Opencast mining: Neubauer strengthens climate activists in Lützerath

The activists in Lützerath at the Garzweiler lignite mine want to delay the planned evacuation for weeks.

Opencast mining: Neubauer strengthens climate activists in Lützerath

The activists in Lützerath at the Garzweiler lignite mine want to delay the planned evacuation 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.

The climate activist Luisa Neubauer is also expected for a "village walk" - Lützerath consists of only a few former farmsteads and houses. She called on supporters to come too. "In Lützerath the limit of carrying on like this has been reached," said Neubauer of the German Press Agency. "Politicians don't yet dare to recognize this, but civil society does." The coal has to stay in the ground. "We have been experiencing the effects of climate change for years. In the summer of 2022, the most serious forest fires raged across Europe. The destruction, which has been fueled by German politics and business so far, must stop."

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.

On the outskirts of Lützerath, the edge of the opencast mine was washed away with water. As a result, there is an acute danger to life in the area above, the police warned. A concert by the Cologne band AnnenMayKantereit planned for the afternoon was therefore moved to another area in consultation with the organizer, said a police spokeswoman. The flooding was triggered by water escaping from a pipe. How this came about is currently being investigated. The press conference planned for midday by the climate activists in Lützerath does not have to be relocated, said the spokeswoman.

Climate expert sees "break with the Paris climate goals"

Numerous activists 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

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 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.