ground-breaking ceremony in Erkelenz, 04/09/2016

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Press Release

by Todde Kemmerich

The ground-breaking ceremony in favour of the relocation of the villages Keyenberg, Kuckum, Lower and Upper Westrich and Berverath was a disaster for RWE and the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Hans Josef Dederichs, a green member of the municipal council in Erkelenz, read out a letter of 50 potential evacuees to all responsible local and regional politicians, under the eyes and ears of Franz-Josef Lersch-Mense, minister for European affairs in the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia. In this letter was clearly listed what is going wrong in the preparations of the resettlement and that under the given conditions wide resistance must be expected. The reaction was great applause.
Peter Jansen, mayor of Erkelenz, described the many burdens on citizens, and in an interview with the WDR radio channel, before the event, he stated again that the lignite plan for Garzweiler II is no longer necessary. Resistance activists had marked the signposts to the event by means of black balloons with skulls and skeletons.
In the fields around the event marquee of RWE, large black balloons were installed with the inscriptions “STOP RWE” and “irRWEg (wrong track)”.
After the depressing ceremony of the lignite VIPs without any applause followed the performance of “Robber Hotzenplotz” of the “Punch and Judy show called RWE”.
Todde Kemmerich, otherwise known as “the brown coal tourist”, welcomed the invited guests with the words: “Welcome to the funeral of your villages! I’m the robber Hotzenplotz of RWE and I rob your villages, your homes, your meadows, fields and forests.”
He pointed out that no lignite power plant is necessary to ensure power supply, if half of the inoperative gas power plants in Germany temporarily would be turned on again.
He called on the apparent majority of the inhabitants of the villages, who do not want to relocate, to oppose the expropriation, and earned a lot of praise and words of appreciation for that.
In the coming weeks the resistance efforts will be intensified, which will show up also visually in the villages.
Already since 3 December 2015, there is an alternative so called Leit­entscheidungs-Entwurf (draft key decision) in which no expansion of the opencast mine Garzweiler II is stipulated beyond the A61.
A vast majority of the village citizens welcomes this explicitly.

The event ended with peeved faces on the part of the pro-lignite fraction.
The resistance is increasing and further actions against the relocations will follow.
Attached you find images of the ground-breaking ceremony. If you need larger resolutions, I will send them with pleasure.
On behalf of the lignite resisters in the Rhenish mining area
Todde Kemmerich