Update: 200 People are still blocking coal train tracks

14_00 Noch ein Bild von der Gleisbesetzung

Actions Days in the Rhineland Coalfield, Day II

Second Day of the Actions Days in the Rhineland Coalfield. Around 200 activists are occupying the coal train tracks which is the main way to transport coal between the open-cast coal mine “Hambach” to the big power plants which emit 100 millions tons of CO2 per year. The action is happening in solidarity with the Climate and Reclaim the Fields Camp that is taking place from August 23 to September 6 2013 in the Rhineland coalfield.


The activists went onto the tracks at around 1pm. At the time of writing (5.30pm), they are still there, surrounded by a lot of police. The fire fighters have arrived to fell trees, to make way for the police. It is expected that the occupation is going to be evicted within the next hours.


Already in the last two years, there have been blockades like this. The tracks are an extremely vulnerable point in the coal complex ca. 40km west of Cologne, which consists of three open cast lignite mines and four coal-fired power plants. Usually, waggons loaded with coal run here every 15 minutes to supply the power plants. The plants have storage capacity for only two days.


This year, there are much more people who express their legitimate protest in this way. It is people from the most varied backgrounds and regions of the world. This clearly shows: Climate change affects us all. And: A change of the existing conditions of exploitation and destruction is only possible with determined and joined grass-root actions”, says one of the activists. „The impacts of lignite burning is not a local issue – first, because of the consequences of global warming but also because of the far-reaching distribution of particle matter. Depending on the weather conditions, the particle matter of RWEs power stations can go down anywhere in Europe and can cause grave health problems.”


„Some people criticize the resistance actions against lignite mining because they are in conflict with the law. However, if the existing law protects industries which destroy the future of this planet, then the law is the problem. Not the people who violate it“. This is how one of the activists explains why she is there and why she thinks this action is legitimate.