Luisa Neubauer criticizes evictions at night
In the lignite site occupied by climate activists Lützerath in the Rhenish Revier, the eviction by the police will continue this Thursday. Emergency services penetrated a farm, as reported by a dpa reporter. They sawed a hole in a gate. A large yellow banner hangs on the farmstead with the inscription “1.5°C means: Lützerath stays!”. Aachen’s police chief Dirk Weinspach said on Wednesday that the real challenge still lies ahead of the police – he was referring to the clearing of the seven buildings on the site.
In the ZDF “Morgenmagazin” Weinspach defended the actions of the police in the morning. The strategy has borne fruit, and communication has succeeded in persuading over 200 demonstrators to leave the site voluntarily. Some situations during the evacuation could be defuse by talking to each other. It is always good to rely on the word as the first resource. “We will continue to do so,” said Weinspach.
“What is that, what are you so afraid of?”
At the same time, the chief of police spoke of violence on the part of the activists on Wednesday, which was not decisive. “We had an outbreak of violence yesterday. Stones flew, Molotov cocktails flew.” Colleagues were shot at with pyrotechnics. However, these incidents were limited in time and location and have not been formative for the day and the mission so far. The violent scene is in the minority. The number of those who are willing to commit violent crimes is in the “lower double-digit range”.
The emergency services continued into the night against activists who want to prevent the coal from being excavated under the site. Police officers took a good ten activists with lifting platforms from a height of about ten meters from the roof of a former agricultural hall, as a dpa reporter observed. Other officers untied an activist tied up in a wrecked car. A police spokeswoman had previously said this work would be completed. In addition, nothing else was planned by the police during the night.
Fridays for Future activist Luisa Neubauer called the actions of the police “absolutely incomprehensible”. “Evictions at night in the dark. It’s dangerous, provocative, escalating. What is it, what are you so afraid of?” she asked on Twitter.
The settlement of Lützerath is to be demolished in order to be able to mine the coal deposits below. Climate activists want to prevent this.
Under predominantly peaceful protest, the police started eviction on Wednesday. Police officers took activists down from trees and platforms, using lifting platforms at various points. At the entrance to Lützerath there was demolition work with excavators, and one of the town signs of Lützerath was also removed.
The alliance “Lützerath cannot be cleared” has announced protest actions such as sit-ins in the area for Thursday. Fridays for Future wants to demonstrate nationwide on the second day of the eviction. This is what Luisa Neubauer wants to talk about at 10 a.m. in the Keyenberg district of Erkelenz, around four kilometers from Lützerath.
The police are in Lützerath with a large contingent on site. Before the start of the evacuation, massive resistance had already been expected. On the other hand, observers spoke of a relaxed atmosphere on the first day. At the start of the evacuation, scuffles broke out early on Wednesday morning. According to the police, a Molotov cocktail, stones and pyrotechnics were thrown in the direction of the officers. A spokeswoman for the “Lützerath is living” initiative accused the police of being too tough.
In the face of criticism from the climate movement of the Greens because of the eviction of Lützerath, the Federal Minister of Economics showed up Robert Habeck affected. “That also touches me or drives me, like everyone in my party,” said Habeck on Wednesday evening in ZDF’s “heute-journal”. “But still we have to explain what is right. And it was right – unfortunately – to ward off the gas shortage, to ward off an energy emergency in Germany, also with additional electricity generation from lignite – and to bring forward the phase-out of coal.”
Lützerath is not “the way to go of the energy policy of the past: electricity generation from lignite,” stressed Habeck. “It’s not, as is claimed, the eternal continuation, it’s the final line below it.” Unfortunately, the village of Lützerath could no longer be saved – “but it is the end of lignite-fired power generation in NRW”. “In this respect – with great respect for the climate movement – in my opinion the place is the wrong symbol.”
The economics ministries led by the Greens in the federal and state governments of North Rhine-Westphalia had agreed on a compromise with the energy company RWE, which included digging up the coal under Lützerath – but also an early coal phase-out in NRW by 2030.