Cottbus | Chóśebuz, 30 november 2019. Two days before the start of COP25, 4.000 activists of the international climate justice movement Ende Gelaende (“Here And No Further”) set off towards open–cast lignite mines in Eastern Germany. Various action groups with activists from all over Europe started from the cities of Dresden, Leipzig and Berlin to block open–cast mines and coal infrastructure in the Lusatian and Leipzig regions. Ende Gelaende demands an immediate coal phase–out and a radical system change.
“Thousands of people set off in the early morning hours to occupy open–cast mines, lignite excavators and railways. Coal fired power still amounts to one third of Germany’s energy production. We stand at a crucial point in history – the window of opportunity to stop the climate crisis is closing rapidly. But we are still hopeful: That’s why today, we take the coal phase–out into our own hands and block Germany’s dirty coal industry with our own bodies”, says Johnny Parks, spokesperson of Ende Gelaende.
“Yesterday on Global Strike Day, in Germany alone 630,000 people have taken the streets with Fridays For Future demanding effective climate protection. Today we are taking our protest one step further with actions of civil disobedience against lignite mining. As we take action, the German government discusses a completely ridiculous coal phase-out law. This political failure is systematic: Our economic growth is based on the exploitation of people and nature. Corporations such as RWE and EPH made billions in profits by stealing our future,” explains Sina Reisch, spokesperson of Ende Gelaende.
Since 2015, Ende Gelaende has repeatedly blocked coal infrastructure with thousands of people in the Rhineland and Lusatia regions. In the summer of 2019, more than 6,000 activists occupied central junctions of the Rhineland lignite mining area. During those most recent blockades, the railway supply to Neurath power station, Germany’s largest lignite fired power station, stood still for almost 48 hours. Traditionally, people from all over Europe take part in the actions of Ende Gelaende.