Following a meeting and a concert in the lignite town of Lützerath (NRW) at the Garzweiler opencast mine on Sunday, there were attacks. The event area had been stormed by activists, the police in Aachen said on Twitter. Stones were thrown at security forces and police officers. There was also property damage and property crime. One person was taken into custody.
North Rhine-Westphalia's Economics and Climate Protection Minister Mona Neubaur told the German Press Agency that she could not accept violence as the means of choice to achieve one's own goals. "Anyone who threatens or even injures emergency services crosses a line," said the Green politician. Violence is always the worst of all solutions. "That's why I ask everyone involved in and around Lützerath to behave peacefully and not to turn the escalation screw," said Neubaur.
Police commented that a peaceful event had turned violent for no apparent reason. The police had stayed in the background throughout the day. According to her assessment, around 2000 participants in Lützerath took part in a Sunday walk in the opencast mine. The organizers had given a higher number.
Activists want to delay eviction for weeks
Activists in Lützerath had previously announced that they wanted to delay the planned eviction for weeks. "We hope that we can hold Lützerath for six weeks," said Dina Hamid, spokeswoman for the Lützerath initiative. There are currently 700 people in the Erkelenz district.
Among other things, sit-ins and the occupation of tree houses and huts are planned. The village, consisting of a few houses, is located directly on the edge of the opencast mine. The eviction is expected in the near future.
On Sunday, representatives of an action alliance consisting of several groups "Lützerath unräumbar" reaffirmed their determination to oppose the eviction. Organizations and initiatives such as Ende Gelände, Fridays for Future, All Villages Remain and Last Generation have joined forces in the alliance.
Numerous activists had traveled to Lützerath again on Saturday. Shuttle buses brought them to the rough terrain from nearby train stations. Several new tents were set up in a camp in a field in the neighboring district of Keyenberg. Coal opponents who have settled in the rural hamlet live in squats, tents and tree houses. The original residents have long since moved away. The resettlement of Lützerath and surrounding towns began in 2000.
In the social networks, initiatives called with the hashtag, among other things
Neubauer: Politicians underestimated the strength of Lützerath
According to climate activist Luisa Neubauer, politicians did not expect so much resistance to the demolition of the village. "You can tell that the power in this place was apparently underestimated," said Neubauer on Sunday of the German Press Agency in Lützerath. "Here, a society shows that it understands: it's about everything. The village here is overrun with people who have come from all over the country. And that's not an easy journey. There are many blocked roads and police barricades. But that take people on."
One was determined to keep up the resistance to the eviction for a long time, said Neubauer. "We're giving everything now. This is just the beginning. The big demo is next Saturday. What I find so impressive is that there are people from different generations and backgrounds here: small children in rain pants, but also their grandparents Here are the activists who have been building the infrastructure for months, but also people who go about their everyday lives and understand: "Hey, now it's up to us.""
Climate expert sees "break with the Paris climate goals"
Greenpeace climate expert Karsten Smid told the dpa that in Lützerath it would be decided whether the traffic light government was serious about climate protection. "Burning the coal under Lützerath means breaking with the Paris climate goals. We no longer need the coal under the village and simply cannot afford to continue burning this most climate-damaging of all energy sources." RWE's interest in profit should not take precedence over the common good, protecting the planet and preserving the basis of life.
The Potsdam climate researcher Stefan Rahmstorf considers the planned evacuation of the village to be a mistake. "Politicians should think carefully about how a massive police operation for coal and against climate protectors will be judged in retrospect in 4 or 5 years, when the climate damage has become even more massive and obvious," wrote the head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) on Sunday on Twitter. "It's not too late to avoid making a bad mistake and call off the eviction!"
The energy company RWE wants to tear down Lützerath in the Rhineland in order to mine the coal underneath. This is necessary to ensure the energy supply, says the group. The opencast mine is already close to the remaining buildings. Activists living in the abandoned hamlet have announced resistance, but the black-green NRW state government wants the police to evacuate the village - possibly in a few days. The preparations for this are already underway. The state government points out that in return the phase-out of coal has been brought forward by eight years to 2030.