Germany: “After #COP25…” – Statement from the Osterholz Forest Occupation

After COP25 and the Economic Stimulus Package: Stop Appealing to those Responsible! What We Need is a Revolt!

Wuppertal. Haan. December 26th, 2019. Since August 15th, 2019 we’ve occupied the Osterholz Forest. A lot has happened in these four and a half months. The forest that was supposed to be cleared in October is still standing, and that’s good. We will continue to actively oppose the possible clearing for the capitalist interests of a private company called Oetelshofen.

On September 20th, millions of people took to the streets worldwide to demonstrate for climate justice. The German government’s response should be a lesson to all those who think that decisive changes will come from the rulers. The “climate package” presented by the German government is above all an economic stimulus package for the (E) car industry. The proposed coal phase-out law is primarily a wind power phase-out law. The rulers are trying to cheat their way through by deceiving public opinion. Business as usual. The COP25 climate negotiations have also failed miserably. No wonder, because the rulers have long since understood what needs to be done, but that is exactly what they don’t want to do. Those who believe that the rulers “have not yet understood the seriousness of the situation” succumb to a mistaken belief: the rulers have understood the seriousness of the situation very well. Their interests simply lie elsewhere. The lackeys of capital stand for an everlasting situation and their friends of green capital only want to change things slightly. Instead of destroying entire regions for coal, they now want to destroy unique landscapes for the mining of lithium for their electric cars. The same sauce, but now with a green colour.

Don’t get us wrong. The Fridays for Future strikes have been going on for over a year now and they are correct and important. They have sensitized and politicized many people. As well as the Fridays for Future demonstrations, which have a popular character, there are also many forest occupations, Ende Gelände and other initiatives that are actively resisting. We are part of this movement and welcome the many actions that throw sand in the gears of the destructive capitalist machinery. But we are not blind. We see that in the Northern European climate movement the argument is often “left-wing liberal”. Even though the question of the system is increasingly being asked and also discussed (and that’s a good thing!), there are left-wing liberal forces that appeal to the ruling classes – to those who have brought us to the point where we are now.

Again and again the ruling forces bring jobs into play. The jobs in the coal industry, or as in the Osterholz forest, the jobs in the lime industry. Of course, we never talk about job losses due to waves of automation, changes in market requirements and so on. The livelihoods of wage earners in polluting industries are taken hostage by the rulers in order to enforce their destructive interests. However, the fate of these people is just as unimportant to them as the fate of the people who, as a result of climate change, are already forced to leave their towns and villages because the basis of their existence is already no longer there.

Raoul Vaneigem wrote in November this year: “Environmentalists, why bother shouting at states for climate improvement when the same states are mocking you by polluting more every day, when there is an urgent need to act in an area where the issues are not related to intellectual subtleties.”

If we want to bring about real change, this will only be possible if we understand the climate issue as part of a questioning of the system that caused this climate catastrophe and is heading directly towards the next catastrophe with its “lithium solution”. We must free ourselves from the chains, chains that are sometimes invisible. But at the latest when the question of existence arises. The dependencies are so fundamental that they cannot be reformed. Here the growing parts of society dictate where the journey goes, there the wage earners, who as petitioners can “apply” for cosmetic change every now and then.

All major changes in the past have been fought for and not requested. This time it will be even more so, because climate justice inevitably calls the whole system into question. In countries like Chile, for example, we are currently being shown what has to be done. There, the people have not been appeased with small concessions for more than 2 months. Large segments of the population have understood that it will be a long and hard struggle, that the elite that led them into the neoliberal and also ecological catastrophe must disappear, so that everything can be rebuilt from scratch.

So: rohes Neues!

Or, as Raoul Vaneigem wrote: “Here we are, situated at the beginning of everything!”


Let the uprising begin!

Jeder Baum Zählt / Every Tree Counts, December 26th, 2019

PS: We are always happy to receive visitors, and more importantly. supporters who want to stay longer in the Osterholz forest.

(via Jeder Baum Zählt)

Banner text: “Solidarity from the occupied Osterholz Forest to the struggling people in Chile, Colombia, Liebig34, Exarcheia, Hambi and Rojava!”

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