Thanks to the many donations people made in favor of the campaign UNTENLASSEN (Leave the coal in the ground instead of undermining our protest), it is now possible to support eight people affected by civil lawsuits. They had accompanied a blockade of the lignite-fired power plant Niederaußem that took place on the occasion of the UN climate summit in Paris 2015. Although none of the accused were part of the actual blockade, the coal company RWE made very extensive claims. The declaration to cease and desist the activists were asked to sign does not only prohibit them from being part of actions similar to the one at hand, but of any actions of protest imaginable on all of RWE’s premises. Initially the activists refused to sign such a declaration, thereby not accepting these claims.
The regional court in Cologne was responsible for the case and acted according to RWE’s arguments, just as in previous cases. The higher regional court in Cologne (deciding on appeals etc. filed at the regional court as the higher authority) let shine through that their decision would be the same. So, with a heavy heart the activists decided to sign the declarations to cease and desist for tactical reasons. They did so in close coordination with lawyers and antirepression structures.
During the strenuous legal proceedings it was at least possible to reduce the amount in dispute that RWE claimed to be 50,000 euros (most probably way too much) to only 25,000 euros. In the end, the costs for all eight defendants amounted to 20,000 euros. This number includes the costs for the proceedings themselves and the costs for RWE’s law firm Redeker, Sellner, Dahs (read here about their other involvements) – and of course also the costs for the defendants’ own lawyers.
UNTENLASSEN (Leave the coal in the ground instead of undermining our protest) wants to give a warm thanks to everyone who supported the campaign so far, be it with smaller or bigger donations, with solidarity parties, actions and all other kinds of showing your solidarity!
The campaign has mastered its first big challenge, but of cours it isn’t over here: repression using the civil law continues, for example in case of the action Ende Gelaende 2015. There is no end in sight, because as the urgency of the climate crisis intensifies, so does our resistance against its root cause, fossil capitalism.
Thus, your support is as necessary as ever!