The last couple of weeks in Germany have been full of inspiring direct action against RWE coal mines and the power stations they supply.
In the Rhineland in Germany, the company RWE is running 3 lignite mines where they extract around 100 Million tonnes of lignite each year. Furthermore they run 5 power plants where the coal is being burned in order to produce energy. This industry causes around 100 Million tonnes of CO2 per year, sets free a lot of fine dust as well as heavy metals, radioactive elements and other pollutants.
RWE own Npower and operate the Aberthaw power station in south Wales. Aberthaw is currently in breach of air quality standards, releasing double the permitted amount of NOX.
During Ende-Gelände, organised by a collection of groups, 1,000 people entered the mine in five groups, some of whom had to break police lines, others were tear gassed, to do so. People came from numerous different countries to attend the publicly advertised action. At least 4 of the 5 enormous diggers were occupied and prevented from working, these are the biggest diggers in the world. There were large numbers of arrests.
Activists from the Hambacher Forest occupation prevented trains running on the private train line running directly between the mines and the power stations for 19 hours with a series of actions involving people locked on to the tracks with concrete and metal lock-ons and people suspended from a bridge (which RWE saw fit to drive a train at – fortunately no-one was hurt).
The Lebenslaute concert held in the Hambacher mine was watched by 200 people who danced to classic music played by musicians against ecological and social destruction. The action went on for around 10 hours.
For more information see http://hambachforest.blogsport.de in English.