Thousands of climate activists disrupt dirty coal plant in Germany

August 31, 2017

Over 6,000 European climate change activists took bold climate action in the heartland of Germany’s coal industry this month, with the aim of disrupting the coal industry via direct action.

As they have in years past, the Ende Gelaende movement (which means “Stop, no further”) organized the sprawling 6-acre peaceful action camp that is the spearhead of Germany’s anti-coal movement, what the newspaper Taz called “the most interesting social movement in all of Europe”.

The action was featured in media around the world, including this great piece in The Nation:

Germany is the epicenter of Europe’s anti-coal campaign, which is led by Ende Gelände and includes other groups, many of which have roots that reach back to the anti–nuclear energy movement (whose campaigns over four decades forced Germany to exit nuclear power). Their aim is to obstruct the infrastructure of Germany’s mighty coal industry, even if temporarily, through acts of nonviolent civil disobedience.

They realize that stopping coal transports, occupying extraction machinery, blocking power plants, and entering coal mines won’t shut down the industry. But the symbolism is stark and moving. The vivid, otherworldly images of hundreds of figures clad in white hooded jumpsuits and sunglasses grab headlines and underscore climate change’s existential threat.

The Independent also covered the police over-reaction.

Image courtesy The Independent

While many of our partners are charitable organizations that cannot directly organize actions that break the law, as climate allies pushing insurance and finance companies to exit coal so the world can meet its climate change goals, we stand firmly with those on the front lines.

“Most of the political parties don’t want to exit coal. So if the change that needs to happen can’t happen from within the system, we have to move outside of it.” — Johanna Winter, Ende Galende activist


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