“Tesla No Thank You!” Demonstration | Greetings from the Arneo Forest

We had the opportunity to share a statement by fellow activists “Guardians of the Arneo Forest” at the demonstration against the Tesla expansion on March 10, 2024, in Grünheide, who are fighting for environmental protection, against profit interests, and for the preservation of existing forests in Apulia.

“Dear friends,
we support you in your fight against the Tesla expansion because we are fighting a very similar battle. We are trying to save one of the last centuries-old forests in southern Italy, which is threatened by the interests of the car company Porsche. Porsche has owned the Nardò test track in Apulia since 2012.

We live in an area where water scarcity has always prevailed, where millions of olive trees have been lost in recent years due to infestation by a bacterium that kills them, in a region that, like the rest of the earth, suffers from climate change and is now seriously threatened by desertification. Why exacerbate this absolutely avoidable destruction?

Our forest, what remains of it, is not so small: It covers about 500 hectares of green space on the grounds of the Porsche test center and has been a protected area of the European Natura 2000 network since 1995. It is a forest that now lives autonomously: It does not need water, produces oxygen, absorbs CO2, provides habitat for animals, and is home to over 400 different plant species. Thanks to European regulations, Porsche was obliged to keep the forest area intact. But now Porsche wants to clear more than half of the forest to make room for new test tracks and buildings. However, the European regulations have remained the same. Why does Porsche now feel free to commit such environmental destruction? How can it be that such a significant and globally well-known company does not consider the protection of nature in its corporate policy and development projects, which is more essential than ever for the survival of the human species on the planet? This is unacceptable!

Porsche stubbornly refuses to listen to the residents who have been urging for months not to touch the forest and the animals living in it. As environmentalists, activists, and citizens of our common home, the Earth, we expect an answer. Our and your right to life must not be questioned by private interests!

We therefore thank you for the opportunity to carry our voice to Grünheide and join your choir, and we hope that reason will prevail and Porsche and Tesla will rethink these abominable plans. We will do everything to save this forest, which is the historical memory of our territory and still symbolizes an ancient relationship between humans and nature. We have been fighting for it for months and have no intention of stopping.

In June, we will be at the Porsche annual general meeting in Stuttgart to give a voice to the trees, plants, and animals that have no voice and no right to speak in today’s world. Porsche demonstrates its entire capitalist arrogance. The company disregards fundamental obligations to participation. It tries to deceive people into believing that one habitat can be destroyed and another created as a replacement. It deceives people with compensatory measures of dubious public value.

We do not need fictitious reforestation, we have and want the Arneo Forest!
We say to Porsche: Stop, to the EU: Stop them, and to all of us: Let us stop them!”