Although it is clear to us that there can be a police operation in the forest at any time, we were startled when the calls “police in the forest” wake us up early in the morning on Monday morning at 7:00 am. Police vallss pull up on the old A4, stop and cops get out. We quickly bring important material into the protective fencing under the tower, lock and barricade the entrance, and pull up the ladder. In the meantime Krähennest [the camp] is surrounded. Police officers photograph and map the location of the tree house. A few chants go up in air. We are tense. A bucket loader drives into the forest and moves aside dead wood. The driver then drives towards the tower with aggressive movements. On the balcony of the tower activists observe the situation. He lets his gripper arm crash into the washing station underneath, grabs the rubble and swings it in front of the activists’ faces. Boards, dishes and broken glass fly through the air, onto the balcony, and onto the forest floor. The possible injury to people through personal aggression and power plays by the machine operator is consciously accepted and structurally made possible by the police.
RWE employees come with chainsaws and start sawing our monopod, which has not yet been set up. All the work has been in vain. Then the RWE people start sawing construction materials, boards, squared timbers and beams. Our anger increases and finds release in protest calls. After a short time, the work is stopped and the emergency services withdraw a little. Now there is peace. We use the opportunity to get to ground and secure additional material. Then a large contingent of police returns. There is an announcement from the polices: Faeces was thrown. ‘This person should hand themselves in. Otherwise they will be forcibly removed from the tree house.’ After a while, a bucket loader starts building a ramp into the forest with sand. Information comes through that a lifting platform is on the way. Is this the start of the clearing of the tree houses? In secret we say goodbye to the tree houses, and the communal barrio, that some of us helped to build, and in which we have all lived for a short and long time. We prepare ourselves mentally for the pain grips and blows [from police] and think about how we will behave.
After the announcement by the police, we jointly decide in plenary that we will continue to defend the occupation in solidarity. The fact that the several hundred police are there, with special units and heavy technical equipment, raises the question for us – ‘to what extent the alleged faeces throwing could justify the size and intensity of the operation?’ A little later comes the news that the lifting platform on the old A4 has been blocked and occupied. Thank you for that – we break out in celebration! Now it has gotten so late that the police cancel the action for the day and announce that the evacuation should take place the next morning. Relief about saving time – but at what price? Light poles are set up and crow’s nest is bathed in bright light. The headlights are blazing bright and the generators make constant noise. It is unnaturally bright in the tree house and tower. We try to sleep and relax. The situation is extremely stressful. How should we sleep under these conditions? The surveillance situation deliberately puts us under immense pressure. Every movement we make is recorded with cameras, and every time we utter a word we ask ourselves whether it is being heard. Now dawn is falling and we are tired.
Another announcement by the police that the person who allegedly threw the faeces should turn themselves in and the siege would be lifted immediately. We don’t trust the announcement. Is that a trick? We are staying on the tree houses! We are on alert! This increases when the police begin to aggressively push supporters back further and increase the radius of the siege. Are we be isolated even more for the upcoming events to be shielded from the public? When the chainsaw of an RWE employee howls and starts to cut a path for the lift, a person rappels off the tree house. Officials run towards people. Despite the beginning of the arrest, the tree is felled. Protest calls drown out the chainsaw. The man from our ranks is led away. We are horrified and angry. Is this the start of clearing the whole of Krähen Nest? We will defend all tree houses to the end! After a while, the police actually withdraw, the machines move away and the situation slowly relaxes. But the destruction remains.
The next day we are in Kerpen in front of the district court in a loud solidarity and support demo for the detained person, who is greeted with loud cheers when he is released. We are very grateful for all the support during the siege! In the face of the climate crisis, the destruction of the environment, cultural assets, and human communities in the immediate vicinity of the forest and around the world, we see no proportionality in the actions of the police, politics, and RWEs. It is ridiculous and makes us angry that reporting and public discourse are now about a supposed faecal throwing, while the actual struggle is not mentioned. We are here to stand in the way of the destruction of the forest, as well as the unsustainable political decisions in the interests of corporate interests!
We are here and we will fight!