Despite the pouring rain, thousands of people came to the edge of the Rhenish opencast mine to demonstrate against the demolition of the village of Lützerath – including Greta Thunberg. Apparently it wasn’t very peaceful.
In Lützeraths Neighboring Keyenberg started a rally on Saturday under the motto “Prevent eviction! For climate justice”. The police spoke of several thousand participants – despite the pouring rain. Aachen police chief Dirk Weinspach said the demonstration would become a challenge for the emergency services. He warned against attempts to break into Lützerath, which has since been cordoned off, or the Garzweiler II opencast mine. Interview: Miners in Lützerath 11.00
Police use water cannons against demonstrators
In the afternoon, the police violently pushed back climate demonstrators who were trying to get to the edge of the opencast lignite mine. A police spokesman confirmed this. He cannot yet say anything about injuries or arrests because the operation is ongoing. Walking to the edge of the mine is life-threatening because the ground has softened due to constant rain and there is a risk of landslides.
The police spokesman said violent protesters also attacked police patrol cars and threw pyrotechnics at officers. The police then used water cannons against the demonstrators shortly before the sealed-off village. A dpa reporter observed this on Saturday. Hundreds of demonstrators faced the police in front of Lützerath. From their ranks the call “Off to Lützerath! Off to Lützerath!” The climate demonstrators had previously been asked by a speaker on the podium at a rally with thousands of participants to advance to Lützerath.
Greta Thunberg: “It really looks like Mordor”
Also the world-renowned Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg took part in the demonstration. The 20-year-old not only shot at the RWE energy company responsible for the demolition, but also criticized the Greens. Thunberg said she knew Lützerath from a previous visit, but it was completely different then. “It’s a very different place now.” She said of the crater landscape of the immediately adjacent Rhenish lignite mining area: “It really looks like Mordor. It shows what people are capable of under the wrong conditions. It shows what we are fighting against, what we want to prevent.” In JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings novel, Mordor is the evil realm.
Thunberg had already visited Lützerath on Friday and denounced “police violence”. Police President Weinspach had vehemently rejected the criticism. the police on the contrary, proceeded with extreme caution, he said. FAQ Lützerath 14.50
Police have been clearing Lützerath, which is occupied by activists, since Wednesday
The police have been clearing Lützerath, which is occupied by climate activists, since Wednesday to give RWE the opportunity to demolish it and excavate the coal underneath. Leading Green politicians such as Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck and his NRW colleague Mona Neubaur are behind this decision. They say the coal is needed to maintain energy security. the demolition von Lützerath is part of a compromise that, on the other hand, provides for an eight-year early phase-out of coal.