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Friday, January 27, 2023

Lützerath: This is where the last two squatters leave their tunnel

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The activists in the tunnel were considered the last occupiers of Lützerath. After the almost complete evacuation of the German protest village by the police, climate activists in the area continued to protest against lignite mining.


Image: (APA/AFP/INA FASSBENDER)
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In the Hambach opencast mine, around 20 kilometers away, a bucket-wheel excavator has been occupied since the early hours of the morning, as an RWE spokesman announced on Monday. In addition, climate activists abseiled in wheelchairs from a motorway bridge near Lützerath.

excavator occupied

The excavator in the Rhenish lignite mining area has stopped operating, said an RWE spokesman. There are a total of four people on the excavator. The police have been informed.

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According to the protest group “Counterattack – for the good life” eight activists occupied the excavator. With the action you want to show solidarity with the people in the village of Lützerath. The group also criticized the actions of the police there and called for the socialization of energy production.

A good four kilometers as the crow flies from Lützerath, climate activists also abseiled down a motorway bridge. There are a total of five people, two of them in wheelchairs, said a police spokesman. Traffic on Autobahn 44 continued during the action, but nothing worked on the country road under the bridge. The campaign is said to have ended by Monday afternoon.

Completely cleared

After the departure of the two tunnel occupiers, the Rhenish lignite town has been completely cleared since Sunday afternoon. Most of the buildings had already been demolished on Sunday – including the farm of farmer Eckardt Heukamp, ​​the last farmer in Lützerath.

After the complete demolition, the energy company RWE wants to excavate the coal underneath. It is expected that the dismantling will take eight to ten days, said a company spokesman “Rheinische Post” (Monday edition). “In March or April, the mine could then reach and excavate the former village.”

Photo gallery: Thunberg: “Battle for Lützerath not over”

Thunberg: "Battle for Lützerath not over"Thunberg: "Battle for Lützerath not over"

(Photo: INA FASSBENDER (AFP)) Picture 1/13

view gallery

violent action

Meanwhile, activists and police officers have accused each other of violence. North Rhine-Westphalia’s Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) took the police into protection on Sunday evening. have this “highly professional” worked, he said on the ARD talk show “Anne Will”. The German activist Luisa Neubauer contradicted this, from her point of view the operation was disproportionately violent.

But he will have every case of inappropriate police violence investigated. “We’ve seen a movie or two on the web where we’re like, ‘This doesn’t look good.’ We’ll take a close look at that, we’ve also filed a criminal complaint just to be on the safe side, because I think it needs to be checked”, he referred to the practice of recent years. But it’s not as if there were en masse at the demo “crazed cops” been on the way. He would have wished the organizers of the demo to clearly distance themselves from violence, but that didn’t happen.

Climate activist Luisa Neubauer contradicted this and accused the police of a disproportionately violent operation on the show. “It didn’t look professional in any way”, she criticized – and pointed out that according to a paramedic for the demonstrators, many people had been seriously injured by the police. The protest against it was peaceful.

According to the police, around 1,000 people, most of whom were masked, were on the edge of the large demo “disruptor” tried to get into the cordoned-off area of ​​Lützerath. The police used water cannons, batons and pepper spray. Twelve people were arrested or taken into custody. According to the police, nine activists were taken to the hospital by ambulance. A spokeswoman for the demonstrators’ medical service said it was one “high two-digit to three-digit number” injured by participants.

Picture gallery: Climate activists occupy the coal village of Lützerath – the police clear the area

Climate activists occupy the coal village of Lützerath - the police clear the areaClimate activists occupy the coal village of Lützerath - the police clear the area

(Photo: INA FASSBENDER (AFP)) Picture 1/53

view gallery

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