Police from all over the country are being sent to the western German village of Lützerath to evict climate activists currently blocking its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.
According to information obtained by Spiegel, police from 14 federal regions are being gathered in preparation for the eviction that is expected to begin this week. Police horses and dogs, as well as water cannons, are also being readied, according to the outlet.
The village’s original inhabitants have gradually abandoned Lützerath since the regional government of North Rhine-Westphalia caved into demands in the autumn of 2022 from energy giant RWE and agreed to demolish the village and make way for the expansion of an open air coal mine.
But climate activists have since occupied the village, criticising the ousting of residents and the plans for a new coal mine at a time when Germany needs to move away from fossil fuels to reach its climate goals.
“As long as fossil corporations make the rules of [Germany’s] energy transition, there will be none. Especially not one that comes quickly and justly enough,” Luisa Neubauer and Pauline Bruenger, two prominent activists from the youth movement Fridays for Future, wrote in a guest commentary published in the daily TAZ.
Neubauer also travelled to Lützerath to join the protests on Sunday.
Meanwhile, activists are preparing to fight off the police.
According to on-site reporters from the news agency dpa, protesters have built additional barricades and encased gas canisters in the concrete roads leading into the village to slow down the progress of police forces.
(Julia Dahm | EURACTIV.de)