By Dan Planet, Deep Green Resistance
Just a short post on my visit to Hambach Forest in Germany, a resistance camp set up to defend the forest and prevent the RWE mine (Europe's largest CO2 emitter) from further destroying the planet. (For background on the struggle, see The Battle for the Hambach Forest.)
I arrived for the skill share camp which was a whole week of people hosting workshops on everything to do with activism from tree climbing, blockades, dealing with police, discussions on politics, philosophy etc. The defenders are very welcoming and will speak in English even if like me your German is almost non-existent! The determination to protect the forest is really quite something else when you see the blockades, tree houses and the protectors doing what they do. I camped in the woods not far from the main camp, which is considered a little risky, but I wouldn't have it any other way as the woods are truly amazing to wake up in.
My time in Hambach was inspiring but what I remembered more than any of the workshops or connections that I made was the forest itself. Nowhere more than Hambach have I found such contrast between natural and unnatural, sane and insane, ecology and industry, life and absolute devastation. The forest and the RWE mine couldn't be more different. To use the Tolkien mythology, I literally at times felt like I was in Fangorn Forest and that Mordor was somewhere lurking near at the edge ready to eat up what is now left of the beautiful and delicate forest. In England we have pockets of ancient forest but I still wasn't prepared for how enchanting this particular forest was and the bravery and determination of the people who want to defend it.
In short, if you can then please visit and stay a while...or stay until RWE encounter too much resistance and give up their ecocide!