The tree houses in Hambach Forest have long symbolized resistance to open-pit lignite mining. Now the authorities are having them removed. German energy giant RWE wants to clear-cut large areas of the forest this autumn to expand its lignite mine.
Dozens of activists have been living in tree houses in Hambach Forest in an attempt to save it from being clear-cut for lignite mining. The authorities are now taking action to evict them. Germany energy giant RWE, which owns the land, has already mined much of the lignite in the region. Now it plans to remove most of the remaining woodland to expand its open-pit mine. Antje Grothus refuses to accept that. She lives in a neighboring village and supports the tree house dwellers, saying that, in any case, brown coal is not a fuel for the future. Now a fatal accident has occurred during the eviction. A journalist trying to document it plunged from a rope bridge between two tree houses. The death has strengthened the activists in their conviction that dependence on coal must stop. A report by Viktoria Kleber.