Forest Occupation Kelsterbach
2008: Direct actions against the Frankfurt airport extension
Big parts of the forest of Kelsterbach near the Frankfurt airport are in danger of being destroyed – for the new north west runway.
For about ten years it is well-known that the airport company plans to build a new runway. Politically, this project is mainly consensus. Even the green party announced – at a time when they were part of the state government and not in opposition – that they would accept the expansion if there is a ban on night flights. However, about 50 initiatives and nearly all communities around the airport are against the expansion because of the expected rise of fly-over noise.
Almost all forms of protest have not succeeded to withhold the preparations of the building of a new runway. Yet, in a small piece of forest there is still some resistance from dozens of people who take hold of the trees. A group of activists decided to squat the forest of Kelsterbach in may 2008 to stop the extension plans. In the past months, a tent and hut village emerged.
Fraport AG, the company behind the Frankfurt airport, is planning to finish the runway at the end of 2011 and is already taking so-called „preparing measures“ (preliminaries) in the forest. For example they remove brushwoods. They also prepare to relocate several animal species. In the past months, these actions often led to conflicts with activists that tried to stop all preparations for the forest destruction.
About 30-50 people are regularly staying in the forest village. They welcome every help, may it be donations, new inhabitants or just people passing by and showing their solidarity. There’s a cosy vegan people’s kitchen every Friday evening.
The major of Kelsterbach, who has refused the new runway in the past, announced that he can not accept the huts in the forest for legal reasons. Therefore, he has threatened to evict the camp as from 30th November 2008. Come to the camp by the end of November to prevent an eviction or at least make it as costly as possible and squat another part of the forest again! Of course, the eviction can also happen earlier if politics decide so. You can find out what’s going on on our web blog.
Aeroplanes and climate change
Air traffic is a major threat to the climate. Carbon dioxide emitted in the atmosphere is pushing the greenhouse effect even stronger. In 2007, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a UN-scientist panel) report created a worldwide debate about the urgency of climate protection.
In times of climate change, flight traffic must be reduced, not expanded.
No extension of airports anywhere. No new roads.
For an ecological and social public transport service.
They started to cut down the trees in january 2009 and were blocked several times. The camp was evicted in february. The last trees were cut down in september 2009. During the construction work there was a new, smaller camp next to the runway. There was also a number of direct actions. The activists decided to terminate the camp in winter 2010/2011.
The runway was brought on line in autumn 2011. Since there was a significant growth of aircraft noise, there are now (March 2012) weekly demonstrations with thousands of local people in the airport terminal. More or less as a reaction torward this, there will probably be a ban on nightflights. You can find more informations about this situation in the Exchange Newsletter number 4 from December 2011 and number 5 from March 2012
October 2012: One year north west runway, one year weekly demonstrations in the terminal (usually with more than thousand participants), one year ban on flights between 11pm and 5am (which is not enough in the demonstrators eyes, who demand a ban from 10 to 6 and the giving up of the new runway). The airport company has started to build an new terminal, which plays a major role in their planes to increase air traffic.
May 2014: In the last 2,5 years there were 100 weekly demonstrations in the terminal, most of them with about 1000 participants – and they will be continued! Meanwhile the construction work for the new terminal goes on even though the offical start of the large scale constructions shall be next year. And again a forest is in danger. The airport company plans to cut down parts of the „Treburer Wald“ for the highway access of the terminal. This could start in september.
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