Climate Activists in the Hambach Forest

David Klammer, Germany

Climate activists have occupied Hambach Forest in western Germany since 2012 to protect it against clearance by living in treehouses constructed at heights of up to 28 m. Hambach Forest is next to a big open lignite mine, run by RWE corp., that is encroaching on the forest, but has now been stopped by the occupation and by a verdict halting the clearance. The treehouses have been repeatedly evicted and destroyed, but the activists keep coming back.
By now more than 50 treehouses have been built in the forest and people are organized in different treehouse villages, called barrios, with names like Oaktown, Hallimash, Winkel or Hazelnut. Most climate activists are vegan and live in communities organized on basic democracy principles. Central to them is respect for other beings, whom they call „human“, animals and plants.

It is a peaceful protest but still highly connected to civil disobedience.

Discover more: Shortlist 2019