Eschweiler, 29.10.2019 The trial against five climate activists who are accused of blocking the Weisweiler lignite-coal-power plant in 2017 in Germany begins tomorrow. RWE, Europe`s biggest CO2-Emitter, is also sueing the activists for two million euros compensation.
During the trial, the activists will argue that the action was necessary and legitimate: “The blockade saved large amounts of CO2, which would otherwise have accelerated climate change. The action reduced the damages that the coal power plant causes every day. Hence, it was not only legitimate, but also no offence.“ says Cornelia, who is accused.
The activists demand climate justice, which requires an immediat stop of lignite coal combustion.
Moritz, also accused, states: “We will use the trial to publicly accuse RWE of the worldwide destruction of livelihoods through lignite-coal-combustion.“
Among others, a person from Tanzania, whose family is affected by climate change effects, and a climate researcher will testify in favor of the activists. Video-Messages in solidarity with the action from Mozambique, Bangladesh and Fiji will be presented in trial and are published on twitter.
The activist group “WeShutDown” had blocked conveyor belts and diggers at the Weisweiler coal power plant near Aachen early in the morning on November 15, 2017, achieving the almost complete shutdown of the large-scale power plant.
At the same time, closeby, the 23rd UN Climate Conference took place in Bonn. The blockade prevented the emission of 26,000 tons of C02 by the power plant. Supporters from the german Climate-Justice movement founded the campaign „We Don`t Shut Up! – Solidarity with #WeShutDown“ to scandalise the lawsuit.
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 solidary with the internationally known occupation in the nearby Hambach Forest, which protects the ancient forest from the biggest RWE lignite mine.
The activists can be contacted for interviews or further questions.
Pressreview of the action and the campaign against the lawsuit (german only): https://wedontshutup.org/pressespiegel/