Lützerath Protest March Begins to Oppose Lignite Eviction
Greta Thunberg leads protest against Opencast Lignite Mining expansion in Germany
Swedish Activist Greta Thunberg led a protest today in the small German town Lützerath, against the expansion of the Opencast lignite mining into the region. She had invited to join the protest in her earlier tweet. She was joined by a broad alliance of organizations opposing lignite mining, including ‘Fridays For Future’ and ‘Greenpeace’.
The march was planned to end with a rally near Lützerath. Unfortunately, the eviction of the town began earlier in the week in order to expand the exploitation of open-pit lignite in the Garzweiler II mine. This was met with resistance from the local population and environmental activists, who threw stones, fireworks and Molotov cocktails at the agents trying to evict them.
Meanwhile, a group of protestors have already entrenched themselves in the underground tunnels, in order to prevent the eviction of their town. In response, the press service of the energy company, RWE, has denounced false news of their tunnel collapsing, and have called for rescue teams to maintain air supply and contact with the protestors.
Although the German government had planned for the complete abandonment of coal in the North Rhine-Westphalia region by 2030, the expansion of the lignite mining is planned because of recent Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting energy crisis in the region. Most of the inhabitants of the town had already left due to the intention of RWE’s expansion of Garzweiler II mine.
The Aachen police has warned against the danger posed by the open-cast mine in the region due to the recent rains, asking the activists to maintain a ‘prudent distance’.