Greta Thunberg speaks of “police violence” in Lützerath

DThe police wanted the hamlet cleared on Friday Lützerath largely complete at the edge of the Garzweiler II opencast mine. The day before, more than 300 activists had left the hamlet, which had been surrounded by a double fence since the start of the clearance on Wednesday, and the opencast mine operator RWE had largely torn down the protest camp made up of huts and tree houses. In the end, only a few dozen occupiers held out in Lützerath.

Two activists who had entrenched themselves in a self-dug tunnel under Lützerath caused particular difficulties. Due to the acute danger of collapse, the entrance to the tunnel was largely blocked off. The emergency services supplied the squatters with oxygen and tried to persuade them to give up by talking to them. Previously, two masked men who called themselves “Pinky” and “Brain” reported from the tunnel via YouTube message, demanding their rescue by salvage specialists and presenting their action as necessary to overcome capitalism.

Habeck: Lützerath marks the end

The Lützerath eviction has fueled a long-simmering conflict among the Greens. For months, the youth organization has been fighting against the NRW Economics Minister Mona Neubaur and the Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Green) negotiated agreement with RWE mobil. On Friday morning, more than 2,000 party members had already signed an open letter entitled “Do not betray basic green values: Lützerath must stay”, in which Neubaur and Habeck are asked to stop the eviction immediately.

In the magazine “Spiegel” Habeck once again pointed out that Lützerath was not a symbol for business as usual in opencast mining in the Rhenish mining area, but rather marked a “final line”. They prefer to phase out coal by eight years to 2030, whatever the goal of the climate movement was. In fact, the agreement – backed by a large majority in the Bundestag – provides for a significant reduction in the size of the opencast mine.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the North Rhine-Westphalian state association made a left-wing group responsible for the occupation of their Düsseldorf party headquarters, which the Office for the Protection of the Constitution classifies and monitors as extremist. Activists of the “Interventionalist Left” (IL) harassed party employees during the occupation, which lasted well into the night. Offers to talk were turned down. According to the findings of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the IL also influences the “Ende Gelände” action alliance, in which the Greens member of the Bundestag, Kathrin Henneberger, was an active spokesperson until 2020.

For Saturday, Fridays for Future has called for a large rally within sight of Lützerath, in which founder Greta Thunberg from Sweden also wants to take part. The demonstration can take place with restrictions after a court decision. This was decided by the Aachen administrative court and communicated on Friday.

“It’s outrageous how the police violence is,” said Thunberg, 20 years old, on Friday in Lützerath. What is happening in Lützerath is “shocking,” said Thunberg. Unfortunately, similar things are happening all over the world. “It’s appalling to see what’s happening here.” Many people have been trying to prevent this for years.

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