One person has been confirmed dead during police operation to evict the Hambach Forest protest camp. The tragic incident took place on Wednesday afternoon. The deceased is a video blogger reporting on events in the forest.
The forest protectors reported on their website:
“A friend who has accompanied us as a journalist for a long time in the forest, fell from a suspension bridge over 20 meters high in Beechtown and died. At that time police and RWE tried to evict the tree house village. The SEK was in the process of arresting an activist near the suspension bridge. Our friend was apparently on the way there when he fell.
We are deeply shaken. All our thoughts and desires are with him. Our compassion goes to all the relatives, friends and people who feel concerned.
We urge the police and RWE to leave the forest immediately and stop this dangerous operation. No further lives may be endangered.
What is needed now is a moment of rest.”
The activists’ blog reported:
“Everyone in the occupations stood for several weeks under constant stress because of an eviction campaign, which was beaten through at an insane pace. Constant noise from expulsion and clearing, day and night floodlights and flashing blue lights, massive police presence on the ground, sonication with barking dogs and recordings of chainsaw noises, as well as the news about the repeatedly life-threatening approach of the task forces, leave physical and mental traces in all involved. Insomnia, stress and over-stimulation are poisonous for the attention and tranquility essential for safe tree climbing.
According to our information, there is no direct connection with the acute local police action at the time of the accident. But we know first-hand that the deceased only climbed into the trees because he was permanently prevented by the police from doing his press work on the ground.”
In response to the incident, the regional government has suspended the ongoing evictions of activists protesting a coal mine expansion in Hambach Forest. However, according to activists’ reports, the eviction is still going on.
Photo: Infoletta Hambach