[vertaling volgt nog] On September 23, 2019, 500 activists in Brunsbüttel, Northern Germany, have blocked the production site of YARA, the world’s largest producer of nitrogen fertilizers. In groups of several hundred people, they occupy the entrance gates. The activists from the climate justice movement thus draw attention to the harmful consequences on the climate by the production of synthetic fertilizers.
Because most are still the action and the rest very tired, we go today for the easy option and mainly copy the general press release of Free the Soi. Press release from Free the Soil:
“The international network Free the Soil has called for the blockade. The network wants to show the role of the agricultural industry in the worsening climate crisis. “For too long the agricultural industry has gone under the radar”, says Laila Larsen from climate and agricultural justice camp near the blockade. About 50% of greenhouse gas emissions are related to food production. The production of nitrogen fertilizers is highly energy-intensive and is based on the use of fossil natural gas, which is largely produced by fracking. Linda Kauert, who is part of the Free the Soil network adds: “Food production must finally end up in the hands of the people who consume it. Agricultural corporations such as YARA make small farmers dependent on their products and damage the climate”. The activists announce that they want to maintain the blockade indefinitely.”
The activists left the camp this morning at 10, in two main groups, or “fingers”. About 20 people from the Netherlands took part in the purple finger, together with friends from Belgium, France, Denmark, Sweden… and a Rythms of Resistance group counting members from several samba collectives across Europe.
Shiny bandanas, colourful wigs and outfits, purple and turquoise nails, songs and drumming; the Free the Soil crowd looks playful. A blockade can be boring, so you’d better prepare to have fun in the process! And so far, they are doing great.
Early in the night an affinity group tried to hang a banner in Yara’s harbour. This was supposed to be visible from the large bridge over the canal and aiming to make the action more visible for the locals. Unfortunately the police was able to prevent this action from taking place and 12 people got arrested for a short time.
Activists went well prepared: they already set up tarps to protect themselves from the rain, and they are getting ready to spend the night on site. According to a journalist, the police is not planning to evict them. To follow the blockade, please check the Free the Soil ticker.
Around seven in the evening, 20 people blockaded the third entrance in addition to the two other gates, effectively stopping all road traffic in and out of the Yara plant. Unfortunately this didn’t take long and before nine police started to drag those people out again.
Not all tasks are that visible and exciting. It is also possible that you are somewhere in the countryside hiding in the bushes to check police movements, resulting in plenty of time for some arty moments.
Regular picture and video updates are also posted on Free the Soil Twitter account .