Motorway through a forest? No way

The logging season has just started in Germany and forests are under siege. The largest is the Dannenroder forest. In two nearby forests, the Herren forest and the Maulbacher forest, people in treehouses have already been evicted, their houses destroyed and trees have been cut with a brutality that can barely be described. The chainsaws come nearer to the Danni day by day.

For the further construction of the A49, planned in the 1970s, about 85 hectares of forest north of Frankfurt are to be cleared. © Bernd Lauter / Greenpeace

The Danni is becoming a symbol for what is being destroyed by insisting on expanding an old, obsolete transport system that is driving us full speed ahead into the climate crisis. Building more freeways is a double whammy. It means destroying forests and other natural areas that actually help us fight global heating and making space for more cars which adds to greenhouse gas and other pollution. We need a new vision for transport, one that cares for the environment and is accessible for all.

Cutting through a forest for a new highway in times of climate crisis and mass extinction, building it through a forest home to trees that are over 200 years old and many endangered species – not to mention on top of an essential water reserve for the region – is enraging and reveals the hypocrisy of the German government’s green pledges.

Hundreds of people are peacefully demonstrating for the preservation of the Dannenroeder forest. © Bernd Lauter / Greenpeace

For years people have been fighting against this project.

They fought legal battles, started petitions and lobbied politicians, but the government still wants to go ahead. Business as usual on a highway to climate hell and ecological destruction.

The particularly controversial Dannenroeder forest is an intact mixed forest with some buildings over 200 years old and rare animals. © Bernd Lauter / Greenpeace

But, “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”

People rose up and started to build tree houses in the forest in the pathway of the planned highway. From a handful of activists with a small number of tree houses, the occupation has quickly grown, and entire tree house villages were built into the forest.

Demonstration at Dannenroeder Forest, © Bernd Lauter / Greenpeace
The Dannenroder forest area is located in a drinking water area that supplies about 500,000 people. It’s time to care for each other and our planet, not raze the forests that sustain us. © Bernd Lauter / Greenpeace

This is not only resistance to protect a singular forest or stop one highway. These forest protectors also fight for climate justice and lived resistance against the system that destroys our lives.

Police have moved in and are taking action to make sure trees can be cut and the road built. But this won’t happen without a fight. Hundreds of people are mobilising to defend the forest.

Will you be one of them?


You can support from close and from far. Follow the news, keep an eye on what people in the forest need, spread the word on social media.

See you in the forest.

Original post on Greenpeace International website

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