Frankfurt: Police begin clearing Fechenheimer Wald |

The police have started their operation in the Fechenheimer forest. Trees are to be felled there for the expansion of the A66. The adjacent highway was closed and the activists in the tree houses were asked to leave the area.

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Fechenheimer forest is cleared

Construction workers with safety vests clear the forest.

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“You are staying illegally in a clearing area,” it echoed early Wednesday morning from a police loudspeaker through the Fechenheim forest in the east of Frankfurt. “Your life is in danger,” the officials shouted at the opponents of the planned motorway expansion: “You now have the last opportunity to leave the site voluntarily.”

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Live ticker for the police operation in the Fechenheim forest

In our ticker we keep you up to date on the current events in the Fechenheim Forest in the east of Frankfurt.

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Several activists have been staying in tree houses in the forest that is to be cleared for the expansion of the A66 for months. The police assume a low double-digit number of activists, as a spokeswoman said. According to their own statements, the police are on site with a large number of emergency services from all Hessian headquarters and the federal police.

Because of the operation, a section of the A66 between Maintal-Dörnigheim and Frankfurt-Bergen-Enkheim was closed in the morning, as was Borsigallee in the direction of Hessen-Center – but subways and buses are running.

Graphic on the clearing of the Fechenheimer forest

The aim of the operation is clear: the opponents of the expansion should leave the forest so that the federal Autobahn GmbH can cut down the trees and create two construction roads on the area. Parallel to the operation, clearing has already begun on the edges of the site.

Police rely on communication

The police said that everyone who was still there had been approached. They would also be given the opportunity to leave the forest voluntarily on several occasions. If the expansion opponents refused to go, they would be taken out of the forest by emergency services. The safety of everyone is the top priority during the entire course of the operation, the police emphasized: “The police claim is that nobody is injured during the operation – no opponents of expansion, no police officer, no uninvolved citizens.”

Environmental activists reiterated their resistance at the start of the police operation in the Fechenheim forest. “You will bite your teeth on this eviction,” they said in the morning. They want to keep the forest occupied for as long as possible. To do this, they erected tree houses in the oaks and beeches, some at a height of 25 meters, and stretched ropes. According to the police, special high-altitude forces were on site to get the activists out of the tree houses if necessary.

Efforts by environmentalists to get the eviction postponed through the courts had previously failed. On Tuesday, the Administrative Court (VGH) in Kassel rejected an urgent application from Naturefriends Germany, in which a postponement of the planned clearing work was demanded. The objection of a forest squatter had already been rejected by the Frankfurt Administrative Court (VG) on Monday.


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