Newsletter 5: Well prepared action

Dear (future) climate activists,

it is just one month left: Near Leipzig we are going to set an example against lignite altogether. Are you already as excited as we are? If that is the case, you find a whole newsletter below that is full of information on how the action is planned and what to pay attention to. Have fun reading!

Content:
1. How we organise in a grass root way
2. How the action is planned
3. How we prepare for action on site
4. How we want to act during the action
5. When to arrive latest
6. What you could do right now

1. How we organise in a grass root way
For us the claim for an energy supply free of coal relates to demanding global justice. To include our aims into our current actions we will make decisions as a consensus to take into account the needs of everyone. Consent does not necessarily mean everyone has the same opinion but what must be given is that everyone is OK with the decision and no ones needs are ignored. Our decision making structure consists of affinity groups delegating spokespersons: Meetings of the spokespersons enable a big group to act together and make decisions. They collect the issues to be decided on, exchange information and might propose a way how to solve it. The meeting of the spokespersons coordinates important matters affecting the whole action and cannot be decided solely in the affinity groups. Every affinity group sends one delegate into the council of spokespersons who then introduces opinions, assessments, decisions etc. of the affinity group (e.g. “We have the confidence to remain seated during an eviction and not to stand up”) into the meeting and brings information, decisions, opinions etc. back to the affinity group. Through this grass root decision making the action is strengthened and supported by all activists.

2. How the action is planned
As described above: The action is shaped by all participants. Though specific elements of the action are already determined, as such as place, time and character of the action. Those things were carefully discussed and decided within the preparation group, also having a sense of responsibility. The outcome is a frame of action that no longer is under consideration. That enables an easy preparation of action giving us more time for discussing the circumstances and shaping the blockade on the camp and during the action altogether. We are happy to see you becoming a part of what we prepared for several months and participating to make it something great.

3. How we prepare for action on site
To enable everyone to take part and feel prepared for the action intensive action preparation is going to take place on the climate camp. There you will also have the opportunity to find other people to form an affinity group (if you ain’t part of an affinity group already) so no one is left alone. In addition there will be legal input for informed decisions. An action training will also fill much of the time, where you can practice blocking and consensual decision making. After all this there is time left for a meeting of the spokespersons. You will find the detailed plan of action preparation on our website soon.

4. How we want to act during the action
One part of the predetermined things is the action consensus which is a basic agreement within the group of people taking part in the action. The action consensus contains for example that we will act non-violently and approach everyone with respect. We view the action consensus as binding, therefore it is important that you read through the action consensus before the action and acting in accordance with it so we can rely on each other. You find the action consensus on our website: http://www.kohle-ersetzen.de/en/replace-coal/frame-of-action/

5. When to arrive latest
If you want to take part to rePlace coal! you should arrive in the camp best until Thursday evening, 2nd August, latest on Friday 3rd August. Action preparation will start on Friday 9:30am but there will be a welcome plenary the evening before. We need that time to intensively prepare for the action together. However it is a good idea to arrive earlier anyway as the climate camp starts on 28th July: https://www.klimacamp-leipzigerland.de/

6. What you could do right now:

Further information on arriving will be provided in the next newsletter. If you have any open questions please contact us: www.kohle-ersetzen.de/en/

Resistant regards
Kohle erSetzen! (rePlace coal!)

Newsletter 3: Two months left until the action takes place

Hi All, 

We are getting closer and closer to the action – just two more months to go! To help you to be well prepared for the action here is some more information about the action and the planning and more. Hope you like reading this!

In today’s newsletter…
1. Invite to next prep gathering
2. Organize mobilizing events
3. Flyers, stickers and posters

4. Background on lignite mining
5. Sit-in and what to know about
6. What you can do now

1. Invite to next prep gathering
First item in our newsletter is our invite to come to the next preparatory gathering that will be held in Lüneburg between 15 and 17 June. This is the perfect opportunity to get involved in all the planning that is going on. We are now entering the critical phase of planning and can actually do with any support from folks who can commit a bit of their time to help stop climate change. 
Details of the invite on our website: : http://www.kohle-ersetzen.de/einladung-zum-offenen-planungstreffen/

2. Organize mobilizing events
Even if you can’t join the preparatory group we need your support. Especially in mobilizing because now is the time to reach out and get ans many people as possible to join the action. One way of doing this is to hold public events spreading the word and informing about the upcoming action. To help organize such events we have got a presentation with all you need to know about the action and a guide to the organization of these kinds of events. (The presentation will be online soon.) 
This is the link: http://www.kohle-ersetzen.de/mitmachen/infoveranstaltungen/
If you are organizing an event – and we would be glad to come and speak at the event – please get in touch at info@kohle-ersetzen.de

3. Flyers, stickers and posters
Another important thing to mobilize people is getting the flyers, stickers and posters out there. You may have seen we have flyers, stickers and posters in German and English. Would be great if you could help support us in spreading these. Do you feel like spreading flyers in bars, cafes and pubs or plastering your town with stickers or hanging up some posters at your university? Then please order these on our website: http://www.kohle-ersetzen.de/mobimaterial/materialbestellung-flyer-und-sticker/
This is important for the success of our action!
BTW, we would be glad if you could send us photos of yourself out and about spreading the word. Please send pics to: info@kohle-ersetzen.de

4. Background on lignite mining
Are you aware that Germany is the biggest lignite producer in all the world? At various locations in Germany lignite is mined and burned in power plants close by to generate electricity. The world’s most enormous digging equipment – coal excavators – are eating their way through gigantic open pit mines and people are losing their homes to make way for the devastation. They are being driven out of their homes. Whole villages have to be relocated one after the other. But it is not just here that coal mining and power generation cause massive damage. Every coal-fired power plant in Germany directly contributes to catastrophic climate change, that destroys ecosystems and causes people to leave. That’s why we have decided to go and block the lignite mining infrastructure in the region around Leipzig. We will directly intervene exactly where this grave injustice is being committed.
Additional background on coal mining and conversion on our website: http://www.kohle-ersetzen.de/hintergrund/warum-aktionen-fuer-den-kohleausstieg/

5. Sit-in and what to know about
A sit-in is Kohle erSetzen!’s kind of action. And you may be asking, what does one need to know about this stuff? This is where our sit-in primer comes in handy! Originally written for the folks holding up nuclear waste transports to Wendland, Germany, but it also applies in many other situations. You can request it from: info@kohle-ersetzen.de or download a PDF from our website: http://www.kohle-ersetzen.de/mitmachen/blockadefibel/

6. What you can do now

That’s it from us for now. If you have any questions or have ideas you’d like to share, you can reach us at info@kohle-ersetzen.de

Warmest regards

The prep team

Newsletter 2: Behind the action

Dear friends,
This newsletter sheds some light onto what we are planning. How we do our stuff, why we are planning an act of civil disobedience and about the place we are targeting. You’ll also find an invite to the next prep meeting!
1. Pödelwitz and the Climate camp
2. Why civil disobedience?
3. Kohle erSetzen! task groups
4. Our website
5. Invite to next prep gathering
6. What you can do now
 
1. Pödelwitz and the Climate camp
This year’s Kohle erSetzen! is happening in the lignite mining region around Leipzig, Germany. Many of you may not yet know much about this area. This is one of the main places in Germany where lignite is extensively mined and burned for electricity. Lignite is especially environmentally damaging, and the villages here are just as affected by lignite mining as in the other such regions. But exactly because this area is not in the spotlights we want this year’s action to take place here. The small village Pödelwitz is very much in danger and we want to support the community that lives in  Pödelwitz in their fight against coal.
So this year we are back at the Climate Camp – this time Climate Camp Leipzig. The camp will begin with  Degrowth Summer School workshops. The days of action will begin after Summer School finishes. Thus education and action phases are clearly separated, but of course you may head to Climate Camp before the action days start. More information about the camp here:
2. Why civil disobedience?
Civil disobedience is deliberately crossing the line of law in order to draw attention to an injustice or to interrupt or stop the injustice. We deliberately chose this form of action because we believe it to be effective in the given circumstances. Civil disobedience provides us with some power:
  • Civil disobedience can be used as a political lever. This is especially the case where previously all legal steps have proven ineffective.
  • It can help emphasize that the issue is so important to the activist that he or she thinks it not only legitimate but even requires the breach.
  • Many deep social changes in the last century would never have happened without civil disobedience. In our actions we refer to successes of the past.
We believe that when it comes to lignite and climate change, we no longer think it is enough to make demands and appeals, but to intervene directly and non-violently in the face of this injustice!
Find more details in a detailed text on civil disobedience on our website:
3. Kohle erSetzen! task groups
Let us briefly introduce our task groups preparing Kohle erSetzen!
MOBILIZATION: The main goal of the Mobi task group is to make sure as many people as possible will join the action. For this we design and print mobilization material, organize information events, post on social media and write for example this newsletter.
FINANCE: Although our action is based primarily on solidarity and joint action, unfortunately, we also need a lot of money to do this kind of major action. That’s what the financial task group is about.
SCOUTING: The Scouting task group is makes sure we end up at the right kine of action site where we can effectively interrupt but also do this in a low-risk fashion.
PRESS: The Presse task group is responsible for ensuring that our action is featured in the media. For this we draft press releases, devise spokespeople for the action and coordinate with other groups.
WEBSITE: The website task group makes sure our website is up to date and all important information is there.
LEGAL: An important issue along every step of the action is the legal situation. This is the responsibility of our own legel group, so that we can provide the necessary information and contact points.
4. Our website
As you may have already noticed we are updating our website! Please go to: http://www.kohle-ersetzen.de/
Although it is far from finished (we are updating the site and continue to add to the English section), but you may still want to check the site. In the coming months this will be the place where, hopefully, all your questions will be answered.
If something does not work or you have important information regarding the website, please email us: info@kohle-ersetzen.de
5. Invite to next prep gathering
The next preparatory gathering will be held in Lüneburg between 15 and 17 June. As usual this meeting will be open to new people to join and support the planning effort. There are all kinds of tasks and our prep group also has a number of task groups so that there is plenty to do no matter what your skills and preferences may be. You are very welcome to come and join us in Lüneburg, not least to get to know us.
The meetings will start on Friday evening at 6 pm and finish at 2 pm on Sunday afternoon.
For more information and to register for the meeting, please sign up here: info@kohle-ersetzen.de
6. What you can do now
No need to wait until August before swinging into action – you can get busy right away:
More soon!
The folks at Kohle erSetzen!

Newsletter 1: RePlace Coal! 2018 – So it begins

Dear everyone,
we – the preparation group of Kohle erSetzen! 2018 – would like to welcome you on our newsletter! At the moment we are trying to figure out whether there are any non-German speakers on our mailinglist who would like to keep up to date on our planned sit-in to protest the coal industry. If so, we are happy to send out an English newsletter as well in the following days and include an English version in the next newsletters. Therefore, let us know in a short e-mail if you are intersted!
Best wishes
Kohle erSetzen! 2018