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Newsletter #2/23

1. Alliance meeting 21. bis 23.04. in Kassel
2. Kick-off weekend camp planning 05. bis 07.05.
3. Repressions
4. Review of the European Gas Conference Vienna
5. Review of the eviction of Lützerath

Activist shows a heart with their hand.

1. Alliance meeting 21. bis 23.04. in Kassel

We as a small group for OG networking therefore invite you to the next alliance meeting on April 21-23 in Kassel. More information about the program, registration, etc. will be posted on our website later.

We are slowly entering the second phase of regional networking. Contacts are made, more and more exchange happens. Now it is time to develop ideas together and to start implementing them. For this purpose, the focus of our next alliance meeting will be on the processes of action planning that are starting in the local groups.

We are writing to you now to give interested people the opportunity to get involved early in the preparation of the moderation. We would be happy if our small group could be supplemented with some people who are currently experiencing the processes on the OG side and can therefore provide valuable input for the best possible design of the meeting. Please contact us at this email address: moderation@ende-gelaende.org

People sitting around a circus tent on the lawn in the sun.

2. Kick-off weekend camp planning 05. bis 07.05.

There will be no classic EC action camp this year, but rather we would like to have a “Movement Building Camp”. Thereby we want to tie in with the “System Change Camp” from last year (and of course with many other climate and action camps) and further develop the thoughts as well as the feedback from there. Networking, connecting struggles, educating ourselves, participating in workshops and skillshares, offering them ourselves, and creating a space where people from different movements can plan further direction & strategies – that’s what we envision under the “System Change Camp 2023”. Especially important to us is exchange and networking with MAPA as well as with groups working on anti-colonial and anti-racist issues.

Currently, there is no existing group or working group that could take over the planning of such a camp alone. So let’s join forces and distribute the tasks on many shoulders :) The Ende Gelände-Camp AG is of course at the start, but needs urgent support to set up the infrastructure of a camp. This includes everything from area search & assembly registration to tents, Küfa, toilets, water, electricity, transports to info point & join-in plena (and some more). We invite everyone who wants to tackle these tasks together to our kick-off & onboarding weekend!

Contact us by mail if you want to be part of it, so we can send you more info: camp@ende-gelaende.org.

People in solidarity stand in front of the court holding a banner.

3. Repressions

3.1 Court ruling on Block Neurath 2021

A few days ago, the Grevenbroich District Court sentenced an activist to nine months in prison without probation for blocking the Neurath power plant in November 2021. The accused person E. had not been picked up by the police this morning, the press spokeswoman of the district court explained before the start of the trial. A little later, the wanted person appeared chained to a friend in front of the court building and demanded to be let into the courtroom with the companion. “There is one person accused, but what is meant by this trial is all of us who work for climate justice. We are supposed to be deterred. To show that this does not work and that we stand together in solidarity, we have decided that the accused person, if then only together with me on the dock sits” she explained. Only on personal intervention of the judge the duo was allowed to pass the admission control and take a seat on the dock next to the lay defense. Before District Judge Zieschang closed the hearing of evidence, a motion of bias was rejected as unfounded.

In her plea, the public prosecutor demanded eight months’ imprisonment without probation because, due to the blockade of the coal railroad, one 600 MW unit had to be completely taken off the grid and another had to be throttled back. This had caused damage amounting to 1.419 million euros, or at least a large six-figure sum, and had constituted an act of disruption of public operations. The action had not led to savings in CO2 emissions, as the defense had argued in the trial, because the electricity had been purchased from other suppliers, the public prosecutor explained to the astonished audience. In addition, the accused person was guilty of resisting law enforcement officers because the person had to be freed from the lock-on with a hammer and chisel, thus obstructing the work of the police. Since the accused person had helped to justify this “politically motivated symbolic act” in court and it could therefore be assumed that he would commit further crimes, the prison sentence could also not be suspended.

More info: https://antirrr.nirgendwo.info/2023/04/03/neun-monate-gefaengnis-ohne-bewaehrung-fuer-die-blockade-des-groessten-braunkohlekraftwerks-im-rheinland/

3.2 Journalist is sentenced for Ende Gelände action 2019

What security authorities in Saxony think about the protection of press freedom was revealed last Friday at the district court in Borna. There, Marco Bràs dos Santos was on trial, a freelance journalist who also works for the Leipzig Kreuzer, among other publications. For this newspaper, Marco Brás dos Santos was also on the road in November of 2019 – when more than 1,000 activists occupied the opencast lignite mine “Vereinigtes Schleenhain” near Leipzig. There, they protested for more climate justice and against the further expansion of lignite mining areas.

The activists of the alliance “Ende Gelände” left the open pit mine peacefully on the same day after negotiations with police forces and representatives of the local coal company Mitteldeutsche Braunkohle AG (MIBRAG). Only afterwards did the charges of trespass, which MIBRAG had filed, trickle in. But not only activists received the well-intentioned yellow slips. Journalists and parliamentarians who accompanied the action also received mail.

An interview is available on this website: https://radiocorax.de/ende-gelaende-prozesse-marco-bras-dos-santos-verurteilt/

3.3 The state shows its teeth…

Authorities Post in connection with the mass action days in the summer of 2022 or Justice Now 2021? …we care about tooth loss! If you receive mail from police or other government agencies related to the August 2022 Mass Days of Action or Justice Now (2021), get in touch! If you have received mail, report to the respective legal teams: legalcare22@riseup.net or gerechtigkeitjetzt_legalsupport@riseup.net.

More information and PGP keys on the website: https://www.ende-gelaende.org/news/legalcare2022/

Activists are cleared from their sit-in by cops.

4. Review of the European Gas Conference Vienna

The European Gas Conference brings together gas companies, financial institutions and politicians to negotiate behind closed doors about the future of our energy bills and our planet. The CEOs of all the major oil companies, from Shell to BP, Total and RWE, are coming to Vienna for the European Conference at the invitation of Austria’s second largest climate killer, OMV. In addition to these big names, the four major European gas companies Enagás, Fluxys and Snam are also represented. At the conference they will meet with big financial investors like BlackRock and high-ranking European politicians. The website even proudly lists more than 100 private meetings for the lobbyists.

Although there is little public record of the outcomes of the conferences in recent years, we know this much: at the 2022 European Gas Conference, the “end of Russian gas in Europe” was discussed, as was the “rise of LNG.” This shows us that behind closed doors, gas companies, investors and politicians:inside are advocating for gas diversification instead of reduction, for more gas from the global south with all the implications of extractivism, and for the expansion of LNG and hydrogen instead of renewables.

Where does this lead us? It leads us to more dependence on fossil fuels and less ability to manage our energy bills and address the climate crisis. Furthermore, if we look at the gas companies present at the conference and the major infrastructure projects currently being discussed, we don’t need much imagination to imagine what the gas companies and financial investors will be talking about behind closed doors.

The “Re:Power EU Plan” is the framework for these infrastructure projects. While the official renewables target for 2023 is 45% (still below 50!), the European Commission’s savings proposals are even more important: “Turn off the lights and heat your homes less!” While there is no mention of the fact that more than half of Europe’s gas is consumed in industry, nor of the fact that the expansion plans for gas infrastructure are more daunting than in previous years.

The fossil industries are taking advantage of the current political uncertainties to push through infrastructure projects that social movements and science had swept off the table in recent years. These projects include the extensions of the highly controversial TAP pipeline or the MidCat pipeline, the LNG terminals in Brunsbüttel and Wilhelmshaven, and many others.

For Europe, independence from Russian gas also means exploiting more resources from the global South – especially Asia and Africa. Both the extraction of gas and its subsequent transport via pipelines create social and environmental injustices and accelerate the effects of the climate crisis in the Global South by producing more CO2 emissions in the Global North.

More information about the European Gas Conference can be found on the website: https://blockgas.org/

People are standing at a rally, they have yellow crosses on their backs.

5. Review of the eviction of Lützerath

… In summary, it can be stated that the eviction of Lützerath was violently enforced with the expected large contingent of police forces. Unexpected for many was the speed of the eviction, which was intended to prevent a reoccupation and put the lives of the activists at risk. Although relatively few people were held in police custody for days to establish their identity, hundreds of people were detained on site for hours, searched and recorded by the police. The officers used a lot of physical force, especially during mass actions and the large demonstration, and injured dozens of people, some of them seriously. How many activists will be confronted with charges, court cases and sentences in the coming years cannot yet be estimated. With Lützerath, another place goes down in the history of the movement, which shows us: The so-called democratic constitutional state really does not care how many thousands of people rise up for the preservation of our planet and a change of system, or that science meanwhile unanimously admonishes us that another way would be possible and necessary. The interests of industry and capital are enforced by state force against better knowledge and conscience. But what has emerged in Lützerath in terms of resistant ideas and networks of solidarity could never be cleared and will continue to spread. The state repressions that are still to come are meant to intimidate us, but they will only strengthen us that it was right and remains important to fight for a better life for all.

You can download the entire text from the website: https://www.ende-gelaende.org/news/newsletter-klima-antirepression-20-februar-2023/