Hambach forest in Germany is 12,000 years old. But less than a tenth of it remains, and the remainder is under threat from ever expanding lignite coal mining. Lignite ('brown coal') is even more climate polluting than black coal, and the vast mines scar the landscape, swallowing up forests and villages.
Those who took up residence in the forest, and those who support them, are drawing a line for the forest and for our climate: no more - Hambi Bleibt (Hambi stays). But in their eagerness for profits, energy company RWE are not willing to wait for the outcome of a commission on quitting coal, they want protectors evicted to raze the forest. Police went in with disproportionate force, and were intent on eviction. Then on Wednesday 19 September, journalist, blogger and activist Steffen Horst Meyn, fell to his death from a suspension bridgewhile attempting to document an ongoing eviction action. You can read more about the circumstances here.
A few days later, the evictions continued. "We were never given time to mourn"
This tragedy has been felt internationally, raising awareness of the destruction Steffan was bearing witness to. A petition to the German government to block the forest clearance has reached over 750,000 signatures. Sign here.