Dealing with Corona

In a time of unexpected challenges, of course we’re still a diverse group with different opinions and priorities. Therefore it’s obviously impossible for each paragraph of this text to speak for every person in the occupation. We continue to work on the greatest possible consensus and inclusion.

The pandemic, which currently costs thousands of human lives a day, has fundamentally changed everyday and public life around the world. In contrast, the way we live in the forest occupation has only changed slightly. Most of our visitors keep a safety distance, we still live here together as a group so as not to be so lonely, and most of us are young enough not to seriously worry about our own health.

But of course the pandemic doesn’t leave us unmoved. Our youth is a privilege, especially in these times. This privilege gives us responsibility to adapt our behaviour out of solidarity to the extraordinary circumstances, (even if we are not quite selfishly scared of being infected.)

That is why people in the occupation have worked out this list of appeals:

* For the time being, please leave the occupation only by necessity.

* To observe ourselves closely for the typical symptoms of corona and let the group know immediately if they occur. If a significant number of us have symptoms, it can be assumed that we may all be infected and we should then start an appropriate quarantine.

* If you have urgent reasons to leave, please leave contact details in the occupation. (If you have any security concerns, you might set up a disposable email for the purpose.) So we can contact you if we see any signs of corona after you leave, and you can act accordingly.

* We ask people who want to visit us to think carefully about it, because every trip poses a risk of spreading the virus, even if you never have any symptoms. If you introduce the virus to us, we would feel under pressure to start a quarantine, which would make occupation life significantly harder.

* We cannot prevent anyone from coming, and still want this campaign to safeguard forests and limit detrimental construction to gather force. If you plan to come, please make sure to get in touch beforehand. In case we would currently consider the risk of infection to be relatively high within the occupation, it would feel important to us to able to let you know about that – and in that case we would find it irresponsible to welcome you here at this moment in time.

* We would prefer you to stay for a while rather than just a night – and if in doubt of a corona arisal until the end of our collective quarantine.

* In the event that you have not already done so, please read carefully about the disease, its effects, its incubation period, and what that might mean for you. Look at it this way: If you had the realistic risk of being infected with HIV, you would (hopefully) also take the preventative measures – and HIV is currently less dangerous for most people in Europe, than corona is for older and previously ill people.

* It is entirely possible to continue to be politically active and networked during this crisis in a responsible way that protecs the health and lives of others. But a precondition for that is to make yourself informed.

It is a problem that health systems around the world (and also in Germany) have suffered so many cuts for decades that most people working there permanently reach their performance limits even during normal operation. This is also a reason that an illness, which in most cases could be treated well, means such drastic measures for entire societies.

It is a problem that fear of illness monopolizes all social attention. What is going on with the topics that interested us before corona? For example, does anyone still care how refugees are at the EU’s external borders? Because of quarantine regulations, humanitarian supporters are prevented from arriving and are effectively prevented from doing their vital work. This makes the already catastrophic conditions on site even more unbearable, and even more invisible to the European public – which as it seems is only concerned about itself.

It is creepy how blatantly freedom rights are curtailed worldwide and that most people just nod and say thank you. Everything happens for a reason, but it remains eerie. These freedoms have been fought for for centuries with a lot of sweat and blood. And it is far from certain that after the acute crisis has ended we will get back the same relative freedom that we previously enjoyed.

In summary, the corona crisis is political, from front to back. And it is precisely in such a crisis that we have to remain alert and active as resistance and protest movements. It’s difficult, but that’s why it’s all the more important. When no one is looking, the powerful around the world like to pass the ugliest laws, and if they do, we should be ready to call them out and act.

Nevertheless, many of us have an urgent wish that some facts are consensus in the occupation: that this crisis is real, that this disease kills en masse, that our behavior can have something to do with the survival of others, and that all of this has a lot to do with ageist, ableist, racist and other privileges.

We hope you get through the crisis well. Keep your spirits high, keep on fighting and stay healthy.

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Skillsharing camp Dannenröder Forest

We are aware of the risk of spreading the Covid-19 pandemic at large assemblies of people. We can’t look into the future, that’s why the skillshare will take place until further notice.. When the date gets closer, we will keep you up to date in case of any changes.

Overview page for skillshare

Hello everybody,

From May 4th until 11th there will be the first “Wald statt Asphalt” Skillshare Camp in Dannenröder Forest!

A new section of the A49 motorway will run through the forest. Therefore many, partly very old leaves and conifers, which are still full of life at the moment, will give way to the cold asphalt. The planned so-called “compensation measures” clearly do not fulfil their purpose and definitely do not compensate for the loss of several hectares of a centuries-old mixed forest. Furthermore, a new motorway will not, as advocates hope, bring traffic relief to the affected villages and will only serve the capitalist interests of companies based in the nearby urban village such as “Ferrero” or “Fritz Winter”.

The forest has been occupied since the end of September 2019 in order to stop its destruction by the expansion of the A49 and to bring about a traffic which doesnt destroy the climate: freee public traffic on trains, bicycle and walking. By occupying the trees, the clearing work in this forest has effectively been stopped and suspended for at least one year. The activists will not tolerate inactively that living trees are killed in the Dannenröder forest for a failed traffic policy. As long as the occupation exists and beings are fighting there, there will be no highway in the Dannenröder Forest!

There are different ways to be part of the skillshare, e.g. participating in workshops, offering them yourself or just getting to know other great beings.

Come to Dannenrod forest, get to know the occupation, visit and organize workshops, lectures and concerts, we don’t want to maintain any knowledge hierarchies and pass on our skills to others. You are welcome to come along, join in, build barricades and live utopias, whether for a day, a week or forever. From juggling to building barricades, from lock picking to spoon carving, from clowning to shop lifting, from photography to lock-on, from action climbing to digital self-defense. The possibilities are numerous. We are happy about all workshop suggestions. The same goes for music.

To help us plan better, we are happy about event announcements, but you can also offer something spontaneously.

The Skillshare-Camp takes place directly in and around the forest and since the
sleeping place capacities are limited, please bring your own
Sleeping equipment with (tent, hammock, sleeping bag, …). If you don’t have sleeping stuff,
we’ll find another solution, don’t worry. Of course there is also
food – vegan and, if possible, saved food. Whether you have money or not is definitely not important. But we are happy about every support by material donations or money in order to realize the skillshare.

If you have any questions or would like to contribute a program item or would like to know more about the occupation, please send us an email to waldstattasphalt [at] riseup [dot] net (PGP). For frequently asked questions enter FAQ. Current information is available on mastodon https://todon.nl/@keinea49 and Nitter https://nitter.com/keinea49.

We are looking forward to seeing you!

See you soon in the forest,

’till danni 🙂

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Green hearts and bourgeois politics; or, the question of whether Tarek Al-Wazir needs a heart transplantation

On the 12th of October an article was published in the newspaper Taz about the Dannenröder Wald. Apart from informing the reader about the fact that treehouses have been constructed in the forest, the article mentions an invitation by the Homberg local Greens to their superior Tarek Al-Wazir, Hessen’s minister of mobility endowed with the decision-making power over the A49-question, to take part in a demonstration against the motorway construction. Al-Wazir declined, ‘referring to his green heart that is connected to the forest, but above all to the coalition agreement between CDU and the Greens, in which the continuation of the construction of the A49 is stipulated.’

In the following text we want to briefly return to and comment upon the article published in the Taz, more specifically the above-cited statement about Al-Wazir’s ‘green heart’. The occasion that prompts us to commit a blog entry to some minister’s vital organs is the following. Continue reading

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Is A-49 good for the economy? What is the economy by the way?

One of the biggest arguments, if not the only one, for sustaining the idea of the construction of a new highway in Hessen is that it is good for the „economy“, that it will bring working places to the region,…

It might be true that logistic centers will bring employment, that corporations will settle here using the area to expand their profits, that short term goals in that direction might be achieved and it might seem that „wealth“ is coming to this land in form of consumption capacity. It might seem strange if you have never thought it through, but all those things are the ones I oppose and fight against. We can talk about the danger to the forests, the farmlands and the water protected areas, but we should not miss the fact that that‘s just the surface of bigger and deeper problems that affect us all. Continue reading

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An insight glimpse

I like being here. I would like that being here wouldn’t be necessary. But sadly it is. Here, or anywhere else, we can all change for better, we can act for better. But here I am, and I am enjoying it. So i want to share a little of it with you, some little details that make it even better. Like…

The walks throught the forest with nice conversations, picking up mushrooms or just listening to the forest, alone or in company.

Nights by the fire with the guitar. Loud singing, or silent listening. Continue reading

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