+++ Ticker clearance Lützerath +++: clearance almost complete
According to the police, Lützerath was almost completely cleared after two days. The only thing that still worries the police is possible tunnels.
9:30 a.m.: Police continue evacuation
The police continued the evacuation of the village of Lützerath in the Rhenish lignite mining area, which was occupied by activists, on Friday. “We continue to hope for a peaceful and non-violent process,” said the emergency services on Twitter. According to activists from the night, several objects and resistance structures were still occupied. “It’s far from over,” said the Twitter channel Aktionsticker Lützerath.
According to police and activists, one of the structures designed to further delay the evacuation of the settlement, which began on Wednesday, is an underground tunnel. According to the Lützerath Alliance, two activists wanted to stay in this area and chain themselves to concrete blocks. According to the police, the tunnel also has a fresh air supply. She wanted to get in touch with the activists inside. (afp)
9:20 a.m.: From Hamburg to Lützerath
Several hundred Hamburg supporters of the climate movement Fridays for Future (FFF) want to go to the demonstration on Saturday against the eviction of the town of Lützerath in the Rhenish lignite mining area, which is occupied by climate activists. “We will be more than ten buses,” said a spokeswoman on Friday in Hamburg. More than 500 people from Hamburg are expected on the journey to the large demonstration in Lützerath. Leading climate activist Greta Thunberg from Sweden also wants to travel there.
“Lützerath is so much more than a symbol of the climate movement. Lützerath is the coal that is to be excavated and proof of the failure of the state government,” said Hamburg FFF spokeswoman Annika Kruse according to the announcement. Under the guise of an “early exit”, the deal with RWE will promote more coal overall. “If Lützerath is a symbol, it is for how much the government doesn’t care about the 1.5 degree limit.” (dpa)
8:40 a.m .: NRW Minister of Justice: Question about Lützerath has long been clarified
For North Rhine-Westphalia’s Justice Minister Benjamin Limbach, the question of whether Lützerath will be retained or not has “been settled for a long time”. “By the judgment of the Higher Administrative Court in March 2022 at the latest, it was finally clear that RWE has the right to claim this town,” said the Green politician on Deutschlandfunk on Friday. However, he can understand the young people who are resisting in the village of Lützerath, since the path to coal was a “wrong path”. Nevertheless, the legal situation must be respected.
Limbach condemned the fact that police officers were thrown at with stones or firecrackers during the eviction. In his opinion, it was “a completely wrong attitude”. There are many legitimate ways of expressing one’s political opinion. However, violence against representatives of the state is not one of them.
With regard to the actions of the Last Generation group, whose members stick themselves on the streets or at airports, the Minister of Justice warned against further radicalization. “I hope they get to that point, see that stop sign to not go further into violence. In doing so, they also delegitimize the struggle of many peaceful activists who are committed to climate change,” Limbach continued. (dpa)
8:05 a.m .: Police end occupation of the Greens
After around ten hours, the police on Friday night occupied the NRW state office of the Greens in Düsseldorf because of the Evacuation of the town of Lützerath completed. Around a dozen people were taken out of the office and some were carried after the party exercised its domiciliary rights, said a spokesman for the Düsseldorf police on Friday morning. Criminal proceedings were initiated for trespassing.
A spokesman for the North Rhine-Westphalia Greens said the activists had repeatedly been offered talks. However, these were rejected. Therefore, the party had to make use of its domiciliary rights.
Between 20 and 30 activists occupied the state office of the Greens on Thursday afternoon to protest against the eviction of Lützerath. Around midnight there were still around a dozen people in the office who didn’t want to leave, the police spokesman said. They were partly drunk and watched films. The party then alerted the officials to trespassing. (afp)
7:50 a.m.: Habeck reprimands protests
Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) has little understanding for the massive protests against the demolition of Lützerath for lignite mining. “There are many good reasons to demonstrate for more climate protection, including against the Greens. But Lützerath is simply the wrong symbol,” Habeck said Mirror.
The village is not the symbol for a continuation of the Garzweiler lignite mine in the Rhineland, but “it is the final line,” said Habeck. The coal phase-out in the local coal mining area is preferred by eight years to 2030, which was always the goal of the climate movement. “The agreement gives us planning security. Because of you, investments are now being made in a climate-neutral energy supply, in hydrogen power plants.”
Habeck defended a corresponding contract between the federal government, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the energy company RWE. That means: “We save five villages and farms with around 450 residents. The Hambach Forest has been secured. The agreement has halved the permitted amount of open pit coal.” (dpa)
7:50 a.m.: Protest in front of the RWE headquarters
Activists protested in front of the RWE headquarters in Essen on Friday morning. According to them, several of them chained themselves to the entrance gate. A police spokesman said the RWE security service had reported an incident to them. “We’re on our way,” they said. (dpa)
7:40 a.m.: Tunnel under Lützerath
According to activists, there are two people in a tunnel under the lignite town of Lützerath. The two were determined to chain themselves as soon as an attempt was made to get them out, said a spokeswoman for the “Lützerath Lives” initiative on Friday morning. According to their own statements, the police had discovered underground passages in Lützerath on Thursday. In one there were people, it was said. A spokesman confirmed on Friday morning that according to the police, there were two.
The Technical Relief Agency tried to get the activists out that night, but ended the operation later. It was initially unclear when a new attempt would be made. According to “Lützerath Leben” the people are a good four meters deep. There is a “ventilation system”. (dpa)
7:30 a.m.: Quiet night in Lützerath
According to the police, the night passed quietly in the Lützerath settlement occupied by climate activists. Activists are still holding out in an underground tunnel, a police spokesman said on Friday.
On Thursday more than 300 people left Lützerath until the evening. About 70 people were identified. Criminal charges were filed against six people for resisting law enforcement officers and damaging property.
Since the start of the operation, judges have sent three people into long-term custody, it said. Two of them were released after they disclosed their personal details.
According to the information, eleven emergency services injured themselves without external influence, two police officers could not continue their service. Five police officers were injured by outside influence, but were able to remain on duty. On the part of the occupier scene, one person was slightly injured. (dpa)
3:30 am: Focus on old farmhouses
During the clearing of the Rhenish lignite town of Lützerath on Friday, the symbolic houses of the former residents will come into focus. So far, excavators have only leveled the activists’ wooden huts and barricades. However, the houses in Lützerath have not yet been demolished. Emergency services began on Thursday to go into the buildings and carry the squatters out. Fireworks and stones were occasionally thrown in the direction of the officials, as dpa reporters reported. (dpa)
2:50 a.m.: Another uncomfortable night for squatters
The remaining climate activists in Lützerath held out in uncomfortable weather on the second night after the start of the evacuation of the lignite site. In heavy rain, strong winds and temperatures below ten degrees, they stayed in squats or self-built dwellings early on Friday morning. The police initially did not clear further during the night.
There were still numerous police officers on site. According to a police spokesman, however, they only wanted to become active at night when activists had to be freed from potentially dangerous situations. So activists had entrenched themselves in an underground passage. The Technical Relief Agency moved in, but ended the operation during the night without having taken the people out of the tunnel.
Although Lützerath defenders had already left voluntarily and the police had cleared some houses and self-built settlements, activists were still on the site, the ground of which was completely sodden and muddy. A spokeswoman for the group “Lützerath is alive” was sure on Friday night that the place would definitely still be up to the planned one Big demonstration on Saturday to be able to “hold”. (dpa)
12:40 a.m.: Police: eviction largely complete
Against the resistance of climate activists, the police have meanwhile cleared a large part of the occupied village of Lützerath in the Rhenish lignite mining area. “The meadow has been cleared, most of the tree houses have been cleared,” Aachen police chief Dirk Weinspach told WDR on Thursday. There is “not that much left over”. Several police officers were injured during the protests, and unknown persons set fire to a police vehicle.
Resistance to the operation was considerable on the second day of the eviction. According to a police spokesman, some activists were chained. Others glued themselves to trees and structures to prevent their destruction. According to the police, officials were again thrown at with pyrotechnics, stones and paint bags.
An official was hit by a firecracker and injured in the leg, according to a statement from the Aachen police. Another police officer suffered a bang trauma. A total of five emergency services were injured by external influence and eleven others without external influence. The police published a photo of a burned-out emergency vehicle on Twitter. The police suspected arson. (afp)
7:15 p.m.: Civilian police vehicle burned down
On the edge of the operation in the lignite town of Lützerath, a civilian police vehicle went up in flames. “We are definitely assuming arson,” said a police spokesman on Thursday. The civil emergency vehicle was parked near the protest camp in the neighboring town of Keyenberg and was clearly recognizable as a police car thanks to a blue light on the roof. It is assumed that the perpetrators smashed the window and poured a flammable liquid into the car. It was initially unclear whether suspects could be identified. (dpa)