We are grateful and overwhelmed by the enormous support we are receiving for the occupation of the Sterrebos. Not only from the immediate area, but from all over the country and even beyond we are getting messages of support, donations (money, food, supplies) and solidarity actions are being set up. This is really heartwarming when you are hanging in the trees on a cold day!
The broad support we are getting overwhelmingly shows that the Sterrebos stands for so much more. It is not just about the trees here, it is about the fact that everywhere, and structurally, nature is sacrificed for economic growth. Every two seconds, a piece of nature the size of a football pitch disappears worldwide. Policies to combat the climate and biodiversity crisis are a joke. It has been known for decades that we are irreversibly destroying our environment, and governments are doing nothing to stop it.
The Sterrebos stands for what people see happening everywhere in their own environment. Trees always draw the short straw. Fake solutions about ‘compensation’ are applied everywhere to justify the destruction of nature. Fantastic greenwashing stories cover everything under a green cloak. Nature has to give way to ‘economic development’. Its intrinsic, cultural, ecological and recreational value do not count. The irreplaceable Sterrebos, a national monument and ancient forest habitat, is in danger of disappearing for a factory.
It seems that nature conservation and livelihoods cannot go hand in hand, and this week workers and environmental activists seemed to be on opposite sides. The forest is the enemy, the “tree-huggers” threaten employment. A typical example of how capitalists set up groups with less power and money against each other. While it is precisely the big companies that constantly keep people in limbo and look for the cheapest workers, all for the sake of profits and shareholders.
The Sterrebos is not large or well-known, but it is very valuable and characteristic of the beautiful Limburg nature. The preservation of the Sterrebos is part of a larger struggle. People everywhere are worried. About the climate, about the impoverishment of the environment, the daily news that nature is doing extremely badly. Let’s use the energy to protect the beautiful Sterrebos to promote real, structural change to a new normal in which forests are protected, large companies are not given carte blanche to do as they please and serious work is done on nature conservation and restoration. Enough is enough, there are limits to growth!