It’s been two weeks since Ende Gelände.  Two weeks on and I’m still hearing stories come in, reflections shared, and seen the bruises turn different shades of purple to yellow.

I’ve heard about the nerves people felt ahead of the action; the hard conversations, frustrations and stress from organising and new decision-making processes; the solidarity and safety people felt from their buddy and affinity groups; the trust people had in the organising; the fear and courage people felt when approaching police lines; the triumph from reaching the Garzweiler coal mine; the sorrow when seeing it’s size and destruction; the discomfort and pain people felt from police brutality; the exhaustion from late night planning and from running; the fun and games played and the boredom from waiting; the anxiety and concern for friends – new and old; the creativity that blossomed in the most unusual circumstances; the yearning people felt to attend the action who couldn’t; the appreciation for base camp support; euphoria and pride at collective action success and loneliness when heading home.  Some people told me they felt like this when they got back:


All of these feelings are normal and legitimate.  And there will be many more feelings that have been felt that I haven’t described.

While evaluating the political impact of an action is important, creating a space for sharing emotions is equally as important for the well-being, health and learnings for individuals and a movement. After such an intense experience – for whatever role you played – it is good to process what happened.  People do this in different ways, but in case you are feeling at a bit of loss here are a few tips that might be useful to help you do this:

  • Keep in touch with your affinity group/other people who took part in the action and share how you are doing and listen to how others are.  Support one another.
  • Share your story.  Telling someone who has had a similar experience can be useful to have empathy and understanding, while telling people who weren’t there can be a way of painting your story.  Or tell someone independent – for example you can still contact Out of Action at [email protected], who were at the climate camp and know about the action.
  • Exercise.  After the action you are likely to have had a big adrenaline drop, so to avoid such a trough, get active to re-balance yourself.
  • Check out the advice and resources from our friends at Plan to Thrive.

Ende Gelände will be a story – or part of a story – many will hold perhaps forever.  No matter the shade of your experience, it’s one that needs to be held healthily and put into your backpack to carry you on to your next chapter with strength, power and wisdom.  Good luck on your journeys and if you have more tips we should share, please email [email protected] directly.  Thank you.

P.S. Note of caution: While it is important to talk about your experience within your affinity group, be aware that sharing information on the action, specific roles or activities could in turn reveal details we prefer not to share with the outside and these infos could be misread by the police or any other security agency.


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