Take Care: Of yourselves and each other!
Information about personal responsibilities and health risks for “Ende Gelände” actions
It’s great that we are all here! Because the extraction of natural gas endangers the lives and health of people and continues colonial exploitation. This year’s action takes place around the Chemcoast Park in Brunsbüttel and in Hamburg. Both action zones contain fossil, chemical and infrastructure and industry – resulting in various dangers.
The safety and integrity of all participants in “Ende Gelände” is very important to us. Therefore, please deal intensively with all the dangers and risks that can arise in the action zones. Here you will find a summary of the central dangers and risks and recommendations for action – also based on the experiences of the last few years. However, the responsibility for your decisions lies with you.
Preliminary points – Taking care of Covid-19 risks
We are fully aware of the additional burden of responsibility that Covid-19 represents for our protest action. Therefore, adherence to our Covid-19 hygiene concept is part of the 2021 action consensus – from the days of preparation for the action through to the period after we return home. Please read the Ende Gelände hygiene concept thoroughly (Corona infection control handout) and discuss the following in your affinity group: How can we contribute to keeping the risk of spreading the virus as low as possible? How can we protect ourselves and vulnerable persons around us from infections? You can find everything else about infection control in the hygiene concept.
1. GAS AND CHEMICALS IN CHEMCOAST PARK
Industries throughout Chemcoast Park store, process and consume hazardous materials, including natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, crude oils, ammonia, chlorine and acutely toxic substances. All supply and production facilities should therefore be handled with extreme caution and blockades of operations should only be carried out as previously planned. Damaging any pipelines or machinery can put the lives and health of many people at high risk. Information for neighbours regarding an incident at ChemCoast Park and information about hazardous and toxic substances can be found here.
2. DEALING WITH COWS
There are fields and meadows all around Chemcoast Park and the camp and on many of them are cows. Entering a meadow with cows can lead to highly dangerous situations and should therefore not be done. However, if a dangerous situation occurs, there are some rules to bear in mind. In any case, sufficient distance should be kept and dogs should be leashed. Humans should also not look directly into the cow’s eyes or fix them with their eyes. Special care should be taken with calves and mother cows, as the mother cow can be particularly dangerous. In general, keep calm and act cool-headed.
Gas, as well as other hazardous substances listed above, are highly flammable: small sparks are enough to start fires and explosions and highly endanger the lives and health of many people. Therefore, avoid burning butts and any open fire.
4. ALL WORKING MACHINES (GOODS TRAINS, CONVEYOR BELTS, TRUCKS, LOAD CRANES)
On the way to our blockade points we may encounter goods trains, trucks, conveyor belts, cargo cranes and other heavy machinery. These are very dangerous during operation. Do not do reckless actions on operating machines, but organise in your affinity groups within the “fingers” and think together how the machines could be effectively blocked.
5. GOODS TRAINS AND SWITCHES
Goods trains usually move slowly, but they are very heavy and therefore have a very long braking distance. The train drivers have little chance of seeing any rail blockages if you try to bring the train to a halt in the immediate vicinity. Within the finger, make sure that there is sufficient safety before entering any tracks. There are moving parts on the switches of the track system. Take care to avoid the moving parts. If you are caught off guard by the switches, your body parts may be severely crushed.
6. POWER/OVERHEAD LINES
There may be exposed power lines everywhere in the action zones, this applies especially to factory premises. Make sure you keep a generous safety distance (more than 1.5m) from overhead power lines. This is especially true if you have flags and high banners and other such material with you. Even without direct contact, severe electric shocks can occur over many centimetres. The danger increases in rain and wet conditions. Even after a brief short circuit, the power line can become live again. At the factory site and near gas infrastructure you will sometimes find cable strings on the ground and on the conveyor belts. Avoid any contact here as well. These are also under high voltage and the insulation can be defective, making contact life-threatening!
7. RISK GROUPS, PRE-EXISTING HEALTH CONDITIONS
We recommend all people with pre-existing health conditions and/or from risk groups to assess their own resilience with regard to the action itself. We cannot exclude the possibility of repressive measures by the police that could endanger health. All those who regularly take medication must bring enough of it themselves! Alternatively, there will be protest and resistance outside of blockades that you can join, as well as many infrastructure tasks that you can support.
10. PLACE AND DURATION OF THE BLOCKADE, OVERNIGHT STAYS, LOCK-ONS
The stress that this action can cause many participants should not be underestimated. It is your responsibility, to define and agree for yourselves and your affinity groups how far you would like to go. The longer the action, the higher the risk to your personal health. The place where the blockade happens is also important. Your affinity group should go only where it is safe and okay to go for everyone in the group, and should stay only for as long as all of you feel comfortable. Base your decisions on a consensus and watch that nobody asks too much of him-/herself!
In Ende Gelände actions there can also be long blockades. If you are preparing to stay in your finger and affinity group overnight, pay attention to warmth (warm clothes, sleeping bags, “golden” isolating blankets) and seat pads (parts of isolating mats), see packing list. If you use lock-ons to make it more difficult to clear a blockade, be sure to attend a training session prior to the action. Ensure that persons in lock-on are reliably accompanied by persons in their affinity groups who are not in lock-on.