Tunnels are causing problems for the police in Lützerath – clearance continues
erkelenz On the third day of the evacuation of Lützerath for lignite mining, the police are focusing on activists who have holed up in underground passages this Friday. “We don’t know how stable these underground soil structures are. We also don’t know what the air supply is like there,” said Aachen police chief Dirk Weinspach on Thursday evening WDR.
The situation is correspondingly dangerous. On Friday night, the Technical Relief Agency ended its mission without getting the activists out of the tunnel. In addition, the police want to clear a last occupied house on Friday. According to activists, there are two people in a tunnel. 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
During the night, the climate activists endured heavy rain, strong winds and temperatures below ten degrees. The police initially did not clear further. 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.
The occupiers of the place, which is to make way for lignite mining, reported on Thursday on social networks about a tunnel and warned the police not to drive into the area with heavy equipment.
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The police confirmed that there are at least two tunnels. However, there are only activists in one. So far the police have not been able to get hold of them. special forces of RWE and technical relief organization would now have to worry about “how the rescue can be carried out in a suitable manner,” said Weinspach. “It will also be important to proceed very carefully and not take any risks.” It is not foreseeable how much the clearance of the site could be delayed as a result.
Satisfied with the progress of the mission
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.
Climate activists are holding out in Lützerath
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.
On Friday morning, activists protested in front of the RWE-Corporate headquarters in Essen. 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.
Overall, the chief of police was satisfied with the progress of the operation. “The clearing of the above-ground structures is largely complete,” he emphasized WDR. “We cleared almost all the houses except for one. The meadow has been cleared, most of the tree houses have been cleared. In this respect, there is not that much left.”
On Thursday, numerous wooden huts and barricades belonging to the activists were razed to the ground by excavators. During the evacuation, the squatters usually allowed themselves to be carried away without much resistance.
>> Read here: “The right argument in the wrong place” – Lützerath puts the Greens in need of explanation
Some were close to tears. Two symbolic houses of the former residents of Lützerath were also cleared. There, fireworks flew in the direction of the emergency services, as a dpa reporter reported. One officer was slightly injured, according to police. However, the old houses in the village have not yet been demolished.
Even from the tree houses erected at a height of up to ten meters, squatters could be brought down by rescuers without much resistance. Police officers then cut the tethers so that tree houses crashed down and broke into many pieces, as a dpa reporter reported.
During the night of Friday, the evacuation initially continued in the dark. “Objects that have been addressed are still being processed,” said a police spokesman. Activists who had cemented themselves in or chained themselves were also freed despite the darkness. “In such cases, we have to provide help,” said the spokesman.
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 told the “Spiegel”.
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 treaty between the federal government and the state 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.”
Habeck also expressed his concern about a growing fear of the future among young people. “I’m concerned that part of the younger generation is in danger of losing hope,” he told the magazine. “Today, 20-year-olds are considering whether they want to have children at all.” He knew this debate from his youth, it had disappeared for 30 years. “Now she’s back. Understandable, the climate crisis is a reality”.
>> Read here: SPD MP calls for eviction moratorium for Lützerath
RWE wants to mine the lignite that lies beneath the village of Lützerath, which has long since been abandoned by the residents. The coal is needed to save gas for power generation in Germany during the energy crisis, the group argues. The activists deny that. In exchange for the fact that politicians paved the way for the mining of lignite under Lützerath, the coal phase-out in NRW was brought forward by eight years to 2030.
More: Barricades and sirens – this is how the police cleared the Lützerath protest camp