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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Germany. In Luetzerath they are protesting against the expansion of the coal mine. The police evict the activists

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For the second day in a row, German police tried to remove climate activists protesting in the deserted village of Luetzerath. The village is to be demolished for the development of an opencast lignite mine. According to police, the operation was relatively peaceful, although several people on both sides suffered minor injuries.

Climate activists have been occupying the western part for over two years German the village of Luetzerath, which the RWE concern wants to raze to the ground and develop the Garzweiler coal mine in this place. Following a court decision allowing the company to proceed with the expansion, a large police force entered the deserted village on Wednesday to evacuate the activists.

During the eviction, the activists allegedly threw stones and pyrotechnics at the officers, and some chose a milder form of opposition and barricaded themselves in their homes. Others – according to the portal of the WDR station – left the camp peacefully. Several people have been detained, according to Aachen police spokesman Andrew Mueller.

Protesters said hundreds of them were still at the scene.

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Another day of eviction

Police continued to remove demonstrators on Thursday. Ladder-equipped officers climbed, among other things, the walls of one of the abandoned houses, while protesters sat in the building and on its roof, chanting: “The people have power” and “Luetzerath stays.”

Activists oppose razing the village to the ground to build a mine therePAP/EPA/RONALD WITTEK

The protesters formed human chains, set up barricades and occupied abandoned buildings. Some dug holes in the ground, others hung over it on wooden structures and even in hanging tents.

As the Reuters agency wrote, citing information provided by the services, the action was relatively peaceful, with a few cases of minor injuries on both sides.

Police said on Thursday that they were prepared for all scenarios, including a further escalation of confrontation with demonstrators in the coming days.

According to RWE, the Garzweiler opencast mine extracts approximately 25 million tons of lignite annually. The company said it supports both the energy transition and a temporary increase in the use of lignite-fired power plants to help Germany through the energy crisis.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/RONALD WITTEK

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