifest and defend themselves and the exploitative, racist and discriminatory structures. For us as an alliance, it is therefore clear that we must also express criticism of the police outside of our actions.” During the System Change Camps, therefore, the deadly, racist murders of the police were also condemned.

Anyone who gets mail after the Ende Gelände 2022 action can contact: legalcare22@riseup.net
Don’t sign anything without consultation – TOGETHER WE ARE STRONG!

Read more: https://www.ende-gelaende.org/en/news/newsletter-08-22-2/#IH_2

Wolfsburg: Camp may take place on construction area of VW

VW wants to build a huge new car factory: The Trinity plant near Wolfsburg. On the construction area there is now a camp. The activists had to sue through two instances to be able to hold a meeting there, because the courts as well as the governments in the region are closely connected to VW. However, since construction is not scheduled to begin until 2023, the Higher Administrative Court in Lüneburg ruled that the assembly may be held on the site.

Read more: https://stoptrinity.blackblogs.org/

SOUTH

Munich: Public prosecutor’s office threatens prison sentences for highway blockades

The Munich II public prosecutor’s office has applied to the Fürstenfeldbruck district court to bring charges against activists who had rappelled down a highway. Courts of lay assessor have jurisdiction when prison sentences of between two and four years are involved. For coercion, however, there is also a maximum sentence of three years. It almost never happens that maximum sentences are imposed. The public prosecutor’s office wants to make an example here and deter imitators – in legal terms, it says so itself: It is about “general preventive reasons”. What will come out in the end remains unclear, but we hope that the threat is relatively hollow: at other courts, fines of 40 daily rates were imposed, one imposed seven months’ imprisonment on probation, the public prosecutor’s office in Giessen sees no basis for prosecution at all. In many places, comparable rappelling actions have already been legally permitted as demonstrations. It remains a controversial issue. The threat shows above all that the highway blockades hit an important nerve in capitalist society.

FOCUS ON PERSONNEL / ID-REFUSAL

Where does the strategy come from?

We remember the first discussion about personal refusal at the Climate Camp in the Rhineland in 2013, which took place together with the Reclaim The Fields meeting. So there were many international activists on site who brought the discussion about refusal of personal data. After some debates, many successfully went to a rail blockade without personal data – RWE even brought them back to the camp with buses. The refusal of personal data was also seen by the activists as an act of international solidarity, since it was now hardly possible for the police to screen out – and punish more severely – those without German/EU citizenship. In the years that followed, denial of personal details became the norm, first in Hambach Forest and then at many mass actions of the climate justice movement. It turned out to be a successful strategy against injunctions [we dealt with injunctions in our first newsletter: https://antirrr.nirgendwo.info/files/2019/12/news1.pdf (PDF)]. Especially during Ende Gelände actions, the police identified only a few of the participants and also did not have Gesa (prisoner collection center) spaces for several hundred activists, which led to an ever-increasing spread of the denial of personal details as an effective means against repression. The strategy continued to evolve: in the beginning, often only the personal data was denied, but now many activists are well prepared and have masked themselves, made their faces unrecognizable and prepared their fingers to make fingerprinting impossible.

Why refuse to provide personal data?

Through (successful) denial of identity, state repression can often be avoided – without recognized identity, no criminal or civil proceedings, and thus no penalties afterwards. If the identity is later revealed, the consequences occur with a time delay. The solidarity effect in relation to people who do not have a German passport, have an uncertain residence status, whose registered gender does not match the one expected by the cops, or are particularly discriminated against in some other way, has already been mentioned above. In large actions, the masses provide them with the protection to still be part of it. In addition, a large number of activists without identities often overwhelms the processing system of the police and the judiciary, which is another advantage.

How does it work?

It starts with not making any statements and not signing anything. This always applies anyway, but now extends to name, date of birth and address. So that this data does not become known to the police in any other way, it is important not to carry anything with you that indicates this: So identity card, EC card, health insurance card, student or Schüler:innenausweis, the organ donor card, etc. stay at home. The same applies to technical devices that are registered in your name, such as cell phones or laptops.

In addition, some activists use other techniques to thwart identification in custody and afterwards: They put on makeup and grimace in police photos to make biometric facial recognition more difficult. In addition, many prepare their fingertips, e.g. with superglue and glitter, or by scratching the top layer of skin with razor blades or needles. Tattoos, scars, moles and the like can be covered or painted over. Before and after the action, it is also important not to communicate about the action unencrypted or even on social media.
Other people in the movement choose not to dissect because it is sometimes difficult to apply or emotionally draining. The techniques can be easily learned, and the knowledge of them is present in many people in the movement.

How does the state respond?

Since we hinder the state’s law enforcement by refusing ID, there is of course a reaction to this. Failure to provide ID or providing false ID to the police is actually only a misdemeanor, followed in rare cases by a small fine (after identification). However, in some assembly laws, such as in NRW, the wearing of objects that can serve to conceal identity (e.g. tube scarves) is considered a criminal offense.

Much more relevant for us, however, are usually the consequences under criminal procedure and police law – that is, what the police do to us in order to secure their intentions and the conduct of a criminal trial. In practice, this means that they want to use coercion to make us reveal our identity.
In all likelihood, we will be taken into custody if we refuse to provide our personal details – if we are accused of a criminal offense (i.e., almost always) until no later than midnight the following day. In custody, we are usually subjected to an identification service treatment, i.e. photos, body measurements and fingerprints are taken. If a crime is accused, it is also possible that a judge will impose pre-trial detention if the personal details are not known. This can then take longer – until a trial about the crime. This is more likely in the case of more serious crimes or in some regions such as Brandenburg or Bavaria. There have not yet been any cases of pre-trial detention in NRW for lighter offenses such as trespassing.

For less serious cases, the 7-day detention as a substitute punishment is now possible in NRW (in other federal states different regulations with different durations) – and is now often used. Unfortunately, the police are also making progress in terms of subsequent identification: for example, facial recognition is now also possible in overview recordings, e.g. at demos. The repertoire also includes more frequent inquiries at all regional police stations in Germany (i.e., also at your potential place of residence) and less frequent public searches via newspapers.

What other side effects does the strategy have?

Beyond the direct consequences, there are also less obvious effects to be concerned about: If ID refusal is successful, it is not possible to bring a lawsuit for police brutality or other rights violations after the fact, for obvious reasons. Depending on the arbitrariness of the court, it has also happened that ID refusals have had a punitive effect. Of course, there is no guarantee of a successful denial, and if your identity has already been revealed once, it will be more difficult in the future. Also, the experience of spending 7 days in police custody, i.e. locked up in a completely foreign place, should not be underestimated in its (also long-term) psychological effects. People cope with this situation very differently, either well or badly.

Also serious are the effects on the entire movement as a collective: we gain less experience with court cases, so that these and their consequences have an even more deterrent effect – even if fewer court cases are of course good at first. In addition, solidarity with those affected by trials is difficult when other participants in the action have to fear being recognized at entrance controls or rallies in front of the courts.
Many activists who have successfully refused to show their ID (several times) are also afraid of being recognized during future actions, so that criminal proceedings are subsequently initiated and “everything was in vain”. In this way, the repression still has a deterrent effect at the long end and can prevent long-term staying active.

And last but not least, the practice also poses special challenges to our solidarity structures: Vigils in front of detention centers have to be manned for 7 days, and those affected by pre-trial detention have to be supported for months. Besides the psychological consequences for the victims themselves, this is a big workload for the movement (even if some trials are omitted).

And what next?

In recent times, we have personally had the impression that ID denial is becoming an unquestioned standard in some parts of the movement. Whether to deny or provide personal information, however, remains a personal decision that no one should ever be pressured to make. It is best for people to consult with their reference group in order to be able to continue to act as a group and to support each other – be it with Gesa or jail support or with lawsuits. Of course: We remain in solidarity with all forms of action! Whether fluffy or militant, the resistance remains important 😉

Of course, we can’t conclusively clarify in a newsletter like this whether refusal of personal details is still suitable as a political practice against repression. However, we think that it should be a conscious decision. Hopefully we could contribute to a broader debate in the climate justice movement with this newsletter. We also welcome suggestions and new strategies from you.

In solidarity,
your AntiRRR
https://antirrr.nirgendwo.info/


News

Newsletter #09/22

4. November 2022 Today we have news from the past, present and future for you: The evaluation of the International Working Group of the last action brings an international view of our Hamburg action in August. Currently, several court cases are pending against activists of the Ende Gelände action of 2019. Lützerath looks into an uncertain future because the threat of eviction seems to become more and more concrete. Continue reading ...

Newsletter Climate Antirepression #19 – October 2022

22. October 2022 Hey, we are back with a new climate anti-repression newsletter. After almost 10 years of denial of personnel in the climate justice movement, we look back at the strategy and want to stimulate to discuss it anew. Check out our focus for that. In addition, there are again trial dates and people in jail who are happy to receive your mail. Continue reading ...

++ Ende Gelände in court ++ Prosecution of climate protest is a no-go for democracy ++ Trials against activists, journalists and MPs near Leipzig begin ++

12. October 2022 "What is criminal is when energy companies like MIBRAG make profits with dirty lignite and burn up the planet for their profits. Ende Gelände opposes the climate crimes of the fossil corporations time and again. It is completely absurd that activists are therefore criminalized and put on trial. We will not be intimidated. On the contrary, the climate justice movement is getting bigger and stronger." Continue reading ...