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.
That's why "Ende Gelände" is "the place to be" right now.
This threat, however, is present even when just protesting against coal mining - and "Ende Gelände" is no exception.

The safety and physical integrity of all have absolute priority at "Ende Gelände". Please mind, we are a large group of people, who differ in all sorts of aspects: we are a mix of young and old; experienced and first-time activists; some of us are more physically able than others or have health issues. We want to start off together, and then enjoy an array of good, colourful and lively protests.
To this purpose, we have jointly been working out our non-escalative consensus over months and will be preparing ourselves in training sessions. Within this consensus, there are different levels of participation, all of which are important and good.
We will be taking good care of both ourselves and our affinitygroups (the smaller group of somewhere betwen 4-8 people you choose to buddy with as part of the wider collective action), making responsible decisions within our spokescouncil meetings (where a representative from each affinity group gathers).
The slowest ones among us will set the pace, so we will be strong and colourful in making an irresistibly different stand against the destruction characterised mainly by capitalistic white men.

Please inform yourselves by reading this flyer; attending plenaries at the camp; and using the first-aid-number, so that:
You can take good care of yourselves and your affinity group, endangering neither yourselves nor others.ou know, what structures are available to help you and what sort of help cannot be provided.
All this information will be carefully considered in the decision-making of the groups and the spokescouncil meetings.
There will be well-founded recommendations, but you yourselves will be responsible for your own decisions.
Here is a summary of a few important points:


All edges and terraces of the mine are dangerous

Stay clear off any edges so as not to slip down!
Land and sandslides - especially on edges and terraces - are a real safety threat that must not be underestimated.
Stay away from all edges, walk with your affinity group as part of the wider actions group (which will be described as a “finger”. This is a particular actions tactic, where a mass action involving lots of people are broken down into smaller segments. For example if 1000 people participate in the action, it might be broken down into 5 fingers of 200 people. You can learn more about at the camp) Familiarise yourselves with all relevant information.
Wear sturdy shoes, so as not to twist your ankles. Only walk on pathways you are confident you can manage.
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. 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. Also, this dust is constantly blowing over the greater area of Cologne-Düsseldorf-Aachen, posing a big health issue to the public.
However, a single, time-limited 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 to you.
Please note though:

4. Higher-risk groups and pre-existing conditions

People su

  • 1. Die Kanten des Tagebaus und alle Stufen sind gefährlich.
  • 2. Alle arbeitenden Maschinen (Bagger, Förderbänder, LKWs) sind gefährlich
  • 3. Der Feinstaub ist im Tagebau das vermutlich wichtigste Risiko
  • 4. Risikogruppen, Vorerkrankungen
  • 5. Sonne, Hitze und Kreislaufprobleme
  • 6. Dauer und Ort der Blockade
  • 7. Essen, Trinken
  • 8. Kinder
  • 9. Der Aktionskonsens: Wir gefährden keine Menschen, zerstören keine Infrastruktur
  • 10. Erste Hilfe/Sanis und „Out of Action“: Was geht und was nicht?
  • ffering from asthma, chronic lung disease or cardiovascular disease are clearly advised against entering the pit. The same goes for people who are weakened due to 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.
    Whoever needs regular medication, needs to bring it along in sufficient quantities!

    5. Sun, heat and circulatory issues

    In case of strong sun during the action, there will be a great risk of heat and dehydration (for example due to perspiration) possibly causing dizziness, a collapse of the circulatory system, heat stroke or bad sunburn.
    Therefore, especially when it's hot, please make sure to always drink enough (i.e. a lot more than usually).
    Do not go down into the pit, in case you are suffering from some gastrointestinal disease (vomiting, diarrhoea) or circulatory issues!
    Make sure to use sun protection such as scarves, caps and high-factor sun block. Try and avoid using fatty sun block, in case the police uses teargas (in combination with fat, this toxin will penetrate your skin even quicker). If you don't have any fat-free one, it's best to apply it only once the blockade is in place.
    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.

    6. Place and duration of the blockade

    The stress the action can cause for many participants is not to be underestimated, not even in case of healthy people.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. Also the place of the blockade has a great influence on many health and safety relevant factors (wind direction, geological strata (layers of land), groundwater issues deep down in the pit, surrounding temperatures).
    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!

    7. Food and drink

    In case of (improper) transport and storage, food and beverages may get contaminated with dust and toxic substances.
    Wrap/close everything well and do not dilly-dally when eating or drinking. Make sure to eat and drink sufficiently and regularly.

    8. Children

    For children under the age of 16, the pit is not an appropriate place to be. The responsibility lies with their parents/ custodians. 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. The action consensus: we do not endanger anybody, we do not destroy any infrastructure

    This jointly worked out action consensus is very important to us. It serves to enable all kinds of different people, including less experienced individuals, to take part in this action and realistically assess their personal risks. At the same time, it is to help convey the spirit of "Ende Gelände“ as an action that many have joined or expressed solidarity with by now.
    Please join the action and de-escalation trainings at the camp as well as the plenaries, which will be informing about the action!
    Organise yourselves in affinitygroups and support each other in avoiding escalations.

    10 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 any time any place.
    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 stressfull experiences ("Out of Action").
    Accompany people suffering from a crisis, guiding them as a group out of the action and into 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 spokescouncil meetings, make sure to consider the action support's recommendations carefully and responsibly. This goes in particular for the way into the pit 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: