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'No Further': Activists Storm Coal Fields, Shut Down Europe's Biggest Polluter


#1

'No Further': Activists Storm Coal Fields, Shut Down Europe's Biggest Polluter

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

In a stirring act of mass civil disobedience, roughly 1000 protesters stormed the gates of RWE's coalfields in Rhineland, Germany on Saturday, successfully shutting down operations for Europe's biggest carbon polluter.

Under the banner Ende Gelände, which means "here and no further," activists descended on the mine to send a direct message to officials that such extraction will no longer be tolerated amid the encroaching climate crisis.


#2

It is unspeakably sad that the entrenched powers have pressed the alienation so far from nature and her natural human brothers and sisters and relatives that the entire planet is threatened. The centuries of narrow interest, siloed power amassment have blinded them to one of the single most laudable of human traits: agility of the good mind and unity of cooperative efforts. Increasingly revealed as manipulative, secretive, exploitative and paranoid, due to the institutionalized imbalances and generations of brinksmanship, screwing nature is one of the brinks that doesn't just break, it epitomizes the definition of the 'domino effect'.
I am reminded that one of the meanings of 'genius' is spirit. The good mind in unified spirit for the wellbeing of the very diversity of creativity of millions of people and creatures throughout history from which the powers acquired their wealth are no longer willing to have false definitions and false dichotomies pushed down throats.
The situation is dire, intensifying, crossing and morphing dimensions in feedback loops. People everywhere are exercising the healthy legacy of exploring the final frontier of working together creatively and massaging the heart that has for so long been subjected to paternalistic balderdash of 'there is no other way'; 'you can't exercise any alternative if we have chosen to demonize it' ... while they then intensely invest in undermining any alternative they cannot control.


#3

Incredibly, beautiful action. Wonderful to see.


#4

Like Greenpeace and Sea Shepard show us ... actions speak louder than words. A gauntlet thrown down for the future's sake. A human presence sends the message "No Further!" . Business as usual has been interrupted! A sign of things to come. Human beings have had enough and corporations shall not always have their way. The years ahead will not be humble nor meek. Humans shall NOT go quiet to that Sixth Extinction that will possibly include their children and grandchildren.

The call is heard throughout the dystopia.

Resist the dying of the world.

That's the thing about corporations. You mess with their profits and they listen. An age of anti-fatalism beckons! Boycotts will make waves out of tiny ripples.

Choose to save the world and pick your method. Some will shutdown a coal pit. You get the sense that this kind of thing will keep happening. Occupy got spontaneous support if you remember. Actions like this one may generate spontaneous support too.

Some will write politicians, some will march in protest, some will do acts of civil disobedience, some will occupy, some will hand out leaflets, some will donate, some will educate, some will pray and some will communicate but it begins in earnest. A call to human beings to save our planet.

Resist the dying of the world ...

any way that you can.

Peace and a better future for all.


#5

There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart that you can't take part! You can't even passively take part! And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus -- and you've got to make it stop! And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it -- that unless you're free the machine will be prevented from working at all!!

That doesn't mean -- I know it will be interpreted to mean, unfortunately, by the bigots who run The Examiner, for example -- That doesn't mean that you have to break anything. One thousand people sitting down some place, not letting anybody by, not [letting] anything happen, can stop any machine, including this machine! And it will stop!!
-- Mario Savio: Sproul Hall Steps, December 2, 1964


#7

True! Savio was an inspiration.

The Berkeley Free Speech Movement kickstarted over a decade of college campus protests across this nation. It was part of the broader Civil Rights movement that rejected McCarthyism, racism, militarism and the general malaise of 50s mainstream culture.

When I searched for text of his speech I was looking for the first paragraph I posted. Youtube clips end with that paragraph, and it's the most often quoted part of that speech. So I was surprised to read the next paragraph which ends with a sentence singularly appropriate to this action in Germany where 1000 people stopped the largest vehicle on the planet!

One thousand people sitting down some place, not letting anybody by, not [letting] anything happen, can stop any machine, including this machine! And it will stop!!


#8

I greatly admire these people and the positive action they took. However, they did not prevent the mining of 700,000 tons of coal; they merely delayed it for a day and overtime workers will make up for that delay very quickly. This was a powerful symbolic action but nothing more. Now if these activists had announced they were all becoming vegetarians, and asking all other environmentalists to do the same, thereby reducing the demand for coal, then I would say this event was significant and not just a feel good photo op.


#9

Inspiring! More, more, more!

Let the extractivists know:

Your rule is nearing its end. We will only continue to increase the cost and difficulty for you to carry out your nature-enslaving, nature-murdering crimes.


#10

We were recently cheering a handful of courageous Greenpeace activists hanging by ropes from a bridge to slow down an oil drilling support boat. But Europeans know how to throw a SHUTDOWN demonstration.


#12

Wait just a dadgum miniute! I thought that Germany had suspended nuclear power and now had produced 90 percent of their power by renewable resources such as solar and hydro! How are coal fired plants still running after being replaced by such renewable resources?


#13

Good God Goat,

You just described the Koch family and their millions given to fake science reports denying Global Warming!


#14

Bligh said:

TJ says:
Wrong. Germany has not "suspended nuclear power". Germany is phasing out nuke power, but still has nuke plants on line. Never heard of Coal exports? Same hypocrisy as with Obama. We've switched largely to Natural Gas in the U.S., but Wall Street has decided to export all the coal down the Columbia River from several states and the oil out of the Gulf to the developing world. Congress is likely to go along with it.


#15

Yes,

Not long ago the Europeans blocked the nuke train also.


#16

A year ago or so a New Scientist article explained that because Germany was working on shutting down nuclear power, it was planning to strip-mine large amounts of lignite to make up the shortfall in power. Ho hum......


#17

Talking about mining- I'm a proponent of concepts of jujitsu. Can you imagine the impact of mining point for point in alternative arguments the corporate priorities with the process equivalents of millennia of community diversity in human approaches to conundrums? I look at the DOJ report that came out of the horrors of Ferguson and see it as an example of how there is a disconnect between content and process.
-'narrow interests', for instance, reflects a plethora of what is excluded. That is, the 'externalized cost' aspects starting from point of extraction to recyclable post-consumption. It already known in many cases but not argued proactively. Transition Towns have massaging this as model.


#18

I don't know where you live, but the US has not "switched largely to natural gas." That is just talk for now, and will take some years of re-tooling to be true at all. You are correct about coal exports: US co2 emissions are down, but the impact of carbon from US mined coal probably remains the same or may even be greater depending on how much of that ends up in China or Africa.

When I was young, there was little talk of greenhouse gases and a warming planet, and yet it was coal mining that radicalized me. If you could have seen the widespread destruction taking place here then it would have broken your heart. It broke mine. Coal monopolizes the local economy, the land, the people, and the (dead) future. It shits on everything, and then it is gone.


#19

Thank you!


#20

TJ says:
Statistics are tricky, but in 2014, the electrical grid in New England, for example, got 32 percent of it's power from Natural gas and only 17 percent from coal. In Florida 2014, 70 percent of the grid now comes from Natural gas and 28 percent from coal.

http://newenglandwind.org/wind/about.where.php

http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/media/enews/2006/2006-02_Energy-use-2014.htm

The natural gas thing has two problems: This fracking boom may bubble and pop to no supply, and even if it lasts it seems to be a huge source of methane release, which is 30-100 times the potent greenhouse gas that CO2 is.

We need to go cold turkey to solar and wind and just let most of the grid go dark to even have a prayer of denting the last thirty years of fossil fuel damage. The private auto (which produces the lion's share of greenhouse gases) must be outlawed in favor of efficient rail.

So our solutions so far spell certain global extinction, imho.

TJ


#21

Hi George,

Interesting. But what a difference a year makes. Germany in the clouds of Europe is now increasingly solar since the technology and price have dropped dramatically. Solar is still double that price in the USA due to the Energy Mob's aversion to allowing citizens roof-top solar to shut down their polluting, global warming factories.


#22

And I can just see that the TPP will allow the oily corporations to sue governments that allow utilities to buy back power from solar-powered householders. As for solar-a friend of mine lives completely off-grid and runs his spacious and comfortable house on solar power for electricity and hot water, with a wood-fired stove to help warm the place when needed. He also makes his own bio-diesel to run his diesel-powered car and a small back-up diesel generator (I can see that if we all did this, tax revenues would fall and some idiot would make it illegal). The solar also lets him run a fridge, an electric stove, a freezer, a lathe and a milling machine, together with internet and computers and he doesn't just go to bed at sunset. We enjoyed a long, well-lit night on a single-malt whisky recently........

This was an eye-opener about solar for me. He also is highly knowledgeable about electronics and plumbing, which has helped. But having seen this, who the hell needs Shell?

PS As for efficient railways- the UK had those sorted 100 years ago and they were being run efficiently by the government-owned British Railways, until Sir Ernest Marples, former Tory Party Transport Minister whose wife was a Director of Marples Ridgeway which started building the British motorways back in 1961, got one Dr Beeching to slash and burn all the branch lines feeding passenger traffic to the trunk lines. Then The Thatcher struck; need I say more?