The German power company RWE sues climate activists for 2.07 million Euros for compensation. At the time of the 23rd UN Climate Conference in Bonn in on 15 November 2017, the activist group “WeShutDown” blocked conveyor belts and diggers in the Weisweiler coal power plant. With the blockade, the activists achieved an almost complete shutdown of Germany’s fourth biggest power plant.
Now, RWE is apparently trying to deter the anti-coal movement, demanding large scale damages from activists for the first time. But the affected activists will not let RWE intimidate them: “The claims by RWE cannot stop our movement. Climate change is not waiting. Coal-fired power plants must be shut down immediately and for good. As long as that is not achieved, there will be blockades and other actions.” says activist Cornelia.
The activists have filed an objection against the lawsuit. The activist also face a criminal court case. It has been scheduled now for july 10th, 15th and 17th. The process will take place in Eschweiler, and deals with legal accusations such as disturbance of public supply and trespassing. The activists announce that they will use the attention raised by the lawsuit to accuse RWE of the worldwide destruction of livelihoods and to spread their demand for an immediate coal phase-out.
A journalist, who accompanied the action in Weisweiler, is also being sued. RWE even tries to deny his status as a Journalist.
The activists reject the plans of the German government to run coal-fired power plants until 2038: “Burning coal for another twenty years is madness. The capitalist economic system is based on the illusion of perpetual growth. That’s why we have to overcome it”, says Moritz.
RWE, whose three large lignite-fired power plants Weisweiler, Niederaussem and Neurath alone emit about ten percent of German CO2 emissions, is increasingly targeted by climate activists and initiatives.
The activists declare themselves to stand in solidarity with the internationally known occupation in the nearby Hambach Forest, which protects the ancient forest from the biggest RWE lignite mine.
Pressreview of the action and the campaign against the lawsuit (german only): http://wedontshutup.org/pressespiegel/