Review of the Water Forest Justice Days

We are at a critical point in the fight against the expansion of the Tesla car factory in Grünheide. Despite a clear rejection by 62.1% of the population, the local council voted for the development plan on Thursday, May 16th. This decision not only ignores the democratic vote, but also endangers our drinking water.

But our resistance is growing! Our protest has gained strength in recent weeks and the Water Forest Justice Camp and the days of action from May 8th to 12th were an impressive example of our solidarity and determination. Over 1,500 people gathered at the protest camp in Grünheide to fight together against the planned expansion of the Tesla factory.

The camp offered a colorful variety of exchanges and program items that reflected the broad spectrum of our resistance. Every day there were workshops, lectures and discussions on the topics of water, traffic & (car) mobility, work and organizing, extractivism, activist practice and utopias as well as film screenings and lots of skill shares! From a panel discussion about the development of resistance to the Tesla expansion, to utopias about ecological-social conversion and mobility for all as social infrastructure, to internationalist perspectives from countries in the global south – there was something for everyone!

A highlight for us was, among other things, the discussions over coffee and cake with the local population from Grünheide. These encounters created a valuable platform for exchange between activists and residents, where concerns, hopes and common goals could be discussed.

On Friday, May 10th, Disrupt Tesla activists expressed their resistance to the expansion with civil disobedience in several locations around the Tesla Gigafactory Grünheide. The alliance shows solidarity with the Disrupt activists. We understand that people resort to civil disobedience to demand their human right to clean drinking water. According to the city council’s decision of May 16th. this applies more than ever. However, we regret that there have been restrictions on rail and road transport for the local population. The police closed the tracks at their own discretion, although there were no people on the track bed at any time.

On Saturday, May 11th, the climax of the camp days took place with a large demonstration in which 2,000 people gathered in front of the Tesla factory. With colorful posters, numerous speeches and the clear message “Water. Forest. Justice. For a transport transition beyond Tesla, we have called on the local municipal council to stop the planned expansion and thus follow the democratic vote of local citizens.

That the municipal council on Thursday, May 16th. voted for enlargement with eleven votes (six against, two abstentions) against the will of the majority is a scandal! The local council has thus ignored the democratic vote and is further encouraging disenchantment with politics.

But our protest continues! Despite the local council’s decision to approve the development plan, our resistance remains unbroken. We will continue to fight Tesla’s environmental destruction in diverse and creative ways. Let us fight together to protect our water and respect democratic processes, in Brandenburg, Berlin and worldwide.

Politicians want to continue to put Tesla’s profits above drinking water protection? Our protest will now become even stronger, we will continue: for people, democracy and water!