Press Statement regarding the events of may 18th 2022
In the morning of the 05/18/2022 there was a large-scale police operation with about 2 hundred units and additional heavy duty equipment in the forest occupation Moni in Losser Forest (Seehausen). Police violence, failure to render assistance, arrests, life-threateningly damaged tree houses, destroyed height and ground structures, cut ropes and stolen material were the result. All this under the pretext of prosecuting minor breaches of the law. What a load of crap!
Yesterday morning at about 9 o’clock, the police arrived with a large contingent in the forest occupation Moni in Losser Forst (Seehausen). Involved were an estimated 2 dog units from different cities including a climbing unit of nine cops, the “evidence securing and arrest unit”, short BFE or , 2 lifting platforms and a Unimog/clearance tank. The goal of the operation was allegedly the identification of activists due to misdemeanors (violations of assembly requirements) and violations of the ban on hooding, as well as the search of several inhabited structures. In addition, 4 people were evicted from tree houses with a hoist/cherry picker. Therefore, we also speak – in contrast to the police – decidedly of a partial eviction.
During the operation, several people were subjected to or threatened with physical violence. One person was pulled from a staircase and pushed to the ground while trying to get themself to safety. An underage person who was awakened by the cops was threatened to be stripped naked shortly after their living space was stormed without notice. The same person was denied urgently needed medical assistance during the identification process, despite repeated requests.
Another person was denied food for several hours while being taken into custody to establish their identity. The attempt of some observers to bring food to this person was answered by the police with physical violence and 3 charges.
After about 8 hours after the start of the operation, the last of 5 people was released from custody and picked up by a supporter, whose car was followed and observed for several hours.
In addition, the cops did a lot of damage to the assembly area: Climbing material, a roll of polypropylene and 7 ladders were stolen (#freeVersammlungsleiter), about 15 climbing ropes and several trusses were cut, ground structures, building material and a car trailer were destroyed, drinking water was dumped, a tree was severely damaged by crampons, the cables of the solar system were cut, tree houses were completely devastated from the inside as well as a tree house damaged in a life-threatening way. In addition, our fire protection sign was knocked over, our officially ordered fire protection aisles were filled in and fire extinguishers were obstructed – especially ironic in light of the fact that the public order office (Ordnungsamt) constantly criticizes our fire protection precautions.
We repeat: all this because of a few misdemeanors and covered faces. The legality and especially the proportionality of this operation is highly doubtful. There were several unanswered offers of cooperation and talks on our part with the public order office – so this operation was not “the last option”. Regarding the conditions we are said to have violated: one of them is that we are not allowed to enter the tree houses until they have been checked for stability. We stand by the fact that we have used the tree houses, as they are an essential part of our gathering character and are our homes. We have tried several times to get an expert opinion on the stability of the tree houses, but this failed because there are no DIN standards for logs (which support the floors of the tree houses) in Germany. In addition, we can claim with a clear conscience that we know more about tree house statics than the alleged “specialists” in the Ordnungsamt. We know which trunks can withstand how much, we know what kind of ropes we use for suspensions and bindings, how to use them and how strong they are. Our tree houses are safe. And we don’t need law enforcement rags pretending to protect us.
The other misdemeanor, according to the police, is participating in an assembly without an assembly leader. We can only laugh angrily at this accusation: only last summer the Higher Administrative Court of Magdeburg ruled that the occupation enjoys the legal status and protection of an assembly even without an assembly leader.
At this point, we would like to contradict some press voices that claimed that no expulsions were issued: both assembly participants and press representatives were expelled and supporters were prevented from participating in the assembly. But as is so often the case, the assembly law apparently only applies when it suits the cops.
We are incredibly angry about such criminalization and harassment of our legitimate protest. Climate protection is not a crime and not a misdemeanor, but the destruction of our livelihood is.
Pigs and public order office idiots: we can do without you. Get the hell out of the forest!