Yesterday, Wednesday the 21th August, the Administrative Court of Cologne ruled that no tents or kitchen should be built on the climate camp site in Manheim (Rhineland), at which several hundred people are expected to arrive for the Reclaim Power camp this Friday.
The camp comes hot off the heels of the UK camp, Reclaim the Power, in Balcombe, where thousands took action to stop Cuadrilla’s attempts to start a generation of fracking across the UK. The German camp will target the RWE (nPower) Group, recently criticised for alleged corporate tax evasion in the UK, that is looking to expand the heavily criticised mining of lignite across the region.
The German authorities are accused of a campaign of cuts to public freedoms, attempts which seem to be successfully limiting the effectiveness of such camps as a form of protest. This has happened on numerous occasions in the recent past, with the refugee protests in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, and with Blockupy in Frankfurt.
Melanie Schubert a participant at the camp said. “The de-facto ban on the climate camp has far reaching consequences for the fundamental right to freedom of assembly, beyond any specific conflict here over brown coal… This harassment serves only to prevent and criminalise legitimate and effective protest throughout Germany. If enacted, political camps would be made almost impossible in the future. We are calling out in hope of broad solidarity, from citizens who are worried about the future of freedom of assembly. “
Despite months of harassment by the authorities and the judiciary, three bicycle caravans are on route to Manheim and the camp, due to start tomorrow, 23 August, will go on.