Large demonstration planned in Lützerath – clearance work continues

Evacuation of Lützerath

The demonstration against the eviction of the hamlet of Lützerath for lignite mining has begun.

(Photo: dpa)

erkelenz According to the police, numerous participants arrived in the morning for a large demonstration on Saturday against the eviction and demolition of the lignite town of Lützerath. A police spokesman spoke of a “brisk influx”. The police are expecting 8,000 participants at the demo in Keyenberg, a neighboring town of Lützerath in the Rhenish Revier.

The Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has also announced herself. The motto of the demonstration is “Prevent eviction! For climate justice”.

Thunberg has criticized the German Greens for their support for the demolition of Lützerath and digging up the coal lying beneath the village. Corporations like RWE should actually be held accountable for how they treat people. “The fact that the Greens make compromises with such companies shows where their priorities lie,” said the Swedish climate activist on Saturday in an interview with the German Press Agency in Erkelenz. She herself was never associated with a green party.

Greta Thunberg near Lützerath

The climate activists Luisa Neubauer (l) and Greta Thunberg (2nd from left) take part in the demonstration by climate activists near Lützerath under the motto “Prevent eviction! For climate justice”.

(Photo: dpa)

Leading Green politicians such as Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck and his NRW colleague Mona Neubaur defend the demolition of Lützerath by saying that the coal underneath is needed to maintain energy security in the current crisis. Thunberg said: “The coal that’s in the ground here isn’t going to bring prices down immediately. Anyone who thinks that way simply has no connection to reality.”

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The 20-year-old came to Germany to support the protest against the eviction and demolition of Lützerath. “I’ve been here before and it was completely different then,” she said. “It’s very sad to see that. It’s a very different place now.”

She said of the crater landscape of the 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 are trying to prevent.” In Tolkien’s novel The Lord of the Rings, Mordor is the realm and the base of the evil Sauron.

Garzweiler opencast mine

Thunberg describes the progressive mining of the Garzweiler opencast mine as Mordor.

(Photo: IMAGO/Marc John)

Thunberg had already visited Lützerath on Friday and denounced “police violence”. Aachen police chief Dirk Weinspach had vehemently rejected the criticism. On the contrary, the police acted with extreme caution, he said. When asked if she maintained her criticism of the police, Thunberg told dpa: “Police violence means different things in different countries. But there have been several instances where police have endangered the lives of activists.”

According to the organizers, the program with bands and live acts begins at 11 a.m., the demo itself begins at 12 p.m. Participants are expected from 50 cities and 14 federal states, Fridays for Future had announced.

Eviction continued on Saturday morning

On Saturday morning, the police continued to clear the lignite town of Lützerath, which was occupied by activists. “The work continues,” said a police spokesman. Emergency services climbed trees on which people persevered, as a dpa reporter reported.

According to the energy company RWE, preparations are also underway to get activists out of a tunnel. According to the police, the operation at the tunnel has been handed over. A police spokesman said it was a “rescue” that was now in the hands of RWE and THW.

Evacuation of Lützerath

An excavator demolishes the house of the last farmer in Lützerath. The energy company RWE wants to excavate the coal lying under Lützerath – for this purpose the hamlet in the area of ​​the city of Erkelenz at the Garzweiler II opencast lignite mine is to be demolished.

(Photo: dpa)

“We assume that they are doing well,” said Bente Opitz from the “Lützerath Lives” initiative. The activists would have enough to eat and could stay in the tunnel for several days. According to “Lützerath is alive”, there are still several dozen activists in Lützerath, on roofs and in trees.

The police initially gave no information on the number of remaining activists. “We’re almost through above ground,” a spokesman said in the morning. There are still about 15 “structures” of the activists, including tree houses and shacks, it said.

More: Resistance in Lützerath – why this entrepreneur became an activist

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