These arrests are the latest development in the ongoing campaign of repression against the occupants of the protest site. In February one person was arrested for skipping food and was held for 15 days in a high-security prison after refusing to identify himself in court. After the judge in Gent ordered his release, the Lappersfort lawyer is expecting the judge in Brugge to flex his little muscles and try to make an example of the two people in prison.
Other ‘offences’ occupants have been arrested for in the last five months include: Taking scrap wood from a bin, carrying wood chips in wheelbarrows in the street, handing out flyers at a market in the city centre and putting up posters on a legal postering spot.
The Lappersfort occupants see this as an ongoing campaign of repression to try to force them out of the woods and discover as many of their identities as possible. It is also seen as a criminalization of environmental activism, skipping and generally increasing the power of the police state. THIS IS NO LONGER A FIGHT ONLY FOR THE FOREST, BUT ALSO FOR PERSONAL FREEDOM, SELFDETERMINATION AND THE RIGHT TO RECYCLE.
Lappersfort forest has been occupied since September 2008 to prevent it from being cut down to build warehouses, office buildings and a car park. The owner of the land, FABRICOM GTI, entity of energy-giant GDF SUEZ, has until now offered little contact to the occupiers except to say that they insist on going ahead with their destructive project.
The site is under constant eviction threat. People who want to come and live with us to defend the forest are welcome, and visitors too!
Directions from Brugge Train Station: Exit at the back – where all the construction is going on – turn left and follow the road for a while until the roundabout, turn left under the railway bridge. You’ll see the forest soon on your right!
0032 (0) 471 658 544
(For information in dutch - not yet translated nor updated - www.lappersfort.tk)