Stop Coal. Protect the Climate!

  • 24th to 29th of August 2017Rhineland Open Pit mines
  • 3rd to 5th November 2017during the UN-Climate Conference

Perspectives-Meeting in early February 2018


Information about personal responsibilities and health risks for “Ende Gelände” 

Great that we are in this together! Coal is a massive threat to the health and lives of people, both globally and here locally. The safety and physical integrity of all have absolute priority at “Ende Gelände”. There will be recommendations based on our knowledge and experience, but you will be responsible for your own decisions.
Here is a summary of a few important points:


1. All edges and terraces of the mine are dangerous

The edges in the mine are very different from one another: some can be traversed easily, but others are very steep, sometimes you can’t get across them at all and there’s serious risk of injury. Landslides and sandslides are a very serious risk. The people leading the fingers (different groups penetrating the mine) will know about the area and know which edges we can cross. If you are moving around in small affinity groups, be careful. Wear sturdy shoes so as not to slip up. Only follow paths you’re sure about.
At night, the risk of slipping is even greater since safe pathways or access routes cannot be clearly identified!


2. Any machine in operation (digger, conveyor belt, truck) poses a danger

Together with hundreds of people, we want to block the diggers, but in making our way to them, we might encounter lorries, long conveyor belts and other machines.
Refrain from any actions on machines in operation, but organise yourselves in your affinity groups within the “fingers”.


3. Smoking is TABOO in the lignite mine, on the tracks and in the loading terminal!

This is true as well for all open fire. Coal Dust is highly inflammable and explosive. Similar to flour. A lot of mining incidents have happened because of this – though mostly in black coal mines, fewer in lignite mines.
Be solidary and don’t smoke. If you see someone with a cigarette or open fire, make sure, that stuff gets out of the danger zone. Or even better, doesn’t get into it in the first place.


4. In open-cast pit mining, the fine dust is probably the highest risk

Dust inhaled will irritate the respiratory system, containing traces of toxic substances and radioactivity. There are people working in open-cast pits for years, being exposed to this dust day-in and day-out.
However, this one-off direct action, should not cause any bigger problems for otherwise healthy people.
Either way, dust masks are a sensible thing to wear and will be available for you to borrow.


5. Higher-risk groups and pre-existing conditions

People suffering from asthma, chronic lung disease or cardiovascular disease are strongly advised against entering the pit. The same goes for people who are have gastrointestinal disease; immune deficiency; (past) cancer; or strong medication. These people have an important role to play in the protests and vigils near the pit edges.
Anyone who needs regular medication needs to bring it along in sufficient quantities!


6. Sun and heat

Make sure to use sun protection such as scarves, caps and high-factor sunscreen. We suggest you only apply fatty sunscreen once the blockade is in place, in case the police use tear gas.
Dust protection overalls can protect you from getting too dirty, in hot weather, though, they can also add to the risk of overheating – in that case, better take them off.


7. Place and duration of the blockade

This action can cause major stress for many participants, even if they are healthy. It is your responsibility, to define and agree for yourselves and your affinity groups how far you would like to go.
The longer the action, the higher the risk to your personal health. The place where the blockade happens is also important.
Your affinity group should go only where it is safe and okay to go for everyone in the group, and should stay only for as long as all of you feel comfortable.
Base your decisions on a consensus and watch that nobody asks too much of him-/herself!


8. Children

The mine and its associated infrastructure are not a suitable place for children under the age of 16 to be in or around. Parents/custodians are responsible for them. Also and especially when it comes to children: make sure not to impose any expectations on others that would ask too much of them!


9. First aiders and “Out of Action”: what is possible and what is not? Making responsible decisions
Experienced people have set up a first aid structure for “Ende Gelände” and the climate camp. Given the sheer size of the site though, these people cannot guarantee to be within reach or even just contactable anywhere at any time.
Therefore: take responsibility for yourselves, for medical aid to work in the best possible way.
Join the first aid courses at the camp.
Take first aid equipment with you in your affinity groups and fingers (e.g. the first-aid boxes from your cars). In case you need regular medication, bring it along in sufficient quantities.
At the camp, a first-aider phone number will be displayed, please note it down. In case of any health-related questions, you are welcome to phone the first aider number ahead of the action.
Another experienced group will offer a quiet room to withdraw yourselves from the action and talk after potentially stressful experiences (“Out of Action”).
Bring people in trouble out of the action in a group and lead them to the camp.
Take good care of yourselves and each other, be attentive and do only as much as you are confident you can manage!


When making decisions within your affinity groups and meetings of representatives, make sure to consider the action support’s recommendations carefully and responsibly.

This goes in particular for the way into the mine and for decisions as to where and for how long we will run the action.
You are responsible for your own decisions.

In case medical help is required urgently, call the usual emergency number for the rescue centre in charge: