Police began removing climate protesters from an abandoned village on Wednesday in a showdown over the expansion of an opencast lignite mine that has highlighted tensions around Germany's climate policy during a Russia-induced energy crisis.
The demonstrators pulled a couple of strategies out of their protest toolbox, such as forming human chains, constructing makeshift barricades out of old containers and chanting.
“We are here, we are loud, because you are stealing our future,” was on the lips of the protesters who gathered in the village of Lutzerath, North Rhine-Wesphalia, Germany, in the perimeter of the Garzweiler mine run by energy firm RWE.
Lutzerath this morning pic.twitter.com/t48S3ytUtZ— alex thomson (@alextomo) January 10, 2023
On Wednesday morning, RWE said in a statement it would start to dismantle the former settlement of Lutzerath.
The Lützerath coal is needed to operate the lignite fleet at high capacity during the energy crisis and thus use less gas in electricity generation. At the same time, sufficient material is needed for high-quality recultivation. 2/3— RWE Media Relations Team (@RWE_Presse) January 11, 2023
The protest unfolds in the wake of a decision made on Monday by a regional court that upheld an earlier ruling to vacate the village whose land and houses now belong to RWE.
Not caring for any reprisal, many Sunday reaching small town #Lutzerath in West Germany where big energy company RWE AG is expanding lignite coal mine and village suspected to be destroyed score of #ClimateActivists including @Luisamneubauer up in arms as like #ZiraSanjhaMorcha pic.twitter.com/RLRHnjqVkk— Neel Kamal (@NeelkamalTOI) January 8, 2023