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Here and no further (“Ende Gelände”) for lignite coal in Lusatia:

climate justice in action! 13. – 16. May 2016

In 2016, the farewell to coal continues: Vattenfall, owner of the coal field in Lusatia is trying to sell its German lignite coal branch. This is a unique chance to finally close down opencast pits and coal power stations and to show that it is possible to phase-out coal in a socially and ecologically responsible.

Yet, Vattenfall is only looking to sell: A new investor is supposed to carry on the centralistic, destructive energy system for decades to come. This deal would be the biggest investment in coal in the whole of Europe – meaning more resettlements, new power stations, pollution of drinking water and climate Lusatia is an example of how climate politics are run at the moment: Everyone pretends to want the end of fossil fuels, yet no-one actually works on keeping them in the ground. Climate summits declare the transition to renewables and still the same governments effectively donate hundreds of billions of subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

The German government talks about climate protection – and spills gold on old power stations of RWE and Vattenfall. And Great Britain makes a big declaration on the farewell to coal – just to invest in fracking and nuclear energy. “Green growth“ is supposed to somehow make the difference.

We say: That’s enough!’ Do not sell, but rather put an end to coal -“Ende Gelände!” If Vattenfall wants to close its business in Lusatia just to leave the dirty job to someone else, we will put our foot in the door. And we will step on the toes of the leaders in current climate politics. For we can neither wait for nor trust in politics.

We will be standing where the diggers have to stop. We demand: End coal now! And we know: That’s manual labour. Hundreds of us will shut down the coal mining in Lusatia in a mass action of civil disobedience. Anyone, whether experienced in activism or not, can take part in the action – together we will stop the diggers.

We have come to stay. Last year 1500 people entered the pit of a lignite coal mine in Rhineland. This year we are coming to Lusatia, where people have struggled against mining and resettlement for years. And we will send out yet another signal against the lignite coal madness! Even if our actions are not legal – they are by all means legitimate. As time is running out: If fossil fuels do not stay in the ground now, the catastrophic consequences for millions of people can hardly be avoided.

We are everywhere. The fight against lignite coal mining in German and Polish Lusatia is part of a global struggle. Around the world people are fighting against fossil fuelled capitalism. They are stopping coal power stations in India, pipelines in the US, coal ports in Australia, fracking in Brazil and oil drillings in Nigeria. While the global North is heating up the climate crisis, its countries can also still best adapt to it. In the global South, in contrast, climate change is destroying the livelihoods of millions of people. Many of them die on the borders of Europe. They fall victim to a racist border regime, aimed at keeping the consequences of climate change out. Fighting against the root causes of migration also starts in Lusatia. Climate justice now!

We want it all : the end of fossil fuelled capitalism! We are not just fighting against coal, against fracking and oil, but we fundamentally challenge the logic of profit and madness of growth. Based on these, wrong solutions such as market mechanisms, large-scale projects and the continued exploitation of the global South are being promoted. While a few energy corporations are thriving and pampered with subsidies, the same companies disconnect 350.000 households from power supply every year in Germany alone – pretending to their own employees that coal mining will continue forever. And yet, the staff is crucial for a just transition. We need a plan, as a society, how to organise and finance a social and ecological transformation – beyond the logic of capitalistic profit. We all carry the consequences of energy politics and so we all want to take part in decision making: We ask for a democratically organised energy supply!

We are the investment risk! Whoever buys the lignite in Lusatia will get our resistance as part of the package. The more we are and the bigger the protest, the less attractive the lignite, the cheaper the price and the less likely the deal. Nothing has been decided yet. Together we can stop the deal and make Vattenfall shut down the pit: The time for coal is over. So let’s enter the pit and increase the risk.

In May 2016 we say: Let’s get going! “Ende Gelände” in Lusatia!

Photo: Claudio Nogueira

The Role of Eucalyptus in Brazil comes under the Crosshairs of the International Anti-Transgenic Tree Network (June 2, 2023)

Impact of monoculture in territories was the subject of visits led by FASE in Espírito Santo


Note: FASE were co-organizers of the tour to the communities of Espírito Santo.

The article (included below in full) is written by Claudio Nogueira (FASE Communications Coordinator) and originally appeared June 2nd, 2023, on FASE’s website. It is available in both Portugese and English through Google Translate.


The pulp industry writes a sad story in Brazil. Its role in land occupation with eucalyptus monoculture imprints a perverse logic that suffocates traditional communities and goes far beyond false ideas of reforestation and environmental concern. This was the scenario encountered by members of the campaign “Stop GM Trees” (No to Transgenic Trees) and the Alert Against Green Deserts Network, in a tour organized by the FASE Espírito Santo team, visiting locations in the north of Espírito Santo and the extreme south in Bahia, between the 24th and 29th of May.

In all, around 25 people, including popular educators, quilombola and landless leaders, environmentalists and foreign researchers from Canada, the USA, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Ireland, Argentina and Chile were able to verify the impact of eucalyptus plantations on the way of life of family farmers and traditional communities in the region. For three days, the group got to know the experiences of agroecological practices in areas taken over by the Landless Workers Movement (MST) at the Egídio Brunetto Training School and at the Índio Galdino settlement, in addition to hearing reports of the difficulties faced by the quilombola communities of Volta Miúda and Angelim 2 with monoculture plantations. After the visits,

eucalyptus espirito santo

Photo: Claudio Nogueira

For Beto Loureiro, educator at FASE in Espírito Santo, the tour was important for the researchers to realize that the impacts are already terrible, and the transgenic trees are going to be one more aggression in the historical series that monoculture causes in the territories, “since the expulsion of traditional communities, passing through the depletion of water resources and the enormous amount of poisons that they apply now, even by air”. “They are spraying the monocultures by drone, and this poison is spreading, falling on the communities’ plantations, falling on their homes, on their schools. In short, a real chemical war, which takes place here in the green desert, ”he explains.

Transgenic trees, a new threat

Brazil was chosen to host the meeting due to the extension of activities in the paper industry and approval by the company Suzano, in 2021, for the planting of genetically modified eucalyptus trees to tolerate the herbicide glyphosate. This follows the previous approval, in 2015, of FuturaGene’s fast-growing transgenic eucalyptus tree, which was not planted commercially. The country is the only one in Latin America where field tests seem to be taking place today with genetically modified trees.

Genetic engineering directly changes the genetic makeup (DNA) of an organism, bypassing normal plant or animal reproduction to create new traits. Genetic engineering includes techniques that make changes to DNA by inserting genetic material from the same, similar or wholly unrelated organisms, or, with genome editing (also called gene editing), by introducing genetic material that acts as “editor” to change the DNA. Genetic engineering applied to trees is a technical challenge fraught with serious environmental and social risks.

Photo: Claudio Nogueira

Most research is focused on increasing the productivity of planted trees for various industrial purposes. These objectives include pulp, paper and wood production; as well as the use of trees as “bioenergy” crops – to produce biomass and liquid “cellulosic biofuel”. There is also some interest in genetically modifying trees to produce other industrial materials such as pharmaceuticals, using the trees as “biofactories”, as well as experiments to sell carbon credits and proposals to release these trees into the wild to “restor” endangered species. of extinction.

“It made us realize that it is another problem that we will have to deal with”, ponders Beto. “These transgenic eucalyptus trees grow very quickly. Therefore, they must also suck water very quickly, they are resistant to poisons. We can imagine that the burden of poisons in monocultures will increase, and that is what we expect from these researchers: that they return to their countries also understanding that non-transgenic eucalyptus is already a tragedy”, he concludes.

The foreign delegation continued its tour of Brazil with audiences at UnB and Esplanada dos Ministérios, in Brasília, and will continue to Mato Grosso do Sul, also to verify the role of eucalyptus plantations in the environmental imbalance in the state.