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FAQ 2020 EN
- Who can take part?
- What makes Ende Gelände different from other forms of direct action?
- Isn’t that illegal?
- How can I take part?
- What are welcome points, base stations and what happened to the camp?
- A mass action during Corona Pandemic?
- Joining the blockade in a wheelchair?
- I am not yet 18?
- Can I also join in if i do not want to disobey civil law?
- How will we act during the direct action?
- What legal consequences can there be if I take part in Ende Gelände?
- What is an affinity group?
- There’s not been an action training in my city prior to the action – can I still take part in Ende Gelände?
- What should I take with me?
- Will the police not stop us from getting towards our action goal?
- For how long do you want to block?
- Do I necessarily have to show my face?
- What is a “Finger”?
- I want to go to a Fridays for Future demo on Friday. Can I also go to Ende Gelände afterwards?
- Unfortunately I can arrive late on Friday. Can I still participate?
Who can take part?
Basically everyone can take part in Ende Gelände. We’ve agreed on an action consensus as a common statement of intent: the aim of Ende Gelände is to enter and block the coal mine and other fossil energy infrastructure with as many people as possible. We think it’s important for everyone to have a good overview of the situation and for people with no or little experience of direct action to be able to participate. That is why we offer action trainings, medical workshops and information events at many locations in the days before the action. Therefore we recommend to participate in decentralized trainings and information events prior to the action.
If you don’t have the opportunity to take part in an action training beforehand, there will also be a slimmed-down version available at the base stations..
What makes Ende Gelände different from other forms of direct action?
For many years, there has been committed resistance in Germany against open-cast mines and the generation of electricity from fossil fuels. Ende Gelände sees itself as one form of resistance among many against the largest CO2 producers of Europe. In contrast to blockades of excavators in small groups, Ende Gelände focuses on the mass factor. The aim is to enable as many people as possible to go one step further than in demonstrations and human chains – to actively prevent CO2 emissions. We talk publicly in advance about our goal of blocking fossil infrastructure and preventing the extraction and conversion of fossil fuels into electricity – also because we consider our concern to be absolutely legitimate in view of the urgency of climate change.
Isn’t that illegal?
The fact that climate change is man-made and that measures are urgently needed to significantly reduce CO2 emissions is undisputed by the scientific community and the public. And that the consequences of progressive climate change are affecting and will affect billions of people – especially those who have contributed the least – cannot be denied either. But politicians are making Sunday speeches with empty target agreements for the middle of the century and at the same time laying the foundations for additional emissions. Be it the expansion of opencast mines, the expansion of gas-fired power plants or the negotiation of further free trade agreements. Even if the climate conference in Paris in December 2015 agreed on ambitious targets of a maximum of 1.5 C warming – there is still no sign of effective implementation. The German Coal Entry Law speaks of an exit from coal in 2038!
Yes, Ende Gelände is not covered by the law, but in view of this policy Ende Gelände is absolutely legitimate and necessary. It is in keeping with the tradition of civil disobedience: to oppose a formal right with an own, broader form of legitimacy from below. More information on legal consequences are available under legal matters.
How can I take part?
The rule is: whoever comes earlier is better prepared. Joint preparation is important to us. The best way to do this is to arrive by Thursday morning. Take part in action trainings, come to the base stations via the welcome points (infos under “Getting There”), discuss with your affinity group and get an impression of the surrounding action locations.
What are welcome points, base stations and what happened to the camp?
Due to the Corona pandemic it would be negligent to camp with several thousand people in one place. Therefore we will not have a camp this year, but about 10 base stations. The places to go will be different, some will be in tents, others in gyms or apartments. Not all of them will be able to offer everything you are used to from our previous camps.
The locations of the base stations will not be publicly communicated. In order to assign all people to the base stations, there will be three welcome points: two at the main train station in Cologne (= Köln; at the Southern and at the Northern exit) and one will be at the train station in Mönchengladbach. From there you will be send on. If you arrive by an organized bus, you will go directly to a base station. Under the tab “Getting There” you can find detailed information about the arrival.
A mass action during Corona Pandemic?
Unfortunately, the climate crisis cannot be paused during this pandemic. The first effects of the climate crisis are still being felt, especially in the global South. Therefore we must continue to be active for change and not interrupt our protest. So the question is: What can a Corona-compatible mass action look like?
A comprehensive hygiene concept will be worked out before the action starts, which includes the base stations, the action, the kitchen and travel. Please inform yourself about the concept before departure. The most important changes are to reduce the number of people in one place, so there will be several base stations and many little fingers to divide the activists.
Joining the blockade in a wheelchair?
There will several different fingers: once again also a colorful finger where people in wheelchairs, with a rollator or with physical limitations will have the opportunity to participate in our action of civil disobedience. Here you get more and current information about the colorful finger.
I am not yet 18?
The “Anti-Kohle-Kidz” (AKK = kids against coal) create an extra offer for young people, also under 18. They have their own action consensus, which is especially designed for them, and further information for parents and affinity persons. Here you can find all information concerning AKK. Of course you can also join all other fingers.
Can I also join in if I do not want to disobey civil law?
Everyone is welcome to participate in a way that each one of us feels comfortable with. Those who do not wish to enter any company grounds can protest at the demolition edge, on the access roads and outside the gates with a demonstration and thus support the action.
In addition, many helpers are needed all around – for example in logistics or at the base stations. Here is a „helping hands point“ where you can join in.
How will we act during the direct action?
On the way to the action target, police chains or barriers may try to stop us. We will bypass them or flow through them by exploiting gaps. We do not want to be stopped in the process and do not enter into possible escalation strategies of the police. We do not want to hurt anyone, we do not take action against police officers or their vehicles. Our goal is to get to the open pit, to the rails or other infrastructure of fossil fuels and to take a seat there. Our greatest protection is the mass participation – also from the press and celebrities. We will carry straw bags, foam and air mattresses with us during the blockade, so that we can make our blockade comfortable. We will behave calmly and level-headedly; we will not endanger people. More about this in the Action Consensus. Information about health risks and dangers at Ende Gelände actions can also be found here.
What legal consequences can there be if I take part in Ende Gelände?
Under legal matters we have compiled an overview of possible legal consequences. The larger the number of people who participate, the lower the risk that the action will have legal consequences.
However, everyone should be aware that participants in actions from Ende Gelände can be taken into custody and possibly even punished. But remember: This will never affect you alone. The solidarity of the others arrested and the knowledge of the solidarity of the people outside, who care for your release, will help you. Find out about your rights, e.g. at the „Red Aid“ (Rote Hilfe, in German), through the podcast of the Legal Team (still Rhineland 2019, in German), in the Legal Aid brochure (still Rhineland 2019, in English) or at the information events in various cities prior to the action.
What is an affinity group?
An affinity group is an association of about 4 to 10 people who trust each other and act together on an action. With this group size, there is enough time for all participants to talk, and yet the time for decisions is not too long. Affinity groups have mainly two functions:
1. they provide the best possible protection for the individuals during a demonstration, action or similar. Affinity groups should take care of each other and give the individuals possibilities to address their fears.
2. affinity groups are an important contribution to self-organization. On the one hand, they enable large groups to act more effectively, for example by setting up decision-making structures via a delegate system. On the other hand, the affinity group offers a good opportunity not only to consume the action, but also to become involved in the joint action with their own content and actions.
Read more about affinity groups on these pages:
- With affinity groups into the action – together we are stronger!
- Checklist for affinity groups (pdf)
There’s not been an action training in my city prior to the action – can I still take part in Ende Gelände?
For sure! It is expected that action training courses will be offered at most of the base stations. The action trainings at the base stations will be reduced due to the hygiene concept and lack of time. Be sure to watch the video with the theoretical part before the shortened action training. Please also plan enough time before the blockade period (Fri-Sun) to be able to participate in an action training.
What should I take with me?
Since the terrain is rather rough, especially in the opencast mine, it is essential to bring sturdy shoes, preferably hiking boots. Also robust, old clothes, which are allowed to get dirty, are important (long sleeves and pants etc. are best). You should pack both sun and rain protection, who knows what the weather will be like. At some base stations you will also get food, it is important that you prepare a packed lunch before the action and have water bottles with you. In the unlikely event that the police use pepper spray or tear gas, it is better to wear glasses instead of contact lenses and to avoid fat creams or make-up for the time being, and to have sunscreen in your luggage instead. And in case it takes longer – pack your torches or headlamps.
Please also bring along 3 FFP2 masks without exhalation valve, 2-3 everyday masks, 2 biros and disinfectants so that we can also pay attention to hygiene during the action and on the blockade. Don’t forget to create your Corona ID and your EA number (= ErmittlungsAusschuss = legal team) and to take them with you.
Here you can get an extensive packing list!
Will the police not stop us from getting towards our action goal?
Our field of action is huge. The police cannot cordon off everything for miles. Besides our way leads through fields and forests. Unlike in a city, we don’t have to stay on the paths, but can avoid police barriers. If we are more activists than police*wo*men, we can stretch out until there is a gap somewhere.
For how long do you want to block?
Our goal is to occupy the infrastructure as long as possible. So prepare for this and pack enough water, food and weather protection. We will try to decide together on the spot about the end of the action.
Do I necessarily have to show my face?
No, no person has to identify himself. Creative disguise is as much a part of the action as recognizable faces.
What is a “Finger”?
As a „finger“ we call a group of activists who set out together to achieve an action goal. Before the action there will be finger plenary sessions and finger trainings at the base stations, in which it will be explained how we move and organize ourselves in the finger. This year the fingers will be smaller compared to previous years, but there will be more different fingers, which pay special attention to different needs. Information about the different fingers can be found here.
I want to go to a Fridays for Future demo on Friday. Can I also go to Ende Gelände afterwards?
Yes, in principle you can. However, it is important that every activist prepares well before the event. This includes an action training and possibly a legal aid and paramedic workshop. So if you come to the action plenum on Friday to go into action on Saturday, you should already have completed the necessary workshops and training. This you can do in the days and weeks before the action in several cities. You should also have found an affinity group by the time of the action plenum. You can find out what this is here. If you miss the action plenum, we advise you NOT to participate in the Ende Gelände action. But there are many more possibilities to demonstrate in the Rhineland on Saturday. For example at the demo of Fridays for Future in Hochneukirch.
Unfortunately I can arrive late on Friday. Can I still participate?
The blockades take place from Friday to Sunday. It is not clear when the last finger will leave. But you should definitely go to the action plenum on Friday evening at the latest. If you can’t make it, we advise you not to block with a finger.