Activists Cease Protest Against German Mine Extension in Lützerath
Climate Activists Abandon Resistance at Lützerath Mine in Germany
Hundreds of activists gathered in Lützerath (western Germany) from the end of last week, to try to prevent the dismantling of a tunnel. During the protest two activists remained entrenched in the tunnel, until they voluntarily left on Monday 16th January.
The German Police had already concluded the bulk of the operation, but after the evacuation of the activists, a broad alliance of organizations opposed to the extraction of lignite and the demolition of Lützerath held a march. This march also had the active participation of the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.
Although the march remained mostly peaceful, fireworks were fired at police officers in the afternoon according to a police spokesman. The police, who have been accused of acting with disproportionate forcefulness with regards to the activists, also charged at protesters in an effort to prevent them from reaching the edge of the lignite mine.
German activist Luisa Neubauer and climate activist Greta Thunberg were at the demonstration to support the eviction resistance. Thunberg was quoted to have said that changes in climate and environmental policy would not be achieved by politicians or businessmen, but by “people in the houses and in the streets”.
The government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz condemned the acts of resistance by the activists, with Interior Minister Nancy Faeser warning that violence against police officers was inexcusable. The compromise between the energy company RWE, the federal and the Rhenish Ministry of Finance (both led by the Greens) was accepted, which means that Lützerath is disbanded, in exchange for advancing the elimination of coal in Germany to 2030.
The demonstration has sadly turned into a lost battle for Lützerath, where the protesters were ultimately outnumbered by the security forces. The ongoing climate change crisis, however, still remains a common fight for us all.