At the climate camp in the Rhineland, where thousands have been gathering to protest against the climate destroying coal, the mood early this morning was one of both tension and optimism.

After the successful blockades of coal rail tracks and excavators yesterday (you can read our roundup of Day 1 here), most people returned to the camps to get some rest. Some were brought back by police forces, and were looked after and supported by the legal team at the camp.

Even though the first day was a great success and many people were very tired after the actions, the spirit of determination of the climate protectors was not to be broken.

On the second morning of Ende Gelände, three of the fingers (large action groups) in the second action camp went off further east. There they met further reinforcements. Altogether there were 1000+ people on their way towards the coal tracks.

Then everything happened quickly. While the fingers were getting closer and closer to the tracks, more than 3,000 people joined the Red Lines human chain. Workers, scientists, parents with children, grandparents and young people took part in the protest for a coal exit.

A little later, it was announced that Ende Gelände had reached the tracks. Although some people were detained by the police, the first three blockades of the second protest day took place. But that was not all. Other blockades at the Neurath coal power station held their positions. The organizers of rePLACE COAL/Kohle erSETZEN succeeded in setting up four road blockades – even though two thirds of the participants had never done this before.

What a success.

Today showed us that the climate movement brings together people from all social backgrounds. Eight years ago, there were only 80 activists at the climate camp the Rhineland. Today there were more than 6,000 people on the streets, the rail tracks, the camp and the forest. The experience of one group of activists has even been live-streamed throughout:

This call for change comes from a very large and very diverse group.
Many are ready to take part in civil disobedience actions and disobey laws in order to end the massive destruction by the fossil fuel industry – all over the world. These actions may not be legal, but as in previous social movements, they are appropriate and necessary to achieve the change we so desperately need.

Groups are still on their way to strengthen the ongoing blockades in the Rhineland. We wish them luck, because each and every person is a vital part of the resistance to the fossil fuel industry.

Together we can prevent a climate disaster, and keep the coal in the ground,

PS. Here are two ways you can help share the news and support these actions: