Lützerath: Eviction can no longer be legally stopped – politics

Lützerath: Eviction can no longer be legally stopped – politics

The evacuation of the coal village Lützerath in North Rhine-Westphalia is legally unstoppable. The Higher Administrative Court of Münster dismissed a complaint from climate activists on Monday evening. The court said that the urgent decision of the lower court was not objectionable (Az.: 5 B 14/23). The decision is no longer contestable.

The Administrative Court of Aachen decided last weekthat the responsible district of Heinsberg acted “probably lawfully” when it issued a ban on staying in Lützerath. Entering Lützerath cannot be justified by invoking civil disobedience as a result of a climate emergency. The Higher Administrative Court of Münster has now agreed with this view. “The state’s monopoly on the use of force as a cornerstone of modern statehood is fundamentally inaccessible to relativization through any form of civil disobedience,” the judges said.

The general decree issued by the district of Heinsberg before Christmas prohibits people from staying in Lützerath from December 23, 2022 to February 13, 2023. If this eviction is not followed, the police have a legal basis to clear the village from January 10th. Observers expect the village to be evacuated this week.

The energy company RWE wants to demolish Lützerath in order to mine the coal underneath. Climate activists who have squatted houses want to prevent this. The fact that Lützerath has to give way is part of a compromise between the black-green state government of North Rhine-Westphalia and RWE. It states that the phase-out of coal in the Rhenish mining area will be brought forward by eight years to 2030. Five villages that should have been excavated for the Garzweiler II opencast lignite mine have been preserved. However, Lützerath does not fall under this regulation.

Activists of the Fridays for Future movement criticized the Greens in particular for this compromise. Luisa Neubauer, the spokeswoman for Fridays-for-Future in Germany, who is a member of the Greens herself, spoke of a deliberate violation of the Paris climate goals, which aim to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above the long-term average temperature. The climate activists believe that the fact that coal is experiencing a renaissance in Germany as a result of the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis is a betrayal of the goals of their movement. Also in the Green Party it rumbles in the face of the painful compromises.

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