Police continue Lützerath operation: Green headquarters in North Rhine-Westphalia occupied
Dhe party headquarters of the North Rhine-Westphalian Greens was the target of climate protectors for the second time this week. In protest against the Greens’ stance on clearing the village Lützerath around 30 activists from several climate protection organizations occupied the Düsseldorf office of the North Rhine-Westphalia Greens. A party spokesman confirmed this.
“We are calling for a moratorium to stop the senseless and dangerous clearance in the Rhenish lignite mining area,” said the “Bündnis Lützerath Unräumbar” in a statement. The squatters demanded, with NRW energy minister Mona Neubauer (Greens) to negotiate personally. On Tuesday, a Düsseldorf alliance had already unloaded 250 kilos of lignite briquettes in front of the state party headquarters of the Greens. This was intended to symbolically reproach the eco-party “that they are no longer the party of climate protectors, but the coal party”.
The co-leader of the Greens in the Bundestag, Katharina Dröge, defended the agreement on lignite mining in the West and thus also on the evacuation of Lützerath as necessary. 2023 is “a year that doesn’t start easily for us Greens,” said Dröge on the sidelines of a parliamentary group meeting on Thursday in Berlin. Federal Economics and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck (Green) again described the decision as a “good decision for climate protection”, which would save CO2 emissions.
In the face of criticism from the climate movement of the Greens because of the eviction of Lützerath Habeck previously shown 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 what was right – unfortunately – was 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 bottom line.” Unfortunately, the village of Lützerath could no longer be saved – “but it’s the end of the Lignite power generation in North Rhine-Westphalia”. “In this respect – with great respect for the climate movement – in my opinion the place is the wrong symbol.”
The federal and state economics ministries led by the Greens NRW had agreed a compromise with the energy company RWE, which includes the excavation of the coal under Lützerath – but also an early coal phase-out in NRW by 2030.
Police are clearing and checking evidence of tunnels
Meanwhile, the police continued to clear the lignite town of Lützerath, which was occupied by activists. A spokesman for the Aachen police said the evacuation was progressing step by step. In addition, the first demolition work and tree felling were planned. As soon as individual buildings are free, the energy company can RWE begin demolitions as owners, the spokesman said.
Videos shared on social networks have already shown tree felling and demolition work by construction vehicles. However, the police continued to encounter resistance. According to the spokesman, some activists were chained. According to this, officials continued to be thrown at with pyrotechnics and paint bags. The Bundestag member Irene Mihalic (Greens) condemned riots against officials. “Police officers must not be a projection surface for the anger and dissatisfaction of the demonstrators,” she told the “Handelsblatt”.