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:
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:
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:
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!

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