For almost 30 years local protestors in Schinveld have fought against NATO, first to stop the reopening of the base, then to reduce the nuisance caused by the outdated AWACS radar planes, and, since the eviction of the action camp and the logging in 2006, radicalised by GroenFront!'s forest camp, to close down the base.
When NATO wanted 20 hectares of the forest cut and it looked as if the local council would be overruled by the ministries of defence (owner of the forest) and infrastructure, they contacted GroenFront! and started a campaign where Schinveld was highlighted in the New York Times.
GroenFront! and the local community protest group Stop Awacs started a series of smaller actions. After thethe spring of 2005, the number of actions increased when the minister of infrastructure gave out a logging permit on August 3rd 2005, after a Nimby-legislation procedure (not in my back yard).
The local council and Stop Awacs tried to stop the logging until the final ruling (the one that came today) would have been made, but the court decided against that on the 2nd of December 2005. On Sunday December 4th 2005, GroenFront! occupied the forest and started an intensive international campaign.
The camp was evicted on January 9th 2006, the afternoon before about 2000 locals walked their demo in support of the activist into the forest, in spite of a restriction order, and cheered at the international group of more than 100 activist occupying the trees at that moment. Before the police could start evicting the trees, they had to remove several hundred locals who stayed in the woods after the demonstration, trying to avoid police blockades and committing other forms of civil disobedience as the mayor used emergency legislation against his own people.